Anti-war group calls for Fletcher’s resignation

September 6, 2008

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Organizers of the anti-war march that ended with nearly 400 arrests Thursday called for the resignation of Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher during a press conference outside St. Paul City Hall this afternoon.

The group also demanded an investigation of city officials’ handling of the “raid” on peaceful demonstrators during three and a half hours of marches, sit-ins and, finally, chaotic, tear gas-tainted skirmishes.

“People were arrested and brutalized for standing on bridges and chanting,” said Meredith Aby, an organizer for the anti-war marches on Monday and Thursday.

As in-your-face proof, march participant Mick Kelly lifted his shirt to expose a Frisbee-sized bruise on his left hip. He said he was shot with a rubber bullet as he tried to keep police from taking the group’s banner at Cedar and 12th streets.

Police deny any law enforcement possesses rubber bullets. Pepper balls and some shell casings can look like rubber bullets.

Much of the conflict between march organizers and police came from a misunderstanding about whether or not the group could move from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center.

The group said it might not have had a permit to march after 5 p.m., but it believed that St. Paul police were going to allow them to take to the streets.

As the march began minutes before 5, St. Paul police told the crowd to disperse — it was unlawfully assembled.

Standoffs on the John Ireland and Cedar Street bridges leadinginto downtown ensued.

Anti-War Committee member Jessica Sundin called the move a bait-and-switch.

“It’s a set up,” she said, adding that fall-out from the confrontation should land on St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, who allowed his city to be militarized.

“He and the council should take responsibility for the mess they created,” she said.

The group said numerous lawsuits are certain.

“I feel absolutely confident that lawsuits will be filed” at every level of government, said Dianne Mathiowetz with the Troops Out Now coalition.

When asked what police could have done differently Thursday night, Anti-War Committee member Katrina Plotz answered quickly.

“They needed to move out of our way and let us march,” she said. “They blatantly chose to do something else.”

Plotz said the “police repression” of anti-war protesters would backfire.

“The anti-war movement is just going to get bigger exponentially because of what we’ve seen here in the Twin Cities,” she said.

The group also countered claims by St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington that protesters planned to hurl Molotov cocktails once they reached the Xcel.

If there were such items in the march, why haven’t we seen them, the group asked.



“No Peace for the War-Makers” demonstration at the Xcel Center on September 4

September 4, 2008

Anti-War Committee

1313 5th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 w 612.379.3899 w http://www.antiwarcommittee.org

For Immediate Release: September 3, 2008

Contact: Katrina Plotz 651.769.4474

Misty Rowan 651.494.8240

Anti-War Committee press conference to announce “No Peace for the War-Makers” demonstration at the Xcel Center on September 4

On Wednesday September 3, the Anti-War Committee will hold a press conference at 1:30 at the Merriam Park Library in St. Paul to announce plans for a massive demonstration on Thursday, the final day of the Republican National Convention. Plans for September 4 include a rally at the State Capitol at 4 pm followed by a march to the Xcel Center. Individuals and groups will demonstrate their opposition to the war in Iraq and the wars at home on immigrants, workers, low income families, people of color, and the queer community. Demonstrators will utilize creative and diverse tactics to resist war and injustice under a banner of “No Peace for the War-Makers.”

The September 4th demonstration has been endorsed locally by the Welfare Rights Committee, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Students for a Democratic Society, and nationally by the Troops Out Now Coalition, the International Action Center, and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

Anti-War Committee member Misty Rowan explains, “On September 4, the Republicans will nominate John McCain for president, a candidate who supports endless occupation in Iraq and has threatened war against Iran. He has vowed to continue the war at home by extending Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and by expanding free trade agreements that exploit workers and the environment. We must counter this agenda with demands of our own. We want U.S. troops out of Iraq now and an end to injustice and exploitation at home.

Katrina Plotz of the Anti-War Committee continues, “Throughout the RNC, the Xcel Center has been closed to the thousands of people whose lives are most affected by the plans and decisions of the politicians. The police presence in St. Paul this week has been designed to scare and silence those who are speaking and acting against the Republican agenda. We will not be intimidated. It’s up to us to gather in the streets and converge on the Xcel Center to reject 5 years of unjust war in Iraq and demand justice at home and abroad.”

The Anti-War Committee has been organizing rallies, protests, and educational events in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. We stand in solidarity with communities at home and abroad who are oppressed by U.S. policy and are committed to building a broad movement for social justice and peace.

Press Conference: “No Peace for the War-Makers”

Wednesday, September 3 @ 1:30 pm, at Merriam Park Library (1831 Marshall Ave, St. Paul – corner of Marshall and Fairview.


Report from the streets of St. Paul – Troops Out Now Coalition

September 4, 2008

RNC–Day 2

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, members of the Troops Out Now Coalition and FIST–Fight Imperialism, Stand Together attended the “March for Our Lives” called by Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

The militant march, which drew up to a thousand people demanding economic human rights, marched past a state prison and a homeless shelter before passing the State Capitol on its way to the Xcel Center, where the Republican National Convention is being held.

For the entire route, we were surrounded by hundreds of cops on bikes, horses and “undercover” officers wearing the same khaki shorts.

Meanwhile, as we were marching, a free music festival attended by thousands of people was happening at the State Capitol. Word that Rage Against the Machine would perform had drawn many youth to the concert. According to witnesses, as Rage came to stage to perform, they were told if they played they would be charged with an “incitment to riot” felony. Then the sound, lights and all electricity was shut down.

Onstage with members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Rage lead singer Zack de la Rocha grabbed a bullhorn, did a song and announced they were marching over to join Poor Peoples March.

The march swelled to thousands. We left the State Capitol and started on our way to the Xcel Center. About halfway there, the cops started raising tensions–one cop sprayed a whole section of protesters with pepper spray after he said an activist has marched “too close” to him.

We got to the Xcel Center, which was the ending point of the march. As we got ready to leave, we could see that we were being surrounded by cops, and as we made our way out of the area we could see that other intersections were being blocked by the cops as well–effectively penning in protesters.

All of a sudden, loud explosions could be heard–the sound of concussion grenades being fired into the penned-in crowds. Tear gas and pepper spray was used as well on the protesters.

We have heard reports that more arrests were made last night at the protests. As we were driving back to our housing in Minneapolis, we also saw that several cop cars had pulled over a minivan of protesters on the highway; and were searching the van while the activists were forced to sit on the ground on the highway.

TODAY, Sept. 3, we participated in a press conference to announce plans for a Day 4 protest, happening tomorrow when John McCain is expected to speak at the RNC and accept the presidential nomination. As usual, the corporate media tried to bait the leaders of the various anti-war and anti-poverty coalitions into denouncing the “violence” that direct action groups had supposedly committed. Not a single speaker fell for this derisive trick, redirecting the reporters to the massive violence being committed against poor people at home and abroad.

March organizer Jess Sundin explained how the police had given them a permit for the middle of the day tomorrow–when students and workers will be occupied with their jobs and classes, and before McCain is scheduled to speak. Sundin told the press that the group intends to excercise their right to dissent and march at 5 p.m., whether or not the police department corrects the permit.

To find out more about the Troops Out Now Coalition, go to www.TroopsOutNow.org

To donate to help pay for organizing expenses, go to http://troopsoutnow.org/donate.shtml

To sign the petition demanding an end to police brutality and illegal conduct in St. Paul, go to http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml


Report from the Streets of St. Paul: “organizers remained determined to move forward”

September 3, 2008

By LeiLani Dowell

St. Paul, Minn.

Despite an onslaught of police terror and repression, protesters from across the country used a variety of tactics to march on the Republican National Convention here on Sept. 1. A mass march organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War was followed by youthful street actions to denounce the Republican policies of endless imperialist war and sweeping attacks on workers.

In an escalation of tactics used at the Democratic National Convention in Denver a week earlier, Minnesota police began the repression against RNC protesters days before the march. The cops raided community kitchens, meeting spaces and protesters’ homes; handcuffed and harassed activists; confiscated political literature; and arrested at least three people on bogus “conspiracy to riot” charges.

Despite this intimidation, organizers remained determined to move forward with what would turn out to be a highly successful, massive march as well as direct actions on Labor Day, Sept. 1.

Some 30,000 attended a rally that included representatives of the American Indian Movement; ANSWER Coalition; Appeal for Redress Campaign; Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War; Code Pink; Colombia Action Network; Green Party; Latinos Against War; Palestine Solidarity Group; Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; Students for a Democratic Society; Teamsters 743; Troops Out Now Coalition; United for Peace and Justice; Venezuela Solidarity Network; Veterans for Peace; Welfare Rights Committee; and Women Against Military Madness.

The diverse crowd, led by the Iraq Veterans Against the War, then marched to the Xcel Center, site of the Republican convention, and back to the State Capitol for a closing rally. Various contingents included low-income people, youth and students, immigrant rights activists, labor, Palestine and Colombia solidarity activists, an anti-capitalist bloc and an anti-climate-change group.

While Republican Party leaders shied away from the conference so as to not seem insensitive in the face of Hurricane Gustav, activists remembered the neglect of the Bush administration in response to Hurricane Katrina. A Troops Out Now Coalition banner read “Bush–McCain; Katrina–Gustav: Criminal Neglect Continues.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of youth engaged in militant street actions. They were met by brutal attacks at the hands of the police, including being doused with pepper spray and tear gas. Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) activist and eyewitness videographer Elena Everett reported that a disabled man in a wheelchair was sprayed head-to-toe with pepper spray. Others were hit in the back with tear gas canisters.

The Coldsnap Legal Collective (coldsnaplegal.wordpress.com) reports that as of Sept. 1, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office had announced 284 arrests. Some 130 were charged with felony offenses, which most likely will be used to keep them in jail until the end of the convention. The collective says that the majority of those arrested are still being held in jail, and some are being refused proper medical attention. The collective is asking supporters to call the jail at 651-266-9350 to demand that these activists be released and given proper medical attention.

While the corporate media has focused almost exclusively on property damage sustained during the street actions, including windows being broken at a Macy’s department store, several eyewitnesses told this reporter that the person who began breaking the windows was clearly an agent provocateur working with the police. He approached the window in clear view of the cops, broke it and walked away without an arrest. A police car was also damaged.

However, at a press conference the following day, march coordinator Jess Sundin was quick to point out that any rage displayed by activists in the streets is completely justified and pales in comparison to the state violence committed on a daily basis by U.S. forces at home and abroad.

The joint press conference was held by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, the RNC Welcoming Committee and the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign–all of whom held fast in their solidarity with arrestees, despite attempts by corporate media reporters to bait them into denouncing “violence.” One man, representing the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign, challenged the reporters: “You act like we’re having this press conference in a country that hasn’t practiced oppression for hundreds of years.”

A number of activities are planned to continue the protests through the end of the convention on Sept. 4, including free public music festivals, a “March for Our Lives” and a “solutions driven” peace conference. For updates on activities, visit http://dncrnc.wordpress.com/.

LeiLani Dowell is an activist and leader with the Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC).  TONC activists and organizers have been on the streets at both conventions, marching against racism, war, and injustice.

To find out more about the Troops Out Now Coalition, go to www.TroopsOutNow.org

To donate to help pay for organizing expenses, go to http://troopsoutnow.org/donate.shtml

To sign the petition demanding an end to police brutality and illegal conduct in St. Paul, go to http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml


September 3, 2008


September 2, 2008
Stop War on Iran banner (www.StopWarOnIran.org) and FIST banner (www.fistyouth.wordpress.com)

Stop War on Iran banner (www.StopWarOnIran.org) and FIST banner (www.fistyouth.wordpress.com)

Police violence and provocation did not stop tens of thousands of people from turning out to march against the RNC.

Police violence and provocation did not stop tens of thousands of people from turning out to march against the RNC.

March on the RNC lead banner

March on the RNC lead banner - TONC activist Leilani Dowell at far left

Veterans for Peace

Veterans for Peace

  • STOP the Illegal Raids!

  • Release All Arrestees and Drop the Charges!


Troops Out Now Coalition at the RNC protests

September 2, 2008
Bush = McCain, Katrina = Gustav, Criminal Neglect Continues

Troops Out Now Coalition Banner: Bush-McCain, Katrina-Gustav, Criminal Neglect Continues

Foreclose the War - Not people's homes

Foreclose the War - Not people's homes

Troops Out Now Coalition table at RNC protest

Troops Out Now Coalition table at RNC protest


Voices from the RNC protest organizing conference

September 1, 2008

Listen to some of the key speeches

Group photo of main speakers at Organizing Conference to plan RNC anti-war protest, including representatives of United for Peace and Justice,  International ANSWER, the Troops our Now Coalition, Latinos Against the War, and the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War.

Minneapolis, MN – Activists from around the country gathered here Feb. 9-10 for an organizing conference to plan the anti-war protests at the Republican National Convention.

The conference brought together more than 60 organizations and included the major centers of the anti-war movement, including United for Peace and Justice, International ANSWER and the Troops Out Now Coalition. Also present was Carlos Montes of Latinos Against the War.

The event was organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War.

Podcasts available

Click on the names below for the mp3 of that person’s speech, or right-click on a name and select ‘save as’ to save the mp3 on your computer.

Jess Sundin speaking for the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. Sundin is a founding member of the Twin Cites based Anti-War Committee. She has participated in or coordinated solidarity trips to Iraq, El Salvador and Colombia.

Anh Pham from the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War introduces Carlos Montes of Latinos Against the War, John Beacham of ANSWER, Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice, and Sara Flounders of Troops Out Now Coalition.

Leslie Cagan coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, an anti-war coalition with more than 1400 member groups.

Sara Flounders representing the Troops Out Now Coalition. She is also co-director of the International Action Center.

John Beacham representing International ANSWER, a coalition of hundreds of organizations with organizing centers in scores of cites and towns across the country.

Angel Buechner a leader of the Welfare Rights Committee.

Carlos Montes of Latinos Against the War.


Police state Minneapolis

September 1, 2008

from Left I on the News:

The Republicans may be fleeing from Minneapolis as fast as they can now that they have a convenient excuse for doing so, but their police state remains behind. Numerous blogs and others are doing a great job covering what’s happening, but Glenn Greenwald (here and here) is probably the best place to go:

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.Troops Out Now Coalition has an online petition demanding an end to these outrages.

As Greenwald writes, we heard an awful lot about Chinese suppression of protest in advance of and during the Olympics (although the suppression wasn’t so great that hardly a day passed when I didn’t see a Western reporter interviewing someone on the subject). Will the same corporate media, or any Democratic or Republican politician, have anything to say about American suppression of protesters? I’m sure we’ll all be shocked if they do.


Activist group condemns ‘violent and illegal’ police raids; restraining order sought against police

September 1, 2008

from Politics in Minnesota:

A national anti-war activist group, the Troops Out Now Coalition, has set up an online petition drive in the wake of this weekend’s police raids and arrests of Republican National Convention protesters.

The petition accuses authorities of using “fear and intimidation” tactics and acting under orders from the RNC to raid three Minneapolis homes and the RNC Welcoming Committee’s “Convergence Center” in downtown St. Paul.

“Release the arrestees and drop the phony charges,” the petition, on the coalition’s website, reads. “I condemn the violent and illegal raids being carried out against activists assembling to protest at the Republican National Convention. I am opposed to any attempts to suppress dissent at the RNC, and I demand that anyone being held be released immediately, all phony charges dropped, and all property seized to be returned.

“Friday and Saturday’s raids on the Convergence Center and other locations were outrageous attacks on the rights of people to protest at the RNC. Dissent is not a crime.

“These arrests days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention were an attempt to undercut turnout at the expected massive, legally permitted, anti-war rally planned for Monday, September 1, organized by the March on RNC Coalition, which will gather at the State Capitol and march to the RNC Convention site. The police, acting on orders from the RNC, clearly intend to use tactics of fear and intimidation to impact the days of protest planned for over a year by hundreds of justice and anti-war organizations.

“The only group of people who have come to Minneapolis-St. Paul with criminal intent are the delegates, corporate lobbyists, and politicians who are participating in the Republican National Convention. They are conspiring to continue the illegal war in Iraq. They are conspiring to wage another illegal war against Iran. They are conspiring to steal money from working people and use it to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. They are conspiring to continue to violate basic human rights by engaging in illegal wiretapping, surveillance, and police brutality at home, while running torture camps such as those in Guantanamo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib.

“People have a right to protest at the RNC. I support and defend that right.”

Another site, Twin Cities Indymedia, reported Sunday evening that the National Lawyers Guild, a group of attorneys and law students based in New York, and Communities United Against Police Brutality, a Twin Cities organization, had filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against local police to prevent them from seizing video equipment and cellular phones used by independent media organizations.

The groups said examples of police interference with the right to document their conduct included the beating of CUAPB vice president Darryl Robinson while “copwatching,” the seizure of equipment of three journalists with Glass Bead Collective, and the targeting of journalists during a raid on a house in St. Paul Saturday afternoon.

“Another example is the action of Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies, who deliberately shut off CUAPB president Michelle Gross’ video camera while she was documenting Friday night’s raid from inside the convergence space,” the groups said. “This action prevented her from documenting the incident in its entirety. Despite their actions,  Gross was able to capture about 7½ minutes of video and audio of the beginning of the raid, including use by deputies of a battering ram to force open the door to a upstairs theater where families were watching a film.”

Hennepin County Judge Mark Wernick has not yet acted on the request for the restraining order.


Urgent: Stand Against Police Repression in the Twin Cities! Defend Freedom of Speech and Assembly! Sign the Petition

August 31, 2008

Urgent!

Defend Freedom of Speech and Assembly!

Stand Against Police Repression!

Sign the petition at: http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml

Dear Friends,

As we write, thousands of activists are gathering in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul in preparation for a week of protest during the Republican National Convention.

Over the past three days, these activists have been targets of police raids, brutality, and media distortion. Salon reports, “Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.” (from http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/30/police_raids/index.html)

These arrests, days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention, are an attempt to undercut turn-out at the legally permitted anti-war rally planned for Monday, Sept. 1, organized by March on RNC Coalition. The event, which is expected to be massive, will gather at the State Capitol and march to the RNC Convention site. The police, acting on orders from the RNC, clearly intend to use tactics of fear and intimidation to impact the days of protest that have been planned by hundreds of justice and anti-war organizations for more than a year.

It is more important than ever, in the face of the outrageous harassment and illegal arrests, to support ALL the protesters in St Paul this week.

Take a minute and send a message in support – go to http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml.

Police have claimed that protesters intend to engage in acts of violence, but the only criminal and violent acts taking place in the Twin Cities are those being committed by the Ramsey County sheriff’s office and the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments. The illegal and excessive raids, conducted by SWAT teams armed with automatic weapons; the mass preemptive roundups of dissenters; and the attempt to label all protesters as criminals are tactics clearly intended to silence protest. We will not be deterred or intimidated by these tactics.

Please join us in standing up to Bush-McCain-RNC police state tactics. A delegation of Troops Out Now Coalition activists is in Minneapolis-St. Paul and will be participating in the many protests during the week of Sept. 1-4. If you are in the area, please join us–look for Troops Out Now Coalition banners and placards.

Whether you are able to join us in the streets or not, you can still stand with us against police repression. Please sign the petition at http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml.

Demand: Stop Illegal Raids and Arrests! Protest is not a crime!

TEXT OF PETITION

Please add your name at http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml

Minneapolis-St. Paul Police: Stop Illegal Raids and Arrests!

Release the Arrestees and Drop the Phony charges!

I condemn the violent and illegal raids being carried out against activists assembling to protest at the Republican National Convention. I am opposed to any attempts to suppress dissent at the RNC, and I demand that anyone being held be released immediately, all phony charges dropped and all property seized to be returned.

The Aug. 29 and 30 raids on the Convergence Center and other locations were outrageous attacks on the rights of people to protest at the RNC. Dissent is not a crime.

These arrests, days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention, are an attempt to undercut turn-out at the legally permitted anti-war rally planned for Monday, Sept. 1, organized by March on RNC Coalition. The rally, which is expected to be massive, will gather at the State Capitol and march to the RNC convention site. The police, acting on orders from the RNC, clearly intend to use tactics of fear and intimidation to impact the days of protest that have been planned by hundreds of justice and anti-war organizations for more than a year.

The only group of people who have come to Minneapolis-St. Paul with criminal intent are the delegates, corporate lobbyists, and politicians who are participating in the Republican National Convention. They are conspiring to continue the illegal war in Iraq. They are conspiring to wage another illegal war against Iran. They are conspiring to steal money from working people and use it to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. They are conspiring to continue to violate basic human rights by engaging in illegal wiretapping, surveillance and police brutality at home, while running torture camps such as those in Guantánamo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib.

People have a right to protest at the RNC. We support and will defend that right.

Sign the petition at http://www.troopsoutnow.org/rnc08protestrights.shtml


Our Streets!

August 30, 2008
Larry Hales of the Recreate 68 Alliance and FIST and John Parker of the Troops Out Now Coalition face off with Denver police who have been beating and pepper spraying protesters.

Larry Hales of the Recreate 68 Alliance and FIST and John Parker of the Troops Out Now Coalition face off with Denver police who have been beating and pepper spraying protesters.


Marching Through Denver: Fighting for an End to War, Torture, and Government Repression

August 29, 2008

from New Left Notes:

By Elaine Brower – August 29, 2008 | News


Denver PD – all suited up and nowhere to go
(Photo: Elaine Brower / NLN)

DENVER, Colo. — Starting on Sunday, August 24, 2008, over 700 people gathered in front of the Capitol Building in Denver to kickoff the weeklong events protesting the democratic national convention, as well as the oppression of the militaristic environment those of us who choose freedom of speech have been denied.

At 9 AM the rally began with a lineup of motivational speakers, high up on the Capitol steps. The rally was called by Recreate 68, mostly comprised of local anti-war groups and residents of Colorado. The protesters heard speeches from Cindy Sheehan, Fred Hampton Jr., Ron Kovic, Vietnam vet and author of “Born on the Fourth of July”, Ward Churchill, Larry Hales, Cynthia McKinney, Larry Holmes, and others, and were roused by a performance by performance by Dead Prez.


Ron Kovic in Denver
(Photo: Elaine Brower / NLN)

Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran and author “Born on the fourth of July,” Cindy Sheehan, Peace Mom and Congressional Candidate in San Francisco, Cynthia Mckinney, Green Party Presidential Candidate, Fred Hampton, Jr., son of the former Black Panther, Larry Holmes, Troops Out Now Coalition, and were roused by the music of Dead Prez.

The scene in front of the building, although not a replica of Chicago in 1968 where thousands protested and were beat up by the police, was alive and energized with people from all walks of life, from locations all over the Country, and ranged from age 2 to 72. It had it’s own vitality and beat, which set the stage for the day of spirited marches and moments of confrontation.   full article here


Sign the petition! Denver Police Department & DNC: Stop violence against protesters

August 27, 2008

Defend the right to freedom of speech and assembly!
Protesting is not a crime!

Denver Police Department & DNC: Stop violence against protesters
Drop all charges against arrestees
Police OUT of Civic Center Park

Hands Off Veteran’s March

Sign the petition

In the past week, thousands of people from around the country have gathered in Denver to protest during the Democratic National Convention.

In the past few days, Denver police have engaged in deliberate provocations and violence against activists. On Monday night, they began beating and pepper spraying protesters and engaging in illegal mass arrests. On Tuesday, they clubbed and arrested Denver activist Carlo Garcia and Code Pink member Alicia Forrest.

Despite misrepresentations by the media and the Denver Police Department, the only acts of violence taking place in Denver are being committed by police trying to silence dissent. See this report and other reports on the this blog for details of police attacks on protesters.

It is shocking, with Thursday being the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, that the Democratic Party and the Denver Police are engaging in acts of violence against non-violent protesters. The true spirit of Dr. King is one of dissent and of speaking out against war, injustice and racism, and that is what the protestors in Denver are doing. They should not be criminalized by the city of Denver and the DNC.

We must take a stand against these attempts by the Denver Police to silence dissent. This has an impact beyond the protests in Denver: This is part of the ongoing struggle against the attempt by all levels of government–and both major parties–to criminalize dissent.

As we write, the Denver Police are surrounding Civic Center Park, dressed in riot gear and armed with automatic rifles, pepper spray, and clubs. They are erecting steel barricades to fence in protesters. The Recreate 68 has a legal permit for protest activity in the Park, and all of us have the right to voice our dissent without being criminalized. Today, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will march to the Pepsi Center, followed by thousands of supporters – they have a right to march, and we stand in solidarity with them and demand “Denver Police & DNC – hands off the Veterans!”

We need your support and solidarity now. Here’s how you can help:

  • Call the Mayor of Denver and Governor of Colorado – demand that they stop attacking protesters:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
Phone: 720-865-9000
Ask for the Mayor’s Office

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter
Phone: (303) 866-2471

  • Forward this message widely – send it to your list serves, post it on your blog or social networking site, print it out and pass it on.

DNC Protest Organizers to Hold Press Conference at Denver Police Department

August 26, 2008

Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Glenn Spagnuolo 720-771-4669
Larry Hales 720-979-9491
Dustin Langley 646-354-8056

**DNC Protest Organizers to Hold Press Conference at Denver Police Department**

When: 3:15 pm Tuesday, August 26
Where: Denver Police Department, W. 13th Ave & Cherokee St.
What: Press Conference

Representatives from the Recreate 68 Alliance, the Troops Out Now Coalition, Unconventional Action, and Peoples Law Collective, joining with arrestees who have been released, will hold a press conference at 3:15 to address:

- the police state atmosphere created by the Denver Police Department
– provocations and violence instigated by the Denver Police Department last night
– the refusal of the Denver Police Department to honor Recreate 68’s permit for Civic Center Park
– the Denver Police Department’s protection of right-wing provocateurs who are disrupting peaceful protests


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