Archive for the ‘Minneapolis’ Category

BTC Special Digest

Reports of random and inconsistent citation and arrests of citizens for merely being at the wrong place at the wrong time are still being defined a week later after hundreds of arrests took place September 4th during the RNC in St.Paul, Minn.

Protest arrest totals are currently approximating around 800, among them AP Reporters, network producers, bloggers and anyone else unfortunate enough to be on the wrong side of the freeway. Professional journalists are still gathering current totals and details of the arrests. Most arrests fell under the offense of “unlawful assembly” after marching permits had expired. September 4th, arrest criterion were simplified for officers making instantaneous decisions on who to detain and cite on the basis who was “north of I-94 past the blockade” after 4 PM prior to McCain’s acceptance speech.

The unconfirmed total of credentialled journalists arrested are over 30. Uncredentialled reporters blogging, twittering and videotaping are estimated to be in the hundreds. 2 Fox new people and one Variety journalist were detained on Marion bridge Thursday while reporting the fracas of police trying to disperse and contain crowds.

We asked local reporters from Pioneer Press to give account of reporting the week of the arrests.

“As a journalistic professional, I’m still trying to gather as much information I can to scrutinize the most violent police tactics. As for saying “civil liberties infringement,” I guess that really gets to the question of whether folks “deserved” to be arrested, since an arrest, by its nature, is law enforcement’s declaration that one’s civil liberties are being revoked. Some arrests and police actions obviously require further scrutiny, ” said Minnesota Pioneer Press Reporter, David Orrick.

Orrick categorized the worst accounts of the seemingly arbitrary
arrest environment into several categories such as: dousing apparent passive resisters with pepper spray, deploying tear gas, flashbangs and other aggressive crowd-dispersal agents into masses that are retreating or otherwise appear to be in basic compliance with police orders and engaging in mass arrests, including those of journalists, when it appears some, if not many, of the arrestees were merely trying to observe a protest and still follow police orders.

According to Oreck best place to look for actual arrest accounts and footage of the RNC will be on some of St.Paul and Minnestoa’s television websites and, “You won’t find it on YouTube.” Oreck refuted arrests being politically motivated after witnessing Obama supporters screaming in the face of St. Paul police officers without threat of arrest or challenge by police during approved marches. However, such grace was not extended to fellow local reporter, Ben Carvin when he was arrested while documenting a protest last week.

Journalists embedded with police contacted were not available for comment.
Ruben Rosario of reported an
unprecidented agreement {with the City of }St. Paul reached with the City’s attorney John Choi in January of 2007. The agreement stipulated the RNC committee to pay $1.1-million to insure it against any lawsuits ariving out of alleged police misconduct, excessive force, up to $10-million. The other was adoption of the use of a mobile police field unit that would focus on those outside peaceful protestors who planned or carried out acts of vandalism, violence.

“{The}City of Denver took out its insurance policy rider and paid for it through the $50-million fed grant both cities got to pay for convention. St. Paul did one better by having the RNC host committee foot the 1.1-million premium for the $10-million policy in the event of lawsuits arising out of police-related behavior. Both cities purchased their polices through Boston-based Lexington Insurance Co.”
– Ruben Rosario,

No confirmed word yet on a class action lawsuit against the city, the current number of individual suits filed, or suits and insurance claims filed against the RNC.

In the last two weeks we have experienced the vicarious troubles of citizens, media and then citizen media attempting to assemble reports on police-to-protest interactions during both the Democratic and Republican National conventions.

Tear Gas & Twittering : BeatTheChip, chose to follow Freeople’s AxXiom during the RNC who gave a report late last week that she and others avoided arrest by Twittering. She had seen 5 Austinites pulled over for “looking bad” – punk-rock styled protestors – and arrested before they got out of the car. We chatted from a St. Paul bathroom where she told me for the first time in her life she had witnessed American’s being tear gassed. Real ID activists were targeted, leaflets were confiscated, according to Ron Paul activist, Brady Wright. Some of her friends claimed that arrests appeared to be politically motivated.

Riot police team harassing wheelchair bound protestors.

Sarah Palin, did some good work to end the reign of Real ID in Alaska.

“Governor Palin and the Alaska legislature deserve praise from all Alaskans for standing up to the federal government,” added Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “Officials of both parties came together to pass legislation that will not only protect the privacy of Alaskans, but will protect their pocketbooks as well by rejecting Real ID’s massive financial burden.”

What happens when Ron Paul’s sidekick changes horses to tow the Republican party line? You get VP nominee, Sarah Palin. Here is just one example of how this woman can do-no-right after hitching her train to McCain’s straight-to-war express.

According to Liberty Maven, Palin is against offshore drilling.

According to Progressive news makers, Palin is a big oil champion.

Neither one has a favorable report on Palin, amid other press reports Palin is both fat and unattractive and then given too many advantages because she is attractive, has both no control over her children’s reproductive morality and is also lauded for standing by her pro-life principles. Voters… YOU DECIDE!!

This election is proving the base stupidity of people who are paid to report the news. One thing is for sure, this state Governor has a tough election ahead of her and the mud slinging has just begun.

The War Party Takes a Pre-Emptive Strike on Protestors.

Upon recieving personal reports that snoopy paratroopers were rooting in Minnesotas moving garbage like racoons in riot gear, I am not convinced over-policing grassroots opposition is the best execution of tax money. I have recently learned of a term called COINTELPRO we should all be aware of when dealing with steroid driven, amped police who may be given extra $$ for arrest quotas.

I wonder how much these Military Police were paid to arrest and attempt to discredit Democracy Now! producer, Amy Goodman.

Is there any question that this might-is-right mentality is communicating that the US Constitution is under suspension? You may not love Amy Goodman and her political roots but she had a right to report the news and so did her producers.


Grassroots Netroots Alliance will be at this event:
Oil Change International- Protest of Delegate Support for Oil Companies
WHEN: 8:30pm, Tuesday, September 2nd
WHERE: 510 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

If you are not detained or beat up from that event, you can crash this breakfast party.

Join the CEOs of Big Oil in Thanking the Texas Republican Delegates at their Hotel
WHEN: 8:00am, Wednesday, September 3rd (Yes, 8:00AM)
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel 11 East Kellogg Blvd. ST. Paul, MN

“The CEOs of ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, Shell and Hess will be hosting a party at the hotel where the Texas Republican Delegates are staying to thank the Republican Party, the Bush Administration and Senator John McCain for the war in Iraq, skyrocketing gas prices at the pump, record breaking corporate profits for Big Oil and their excellent performance in blocking every effort to reduce carbon emissions and our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Wear your finest Republican Party clothes and we will provide Republican Party hats, “Oily Dollars”, loot bags, “Freedom Flags” (flags with oil company logos) and yellow “Support Our Oil Companies” ribbons.

Be prepared to dance and roll around in the millions of “Oily Dollars” that the industry gives back to Republican candidates (74% of Big Oil contributions go to Republicans) and the $1.2 million Senator John McCain has received from oil companies–three quarters of which came immediately after he reversed his previous opposition to offshore drilling.

CodePink, Courage to Resist, Global Exchange, Oil Change USA, Rainforest Action Network and the Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane had no part in organizing this Republican Rally. “