The RNC Welcoming Committee wants to say thank you to all who have stood with us through these challenging days, to all who have faced the brutal attacks and repressive intimidation of the police, and have still gone back to the streets. Thanks to all who have made calls, sent emails, donated money, and expressed your outrage at these brutal attacks.
Yesterday, in spite of a climate of intense police intimidation, thousands of people took to the streets to march in solidarity with the Poor People’s March for Our Lives. Many others attempted to attend a concert at the Capitol, only to have the permit pulled and squadrons of riot police and snipers called out on a peaceful crowd.
The police met this call for justice with riot gear, batons, and the full arsenal of their weaponry. ‘Snatch’ squads brutally arrested protestors who were beaten and tasered. Police on horses, bikes and motorbikes rammed into crowds. Pepper spray, tear gas and flash bombs were used on peaceful crowds in situations that endangered protestors, the general public and included children, media, legal observers and medics.
We offer our support and solidarity to the organizers and participants of the Poor Peoples’ Movement. We share their goals of a world based on justice, where resources are fairly shared and a life of dignity and beauty is available for all.
Over three hundred protestors are being held in the Ramsay and Hennepin County jails. Yesterday, only a few have been arraigned. Many are nearing the end of the time they can legally be held without being arraigned and charged.
In spite of all these efforts to suppress us, we remain strong and determined to actively voice our dissent. The Bush Administration and Republican Party lies have lead us into an illegal war that has cost thousands of our own soldiers’ lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. They have stolen from the poor to enrich their cronies and supporters. They have failed to respond to the crisis of climate change and degraded the life support systems of the planet. They have violated their own laws to deny civil rights and human rights, and built a police state that maintains its rule through force and violence, as we have seen in the streets over these three days.
The Democrats have failed to shift their policies or hold them to account. But we will take our accounting into the streets, as we have this week. We have succeeded in disrupting their meetings, and expressing directly our outrage at their destructive policies. Yesterday, the meetings were again delayed because of our protests. Bush himself has not dared to show up in person. We are still strong, in spite of all their efforts to stop us, and we still plan to remain in the streets, claiming public space for dissent and for our vision of a different world.
We demand the immediate end to the brutality of Sheriff Bob Fletcher – who has personally harassed our organizers both in jail and out.
We demand all politically motivated charges against our organizers and participants be dropped.
We demand the release of all RNC prisoners – OUR PEOPLE OUT OF JAIL!!!