Monday, September 08, 2008

Welcome To The Theocratic Police State

Storm Troopers at the RNC - pre-emptive goon squads piss on liberty

"The “preemption” began on Friday, Aug. 29, well before the RNC began on Monday, Sept. 1.
An academic doing research on social movement organizations, who for several months has been observing the main protesters — the RNC Welcoming Committee, the Coalition to March on the RNC and End the War, and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign — provided this account:
“On Friday evening the space in St. Paul that was being rented by the Welcoming Committee was raided by riot police, who knocked in the door with automatic weapons drawn, forced the 60-70 activists inside onto the floor, handcuffed them, then proceeded to confiscate all the banner-making supplies and movement literature.
“Over the course of several hours the cops interrogated, photographed, ran warrant checks, and eventually, released everyone one by one. Then they closed down the space for a code violation. The next morning a city code inspector arrived and found no basis for closing the space.
“Saturday morning was one of escalation and terror. The Ramsey County Sheriff Department, together with the St. Paul police, Homeland Security, and the FBI raided four private houses. At 8:00 AM, dozens of cops in SWAT gear broke down the door of one house where about a dozen activists were staying. They were awakened with rifle barrels in their faces and forced to lie face down for more than an hour.
“The cops stole all the computers and other electronic devices in the house, and core members of the Welcoming Committee sleeping there were arrested. It being a holiday weekend, those arrested for alleged crimes could not arrive in court until Wednesday, at the earliest. Thus, those trying to organize demonstrations will be in jail for the entire time the RNC is going on. Four other houses were raided and dozens of activists were detained.”
The academic who wrote the report appealed to those concerned over “this enormous police over-kill” to contact the Twin Cities’ mayors and demand an end to the “witch hunt.”
He added, “The people who were arrested were some of the gentlest, most dedicated activists I’ve ever met.” A far cry from the “criminal enterprise” described by notorious Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.
Nanette Echols, a resident of St. Paul who had been extending hospitality to the visiting protesters, insisted they had done nothing wrong.
“In the place they raided on Friday night they were showing documentary movies to twenty-somethings in a clean, alcohol-free zone after dinner,” she said."


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