Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Republican convention opens with protest

Vietnam Veterans for Peace Demonstrate Against Fellow Vet John McCain On Sunday, Veterans for Peace, a large national organization made up of veterans of every war, from Korea to Vietnam and Iraq, led a protest in the streets of St. Paul against the Republican National Convention. Among the members of Vets for Peace, there is a sizable contingent of Vietnam War vets. So, too, is the man they are demonstrating against: the presumptive presidential nominee John McCain. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill files a report from the streets of the Twin Cities.

John McCain More Of The Same At RNC Protest

Vietnam Veterans For Peace At RNC Protest

Blessed Are The Peacemakers At RNC Protest

War Memorial At RNC Protest

Demonstrate Against Fellow Vet John McCain

Demonstrate Against Fellow Vet John McCain

Demonstrate Against Fellow Vet John McCain

Demonstrate Against Fellow Vet John McCain

US New World Order Police At RNC Protest

Amy Goodman & Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested at RNC Protest

More than 280 people were arrested here in St. Paul Monday, the opening day of the Republican National Convention. Among them were several journalists covering the protests in the streets, including three of us at Democracy Now! Amy was detained trying to question police officers about the arrests of Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar.

Amy Goodman Arrest US New World Order Police Press Pass Visable

US New World Order Police Arrest DN! Producer Nicole Salazar

Bob Fletcher Ramsay County Sheriff At RNC Protest

George Martin Protests the Republican and Neo Conservative Agenda At RNC Protest

US New World Order Police At RNC Protest

US New World Order Police Arrest Anyone and Everyone

Democracy Now! Reporters and Producers Back in the Studio

US New World Order Police Chief John Harrington

Amy Goodman Grills St. Paul Police Chief About Her Arrest and Two Democracy Now! Producers

On Tuesday morning, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington held a news conference where he spoke about the nearly 300 people arrested in a police crackdown on protesters a day earlier. Among them were several journalists covering the protests in the streets, including three of us at Democracy Now!—Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Amy Goodman questions Harrington about the arrests.

Call to Action on Behalf of DN! Journalists Facing Charges for Reporting on the Republican National Convention

Today it is critical that you make your voice heard in the Ramsey County Attorney and St. Paul City Attorney offices. Demand that they drop all pending and current charges against journalists arrested while reporting on protests outside the Republican National Conventions.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office is in the process of deciding whether or not to press felony P.C. (probable cause) riot charges against Democracy Now! Producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Please contact Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner by all means possible to demand that her office not press charges against Kouddous and Salazar.

The St. Paul City Attorney’s office has already charged Amy Goodman with misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace officer. Contact St. Paul City Attorney John Choi by all means possible to demand that the charges against Goodman be dropped immediately.

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, as was a photographer for the Associated Press.

Be sure to cc: dropthecharges@democracynow.org on all emails so that our team can deliver print outs of your messages to the St. Paul City Attorney and Ramsey County Attorney offices.

World Can't Wait Supports Those Protesters Arrested While the Republicans Meet

The Republican National Convention in Minneapolis is happening against the backdrop of police raids and outright fascist tactics towards protesters and bystancers over the last 5 days. Over the weekend, FBI, Secret Service and Minneapolis police raided a houses that were being used in planning for upcoming permitted activities for the RNC.

At least 5 private homes were ransacked, with nothing stolen, in an attempt to intimidate protest organizers. The Ramsey County Police Department raided the home of residents, as well as other locations around the city, see youtube. They broke through the doors and held people, including children at gunpoint.

Monday, about 10,000 marched against the war in a permitted protest, which, like those in Denver, took months of court battles to gain. Tuesday the musicians from Rage Against the Machine were set to play at the permitted rally space at the state captiol, but police refused to let them set up. Riot police were moving in as the permit was to run out at 7:00 pm.

Local TV is carrying footage of people being tackled by police while standing in the street, or on the sidewalk, and pepper sprayed. Jodin Morey, (left) organizer for Impeach for Peace in Minneapolis, reports being hit with rubber bullets tonight while he was wearing an orange jumpsuit to protest detentions at Guantanamo. Audio from Jodin.

The arrest tally from Ramsey County Sheriff's Office was: 284 total; 130 felonies; 51 gross misdemeanors; 103 misdemeanors. The jail is seemingly severely backed up and not everyone has been booked or processed, so these numbers clearly don't represent the total arrestee count for the day. These numbers also do not necessarily include the numbers of arrestees whose identifications have not been verified.

The arrestees from this weekend's raids, five of them are still being held at Ramsey County Jail on probable cause, which means that they might not be able to see a judge until Tuesday or Wednesday. One of the arrestees was released Monday evening.

Though some people have been cited and released, the majority are still being held in jail. We've gotten many reports that people are not getting proper medical attention, are being refused their medication, and/or have been separated from the rest of the group.

Also, there are also many felony charges, which allow the state to hold the protesters for a longer period of time. Felony charges have historically been used as scare tactics against activists, and there is much less precedent for them to hold up in court. More often, these bogus charges are simply used to keep protesters off the streets and as a way to oppress and silence people.

Please show your support and solidarity by calling the jail at 651.266.9350 and demand that people are given proper medical attention, are given access to their medication, and are not separated from the larger group! Also, demand that arrestees' charges are dropped and that they are released immediately!

You can also call the Ramsey County Sheriff's office at 651.487.5149 or the St. Paul Mayor's office at 651.266.8510.

Members of Tacoma Students for a Democratic Society, including filmaker Joseph LaSac, was arrested while documenting a breakaway march. youtube. The jail said he is being charged with a felony for Probably Cause of Rioting. Today's Democracy Now! mentions Joe as well:

We must all stand with those who have been unlawfully arrested and charged by overloading the jail, Ramsey County Sheriff's office and the Mayor's office with phone calls, faxes and TELL THEM THEY MUST STOP THE POLICE STATE NOW AND RELEASE ALL THOSE HELD WITH CHARGES DISMISSED! We cannot accept anything less, or they will win.

Elaine Brower, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

US New World Order Police At RNC Protest

Eight Members of RNC Activist Group Lodged with Terrorism Charges

Ramsey County prosecutors have formally charged eight members of a prominent activist group with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. The eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee are believed to be the first persons ever charged under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal PATRIOT Act. The activists face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison. We speak with the father of one of those charged and the president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

Amy Goodman Questions Ramsey County Prosecutors on Jailing, Charges of Journalists Two days after several journalists were arrested covering the RNC protests, including three staffers at Democracy Now!, county and city prosecutors held a press conference in St. Paul. Amy Goodman was there to question them about the crackdown on journalists.

Hundreds of Jailed Protesters Held for 2+ Days Following Mass RNC Arrests The Ramsey County Court has begun to slowly process and release some of the nearly 300 people detained over the past few days. Democracy Now! producer Anjali Kamat reports.

Libertarian Presidential Candidate and Ex-Republican Rep. Bob Barr on Impeachment, Opening Up the Debates, and Why He Left the GOP A decade ago, Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr was serving as a Republican congressman from Georgia and led the Republican drive to impeach President Bill Clinton. Since then he has become a vocal critic of the Republican Party, the war in Iraq and the erosion of civil liberties. Barr joins us in St. Paul.


After Being Detained in Preemptive House Raid, Democracy Now!’s Elizabeth Press Files Report on Police Crackdown in St. Paul

The protests against the Republican convention have barely begun, but the police have already begun their crackdown against anyone perceived to be involved the demonstrations. Police in the Twin Cities worked with federal officials to detain dozens of activists and conduct a series of coordinated raids on a number of locations. Among them was Democracy Now!’s Elizabeth Press, who was detained, along with several others, in a house raid on the video collective I-Witness Video. Press files a report from the streets of the Twin Cities.

I-Witness Video Collective Forced Out of Living Space After Second Raid by St. Paul Police in Five Days

Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of video makers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention. On Saturday, police raided a home where members of the I-Witness Video collective were staying. Members of the group were detained for over two hours. The building’s landlord forced the group to move out yesterday after police armed with batons and a battering ram entered their living space for a second time.

Investigation last week found mass NATO Killings of 90 Afghanistan Civilians including 60 Children.

"Investigations by UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men," U.N. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide said in a statement.