Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oh, Well, This is Novel

Looks like the Minneapolis police were arresting people before they even hoisted a sign:

Armed groups of police in the Twin Cities have raided more than a half-a-dozen locations since Friday night in a series of preemptive raids before the Republican convention. The coordinated searches were led by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher but conducted in coordination with federal agencies.

Five Minnesotan activists are still detained on probable cause holds, which means they can be held for thirty-six hours without charge, excluding weekends and public holidays. According to this timeline, they won’t be released before Wednesday. The sheriff called them "criminal anarchists who are intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention.”

The raids and detentions have targeted activists planning to protest the Republican National Convention, as well as journalists and videographers documenting police actions at protests. Groups directly affected by the raids include Food Not Bombs, the RNC Welcoming Committee, I-Witness Video and Communities United Against Police Brutality.

Democracy Now! spoke to Michelle Gross from Communities United Against Police Brutality on Sunday. She was at the activist convergence space Friday night when it was raided.

    MICHELLE GROSS: I was sitting there waiting for a meeting to happen with other legal people. We were working with a kind of a collective of legal people, and we were waiting to have a meeting. And I was literally just sitting there drinking some water and relaxing, when, you know, these Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department people came blazing in, screaming “Get on the floor! Get on the floor!” and waving guns at everybody in their faces.

    And they basically—at the time, I quickly thought and opened up my video camera and hit my record button and started recording the scene. Then, because they were, you know, waving guns in my face, of course, I had to hit the floor, but I kept my camera recording the whole time.

AMY GOODMAN: Gross was held for forty-five minutes, then released. But when she returned home, she found her home and car had been broken into and all her documents thoroughly searched.
That's just one case; there are lots of others.

Oh, and there are reports floating around that they're using concussion grenades on protestors. That's right: they're tossing flashbangs at kids.

Whoever is responsible for the rules of engagement here needs to be publicly investigated and fired. At the very least.

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