Crowd control at the RNC: Fifty million unanswered questions

September 9, 2008

from the Minnesota Independent:

The RNC is over, and it’s not just Sarah Palin exhaling relief. The mayors of each twin city have issued their unanimous judgment of law enforcement actions during the daily protest rallies and marches of the RNC.

Their one-word summary: Convention police showed “restraint.”

Advocates for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of protesters (and a few journalists) who were pepper sprayed, maced, smoke-bombed, shoved, shot at (with non-lethal “impact rounds”), dispersed, cited, and detained have issued their own consensus message: See you in court.

The City of St. Paul had $50 million in federal money to spend on security for the RNC. Anybody on the streets of downtown St. Paul during the convention could have a close-up look at how some of that taxpayer money was spent, as police in riot gear showed off their tactical training and weaponry daily.

Members of the Minneapolis City Council have already called for an independent investigation with public hearings.

full article here

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RNC finale: Unprecedented police riot against peaceful protesters & journalists

September 5, 2008

from Twin Cities Indymedia:

The jail vigil needs more support. Perhaps the National Guard will finally go away?

We @ TC-IMC are all pretty tired, but everyone – including our friends from out of town – are all safe and accounted for, though some still face charges. Of course, the Republicans couldn’t end their eight-year reign of state terrorism without dumping it all over our fair cities – beginning with the Friday night Convergence Center raid, the thundering Saturday raids, the Monday journalist beatdowns, the Tuesday concussion grenades, the intentional bottling up of the RATM fans on Wednesday night, and finally on Thursday night, a big stupid fracas instigated wholly by the police for no particular reason.

On Thursday night, parents across the Twin Cities are incensed that their peaceful children have been detained on totally spurious charges, fabricated to justify the concussion grenades, tear gas and pepper spray, thrown around like this state has never seen. There weren’t hordes of window-breakers, just lots of people who got stiffed on getting damn protest permits (who the hell was running that system? Sure you’ll get a medal.)

Fortunately for decent folk, it appears they went way too far: even Tom Lyden on Fox9 said that it was like a police state, and after playing clips of massive, unwarranted pepper spraying, he concluded his segment by saying that they’d be looking into a blue ribbon panel to see what the hell happened. When you’ve lost Fox News on the final night of the RNC…. well, some things just can’t be spun.

Legal observers on-scene were incensed that they were directed to move to safety in one direction, then they themselves got arrested. The police couldn’t control their horses, which shit all over the place.

Kare11’s cameraman got arrested (has been released), WCCO’s cameraman Tom Aviles got arrested, Pioneer Press’ Ben Garvin got detained for two hours and shot one hell of a video. In particular, the WCCO footage is possibly the strongest we’ve yet seen from a corporate source!
Are we really seeing this? http://wcco.com/video/?id=47039@wcco.dayport.com
Pioneer Press’ Ben Garvin http://www.twincities.com/video?bcpid=1653590799&bclid=1755456983&bctid=…
PioPress http://www.twincities.com/rnc/ci_10385049
Uptake’s Susan gets detained http://the-uptake.groups.theuptake.org/en/videogalleryView/id/725/
More: http://flickr.com/photos/theuptake/
Tony Webster’s response to the police chief’s email to him: http://wtf.mn/u/a602a5

Meanwhile Code Pink managed to mess up John McCain’s whole speech via some banners. Way to go! That’s it for now – we need to rest.
Tomorrow Mayor Coleman will have to answer for the abused journalists, the hordes of arrested demonstrators, the edgy mess of a town we’ve got. A week from now, it’ll feel like some strange dream, a hangover from the new world order/police state that awaits us, if this kind of madness is not stopped once and for all.


St. Paul cops pepper spray Donna Brazile

September 2, 2008

from the Washington Post:

Cast of Characters

Donna Brazile Hit by Pepper Spray

By Holly Watt
ST. PAUL — Donna Brazile was hit by pepper spray as she walked to the Xcel Center at the start of the Republican Convention here.

The well-known Democratic pundit and strategist confirmed the incident, but declined to comment further. Protests outside the convention center led to 56 arrests earlier in the day.

Brazile is the Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute and was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Originally from New Orleans, La., Brazile has worked on several presidential campaigns and was the campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000. She frequently appears on CNN as a political commentator.


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.