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Over 300 Arrested at RNC

Posted on Sep 3, 2008
National Guard Line

A hyper-militarized line of the National Guard blocks a street in St. Paul on Tuesday.

Beginning Saturday with a guns-drawn assault on a protester meeting space and continuing through the weekend with raids on houses of known activists in St. Paul, Twin Cities police have arrested over 300 anti-RNC demonstrators. At least 120 of them are accused of felonies, including trumped-up “conspiracy to riot” charges. Police have used concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against unarmed protesters.

For more news on the demonstrations in St. Paul, check out the Twin Cities Independent Media Center’s coverage of the RNC.

To support those who were unjustly arrested, visit the Coldsnap Legal Collective’s Web site to find out what you can do.

Twin Cities IMC:

Two days into the Republican National Convention (RNC), more than 300 people have been arrested, including at least 120 people for felonies—mostly the notoriously vague charge, ‘conspiracy to riot.’

With no provocation, police have indiscriminately used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and chemical irritants to disperse crowds and incapacitate protestors.

Police appear to be specifically targeting videographers documenting these police abuses. In response, lawyers have filed a federal restraining order against such conduct.

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By Buzly, September 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s ironic that Denver prepared a caged-off area for we PUMA supporters and seems there weren’t that many altercations outside the DNC’s convention. But now, when the RNC is trying to conduct its convention in the wake of Hurricane Gustav, the activists won’t behave. Maybe they should be leashed on the Al Quaeda and Taliban. We could win the Iraqi War a lot faster, I’m sure.

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By tomack, September 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

What frightens most is that hundreds of police marched in lock step on this. Is that the mindset of police everywhere? Do any question? Is it that easy? Shite, this aint Birmingham, this is supposedly a FAIRLY liberal minded city. Is it that easy? Perhaps I’m just a tad paranoid.

Police, military, militia, civilian air guard, etc.  Anybody gotta a calculator? Anybody gotta bottle of good hooch? Anybody gotta passport?

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By tomack, September 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

What frightens most is that hundreds of police marched in lock step on this. Is that the mindset of police everywhere? Do any question? Is it that easy? Shit, this aint Birmingham, this is supposedly a FAIRLY liberal minded city. Is it that easy? Perhaps I’m just a tad paranoid.

Police, military, militia, civilian air guard, etc.  Anybody gotta a calculator? Anybody gotta bottle of good hooch? Anybody gotta passport?

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By Anarcissie, September 4, 2008 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

cyrena: ’... Activists’ groups and efforts should be COURTING the media, in advance. ...’

I think not, if we’re talking about the corporate or mainstream media here.  Their primary interests are to sell advertising by attracting viewers (entertainment) and to produce propaganda which supports the interests of their owners and managers.  Truth, if it’s anywhere on their list at all, is nowhere near the top.  Consequently—and those who have dealt with the media will confirm this—any material gathered from radicals, reformers, rebels and so on will be reworked in order to serve the primary purposes, which are quite often totally opposed to those of the radicals, reformers and rebels.

As a case in point: the mainstream reporting of the very events we’re discussing.  Reports of the midnight Soviet-style raids upon activists were withheld until they could be presented after the presentation of the street violence the next day and the police interpretation of it, even though they occurred before it, so that it would seem that the police raids were a reponse to the violence rather than the intimidation and provocation that they actually were.

In other (recent) times and places, police, political operatives, and spies have actually been issued press credentials.

So I think it is best to minimize corporate media knowledge and involvement in any political activity unless you have some control over the material.  Not run away from them, but make no effort to get cosy with them.  “He that sups with the Devil should carry a long spoon.”

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By ScottyAnn, September 4, 2008 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This morning I watched the You Tube video of a conversation between Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy, when they thought they were off microphone. During an interview with MSNBC, Peggy Noonen said “It’s over”, referring, I understood to mean, the Republican control of the White House.

Peggy Noonan of The Washington Post must have many Republican friends, who have been up nights this past week talking about the decision made by their new leador to pick Sarah Palin as a running mate. Noonan and her friends know something the pundits are not discussing openly, that the Palin choice can end the Republican fight for the presidency.

This morning I spoke to a very disgruntled Hillary Democrat, who had stated a few weeks back his decision to vote for McCain, because of how the Florida Democrats had been dissed by the DNC. However, as of 8:30am today, his young married daughter, her husband, and himself, all had a change of heart, and were now voting for Obama.

Their is a light at the end of this dark tunnel of terror, which we have tolerated for the past eight years, and this light is getting brighter by the day.

Keep the torch of hope burning bright.

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By jobart, September 4, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have an idea, that justs needs a little imagination, that folks should ponder. Just imagine a scenario where a slew of “high profile” MSM commentators ( Couric, Williams, Blitzer, Olbermann, etc.)took camera crews to the streets to record the behavior of the Police. Now, does anyone believe that this being the case, that the behaviour would significantly change? Now, imagine that “they” get the treatment that Amy Goodman received. Talk about adverse exposure. Wouldn’t THAT be precious to watch?  grin

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By jobart, September 4, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By cyrena, September 3 at 11:45 pm

The parallels that run between them (UK) and us are quite blatant, except that they are ahead (further along the path) in actual implementation. Another example is one that brings the whole scenario into a better focus is the movie “V”.  The difference there is the changes in society are a “fait accompli”.  You get the parallels in “flashback”, i.e. how they got to the present state of affairs. The ending shows the public rising up, in mass, to reverse the “order”.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 4, 2008 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

“Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America… he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights?”

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By kath cantarella, September 4, 2008 at 1:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How about a class-action law suit? You could start a fund where the rest of us could donate money towards legal costs.

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By cyrena, September 4, 2008 at 12:45 am Link to this comment


I’m about half-way through the list of video’s that you provided, and I’m hoping that many of us here on this forum will watch and join in the discussion. In fact, I would be absolutely *delighted* if dozens of readers would join in. Because…this has become (in the past 5 or so years) my OBSESSION.

Long story to this, but the short version is that my primary reason for returning to academia at the advanced age of 50, (and that was 5 years ago) was because I desperately needed to figure out what the hell was going on, and I knew it would take some guidance from professionals with far more knowledge/understanding than I had. I lucked out…and that’s really the only way to put it, by finding myself in an environment where others have been as obsessed as I with figuring this all out, and are brilliant academics willing to share the knowledge and the obsession. So…there you have it. It has helped TREMENDOSLY, to have the technology that allows this information to be more accessible now, than it ever would have been before. In fact, the way totalitarian regimes have always been able to achieve their success, is by creating an alternative reality via propaganda, and keeping the masses figuratively at least, (and sometimes literally)  in the dark.

Anyway, because of my near total concentration on this for the past several years, the information in the videos is not new to me, even though the collection itself is. (I’ve not seen all of these interviews, and I’m really impressed with the way they’ve been put together) That said though, there is a plethora of documentary information available now for how this has developed here, as an almost identical parallel to what this documentary series explains for Great Britain, beginning with the Patriot Act. In fact, with just a little bit of effort, we can do a match for each and every one of these ‘laws’ that Britain has come up with since 2001, to one that has been created here. The most offensive of ours of course, (still in effect) has been the MCA, (Military Commissions Act) with was put forth primarily to protect the asses of those who had already violated the basics of the Magna Carta, (habeas corpus) and certainly the multiple violations of Human Rights Law like the absolute prohibition of torture. Moreover, (and this is just from studying the same phenomena HERE) we discover a near identical trajectory to the Nazi regime of Hitler as well as that of Stalin’s Russia. Overall, it has been mind boggling and mind numbing at the same time, to see what has transpired in the past 7 years, while so many of us walk around still not at all sure of the how’s, why’s, or even aware of what has taken place. It’s like, most of us know something is very wrong, but so many don’t know what.

Anyway, let’s hope others will have time to watch this excellent series of videos, and join in to the discussion. I’ve previously offered some other resources that I think are very helpful, though admittedly some of it can be hard to sort through. For those willing to give it a shot, I’d recommend Hannah Arendt’s excellent scholarship, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, (Harcourt Brace and Co, 1973) beginning with the Preface to Part Three: Totalitarianism, which is an addition to the original work, and then Chapter Twelve: “Totalitarianism in Power”. Again, the similarities will amaze the mind.

I also would suggest Giorgio Agamben’s “State of Exception” (University of Chicago Press, 2005) for even greater illumination.

Thanks again for sharing the videos. Hopefully this will generate much discussion.

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By purplewolf, September 3, 2008 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment





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By cyrena, September 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

From the linked article..

•  “..It’s a big question why people were so careless, and a bigger question why none of us who have been around long enough to recognize this kind of carelessness didn’t step in to try to warn people of the consequences of their mistakes….”

I’m not at all sure that this is a ‘big question’, and this statement is very PAINFULLY ironic. We DID step in and try to warn them of the consequences of their mistakes. We’ve spent countless hours on forums exactly like this one, trying to do exactly that. Not to dissuade them from doing what we should have all been doing for nearly 8 years now, but to make it clear that there are other far more successful ways to go about it. Why? Because we know better. We’ve done this stuff before.

•  “Local residents, people of color, poor people, young people, indigenous folks, and long time radical activists have all been put in danger based on the justification provided by a bunch of over zealous and under mentored young folks. JUST LIKE THE RNC 2000, DNC 2000, RNC 2004 and DNC 2004, The Twin Cities radical community has a lot more work and a lot of wounds to heal in the wake of this crap. Let’s get everyone who’s been kidnapped free, learn from this, and then not let this kind of shit happen again. Stay safe and be careful!”

I disagree that this is ‘just like’ the conventions of the previous years. The demonstrations at the RNC in New York in 2004 at least, was an entirely peaceful and well organized effort until the cops got crazy, and the circumstances of that should have been far more publicized then they were. But none of the MSM ever bothered to flesh any of that out, just as none of the MSM has bothered to cover anything of the past 8 years. Activists’ groups and efforts should be COURTING the media, in advance. And they should be prepared to know what they will say and do when given the opportunity to address the MSM, and there is a way to do that, so that it has the desired effect.

So it’s unfair to suggest that any of us who DO know better, haven’t tried to make that point. We have. It hasn’t seemed to make a difference

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By jobart, September 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What was it he is so “famous/notorious” for stating???  Oh, yeah….“We didn’t go far enough”.  Definately, he is/was a truly BAD-GUY.

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By jovlns, September 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Watch the video. Watch them beat up Amy Goodman.
This is America? It looks more like Nazi Germany.

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By jovlns, September 3, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Watch the video. Watch them beat up Amy Goodman.
This is America? It looks more like Nazi Germany.

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By jobart, September 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bildebergers folks, CFR folks, Tri-lateral commision folks, PNAC folk, Bohemian Grove folk, etc. These guys, very few XX humans, by the way, always meet in secret.  These “meetings” have a goal of “what”? If what they discuss has no bearing on citizens, why all the secracy and security of the attendees and their agenda? What are they so intend on hiding? Perhaps they discuss their long-term plan and it’s progress? Perhaps they discuss the need for minor adjustments to continue in the processin attainment of their agenda? But, quite ironically, they use the “authority” under their control to quell resistance to their plan.  They will not allow “non-secret” meetings of people whose agenda doesn’t fit with theirs. Therefore, we get major “crackdowns” that oppose their plan.  See, somewhat, the DNC. But, more importantly, the RNC. It hasn’t reached it’s goals, however.  It needed a starting point to succeed in order to identify the potential obstacles, and, once they are taken into account, a plan for American citizens. THEY chose the U.K. I have watched the following documentary and, although in several pieces/links, worth watching.
I’d appreciate all of your thoughts.

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By LibertyWatch, September 3, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

A disgusting example of abuse of power by the Feds and the local cops. Flash/Bang stun grenades, armed raids against video-graphers, chemical warfare against citizens with flowers in their hands and thuggish police violence against women reporters is not the rule of law. Un-necessary violence to instigate rebellion so they can hit even harder. The GOP needs to apologize to every single citizen that has been denied their rights for their political activities.

The RNC -Religious Nazi Coalition should be made to pay for these crimes!

The un-American activity of the government needs to end and the rule of law needs to be re established before all out marshal law is declared. These Nazi style Gestapo tactics will backfire on them and then we will have bloodshed.

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By samosamo, September 3, 2008 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Naomi Klein,

I am not even half way through your book ‘The Shock Doctrine’ and low and behold here is the exact same shock system in place here in our good ole USofA. Some how it just doesn’t make sense that compared to the democrat’s convention where there were protests and I guess some arrests, the republicans are having a hard go at it, some and maybe more of it by the tricks of neocons/conservatives, to make it appear that more police control is needed. So no matter the status, the republican party stands for a police state to insure their power no matter how dim it may be for now.

I realize that the republicans have really created a hell on earth in the last 8+ years through control of congress, the complicity of clinton and 2 terms of w and have very well earned the ire of the repressed and abused people they have exploited for their greedy criminal demeanor by out and out robbery with a whole heap of murder and torture in the mix. There is the almost impossible idea of that with the military(national guard)ICE, state and local police and undercover police and I would have to think several other federal agencies including the CIA, HomeLand Security and others that are filtering around to detect any ‘subversive’ people or groups that they think are committing the ‘felonies’ that are rapidly being passed out, it just bodes ill times for this election.

I have stated before that the ‘incumbent’ regime will not just let their hold on power go with out a fight or graciously. And what is still to be determined is ‘will the 1.20.2009 transfer of power take place’? I will say this: Milton Friedman is in the top 5 most devestatingly dangerous people of the 20th century. Take your pick on the other 4 but Friedman’s idea of unfettered markets are the cause of most of the issues in this world and have been proven so if not acknowledge as so.

And this is brought home to me since I reread Orwell’s ‘1984’ and have read Daniel Estulin’s ‘The Bilderberg Group’ and am now reading ‘The Shock Doctrine’. It is ALL about the money. Using the cover of groups such as the bilderbergs, council of foreign relations and the trilateral commission and others, the elite have set themselves to be the holder of all the riches and be the determiners of how the world is governed and ran. All of these groups have secretive and clandestine agendas to keep themselves as the rulers of a new world order they hope to create. The hold on the media is one of if not their most powerful control that has been gained. Though the CFR and TC have web sites the back room sessions are where their real purposes are discussed and set into agendas. Thus any data about the people in these groups and their agends are hard to obtain.

The bilderberg meetings are where the secrecy is really tight as they feel they can openly discuss their ideas and agendas without fear of the scrutiny of the world as they make THEIR plans about OUR fate and lives. It is all very devious and even with the common denominator of all these people’s wealth, they still have their issues amongst themselves but slowly they move along. They have a large amount of control as to who becomes leaders in the major or all countries and who needs to be outsted. Supposedly nixon was a casualty of their decision to ‘loose’ him.

Not to belabor a point, but all the hegemony, vast amounts of repression are really methods to institute a new world order that is still slow on the uptake. And it can or at least I lay the negative(a big heap of negative) of the totally free open unfettered market at the feet of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics that, using orwellian speak, promises better of all but produces most for the few at the physical and mental expense of the ever widening gap of the rich and the people.

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By Gmonst, September 3, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Preemptive wars, preemptive arrests, call me old-fashioned, but I believe that people should only be punished for crimes after they have committed them.  One step closer to the thought police.  Even arresting journalists on “conspiracy to riot” charges.  Next it will be conspiracy to think poorly of the government.

If you demonstrate
Against somebody we like
I’ll slip on my wig
And see if I can start a riot
Transform you to an angry mob
All your leaders go to jail for my job
(Dead Kennedys, I am the Owl)

It’s all over but not quite
The pigs have just begun to fight
They club your heads, kick your teeth
Police can riot all that they please
(Dead Kennedys, Riot)

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By GW=MCHammered, September 3, 2008 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You will know a party by its actions:

G - guard dog
O - overrun by
P - paranoia

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By don knutsen, September 3, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wake-Up America….We live in a police state now. Freedom of speech and assembly is no longer something we can take for granted as a right of every citizen. We have been heading down this road quite awhile, and we are now there. Goodbye democracy, hello facism bush style. We’ve lived for 8 years under an administration that holds nothing but contempt for america and its people. An administration that wastes billions of dollars where-ever they can but has no interest in using our billions to help the american people. They scoff at the notion that there are some responcibilities of the goverment to protect the well being of its citizens. Instead they continue to use the goverment to make themselves and their cronies richer while millions lose their homes to foreclosure or natural disasters that they ignore. By musseling the press, a lesson learned from the nazis they can keep as many as possible in the dark as to what they are doing. By rigging this next election in November as best they could using cooperative state attorneys ( remember only eight said they wouldn’t cooperate with K. Rove’s plans )by denying the ability to vote to everyone from minorities living in predominately democratic leaning areas to soldier overseas in some cases they hope to keep their control to continue the dismantling of america to serve their corporate interests while we are all enthralled with nothing but reality shows and blank headed bimbos spewing their info-tainment to the people. They arrest and detain people who broke no laws knowing full well it is illegal, but they don’t care about that anymore then they care about any form of rights to the men and children they have held in Quantanimo and their other many secret sites. When it finally comes before a judge they lose, they hardly even attempt to support their position. But that dosen’t matter because in all these cases they have accomplished their goal. To squelch any criticism and keep the truth form the people. This is what the republican party has brought to america.

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