Sunday, August 31, 2008

Activists in Minneapolis being arrested in advance of RNC Convention

What kind of Totalitarian nightmare is this - when people are arrested for meeting and planning civil disobedience?

Update:Matt Rourke, AP photographer doing his job, Amy Goodman asking why a couple of her colleagues were arrested and later400 others arrested on the last day of the RNC convention. (After the police had arrested and disrupted a video crew that had filmed a lot of the arrests done at the RNC convention in NYC while resulted in the dismissals or acquittals of those arrested - I-Witness Video Collective Forced Out of Living Space After Second Raid by St. Paul Police in Five Days).

Meanwhile there were people apparently plotting to kill Obama at the DNC convention and the The Rove-connected Colorado US Attorny, Troy Aid, has refused to bring such charges...

At previous Republican/Bush events - people with signs have been kept far away from events - in so-called "Free Speech Zones". The more that people are squashed down, the less people are listened to - the more drastic measures they are likely to come up with. So now - people in the planning stages have had their laptops, journals, signs, anything that could possibly be used to coordinate or used to disrupt have been confiscated. Not much of a democracy. Not much Free Speech.

There is a group called that RNC welcoming committee that is an organization of dozens of activist groups (according to news articles) that has been planning this for a year or more. Some police groups have been infiltrating and monitoring the groups.

I agree with the person who said that the police actions in advance of the convention will more than likely attract more protesters. And give the people even more to protest against.


Police raids enrage activists, alarm others
...From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses, broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected tools of civil disobedience.

The show of force was led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with the FBI, Minneapolis and St. Paul police, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and other agencies.

5 arrested, dozens detained in pre-RNC raids

"...I think (Friday night's raid) was a scare tactic to not go to the big demonstration Monday," said Monica Trinidad, a 22-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago student who was handcuffed outside the center Friday night as she was returning to see what was going on. "But I don't think it's going to work."

Hal Muskat, a 61-year-old San Franciscan and member of Veterans for Peace, said the arrests might attract even more protesters.

"It was a tactic to try and take out the leaders," he said. "I know some people don't like to go out in the streets. But when anybody within a 12-hour drive hears about what's going on here, they're going to want to be here with us on Monday."

Protesters arrested in St. Paul
...Four people were arrested at two Minneapolis homes and booked on probable cause of conspiracy to commit a riot, said Gina Berglund, an attorney for protesters. There were no arrests at a third home targeted. Later, Ramsey County deputies arrested a fifth person.

Police target protesters at RNC convention
...Dave Thune, a St. Paul city councilman whose district includes the theater building used as a hub for the protesters, denounced the raid, saying people had a legal right to assemble there.

"We spent so much time trying to welcome people to the city and now this is the way we start out," he said. "It pretty much sucks."

Totalitarianism - Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, central state-controlled economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics.

That pretty much sums up what Bush & Co. have been doing.

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