H245: Hundreds and Hundreds of Cops

The news apparently isn't covering the police breaking into homes and arresting people in Minnesota. As Digby says:
If you're not following the story of these raids in Minneapolis, you should be. Of course, you can be forgiven since the news media feel it's necessary to give Bobby Jindal hours of airtime and don't have any to spare once they are through analyzing the impact of the hurricane on John McCain's heroic POW experience in North Vietnam, but still ...

Here's a list of links gathered by John Emerson at Seeing the Forest. This really is unamerican. but then, it's nothing new for the authorities to be unamerican, is it? In fact, considering our history and ongoing willingness to put up with this stuff, one has to conclude that it's actually quite American after all:

Glen Greenwald and Firedoglake have been following this closely.
DNC - RNC - Troops Out Now (an activist group).
Legal Team.
Legal team's twitter update.
Minnesota Indymedia.
Minnesota Blue (a liberal Democratic site).
Minneapolis Star Tribune Convention page.
Google Blogsearch: "Republican + convention + arrests".

[ . . .]

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. How would a heroic POW handle a hurricane? Why, heroically, of course. He will chase that hurricane into the gates of hell.

The police presence swarming Denver was frightening in the clips that I saw. The brand new black uniforms, very swat, dark and hiding the face was reminiscent of the imperial forces of Star Wars. The first incidents had observers reporting no name tags or badges evident on a whole phalanx of cops outside the Pepsi Center. I watched as a huge cop clubbed a woman without provocation, sending her flying to the pavement. I saw an ABC reporter shoved and his face grabbed simply for filming a building where corporate sponsors were meeting. I don't have these links right now.

The mercenary police, Blackwater are headed for New Orleans again. This is terrifying. Let's not pretend that this shadow army isn't already out of control. Blackwater personnel are murdering people, harassing and torturing and are accountable to nobody. Mondo Fucko just renewed their contract for another year despite them being investigated for corruption.

On this Sunday night, my intent is not to cover the history of the GOP harassment, the habeas corpus again suspended, the hate that is Blackwater or the Hurricane Gustav horrors that may yet come. I just want to holler loudly - wake up
America. Pay attention.

This might ring a bell for some:

Then They Came for Me
First they came for the Muslims, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Muslim.

Then they came to detain immigrants indefinitely solely upon the certification of the Attorney General, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an immigrant.

Then they came to eavesdrop on suspects consulting with their attorneys, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a suspect.

Then they came to prosecute non-citizens before secret military commissions, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a non-citizen.

Then they came to enter homes and offices for unannounced "sneak and peek" searches, and I didn't speak up because I had nothing to hide.

Then they came to reinstate Cointelpro and resume the infiltration and surveillance of domestic religious and political groups, and I didn't speak up because I had stopped participating in any groups.

Then they came for anyone who objected to government policy because it aided the terrorists and gave ammunition to America's enemies, and I didn't speak up because...... I didn't speak up.

Then they came for me....... and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Stephen Rohde, a constitutional lawyer and President of the ACLU of Southern California, is indebted to the inspiration of Rev. Martin Niemoller (1937).

At what point do we accept it is a police state or steps away from becoming one?

Happy Face soldiers by Banksy

See his New Orleans work.

6 comments:

Rosa said...

I was arrested at a protest in Minneapolis in 2000, a protest in which

1) half of the people left by the end were undercover cops

2) in order to clothe the undercover cops, random punk kids had been arrested on trumped-up charges and their clothes stolen

3) a whole chunk of downtown was barricaded for the convenience of a private agribusiness convention

4) pre-emptive arrests of organizers on charges such as "loitering with intent" and "disorderly house" were used as a chilling tool

5) illegal agreements were pressed on people being released from jail even after a judge ruled them specifically illegal under Minnesota law

6) downtown businesses and local police received anti-protestor propaganda from national groups including the FBA before the event.

This is standard procedure, has been since at least the Seattle demos, much worse has happened other places (Miami)and it's been much more obvious (Bush's first inauguration). Worse happens to less-privileged communities every single day.

I'm gratified it's getting some attention but it's kind of astonishing to me that anyone is surprised.

p.s. I'm sticking with non-arrestable events - we went to the Liberty Art Parade downtown today and may go to the permitted march tomorrow - because last time I lost like 9 days of work to jail & court, and I don't have the PTO now.

katecontinued said...

Damn, you have got serious experience here. I think the part that is really getting me this summer is the millions and millions of dollars being funneled into this 'security' field. The numbers cited are staggering. According to Naomi Klein, the conventions are where the latest security toys - technical type are tested.

Rosa, I wish you a safe week. I didn't know (or remember) that you lived in Minnesota. Nine days off work for jail and court. Damn. From what I heard about Denver, the pattern was to hold people without charges. In this way it can't be fought in the courts because there are no records - like our treatment of war prisoners.

What I am surprised about is the boldness - the in your face arrogance . . . like the brown shirts of pre-war Germany.

In my heart I know all that you say about Seattle onward . . . it is still amazing the the em es em say nothing or next to nothing.

Rosa said...

I don't have that much experience, really - I went to ISAG because I wanted to be there if things got bad. Then I was on the outreach committee for May Day 2001 and I got so frustrated with the idiot police-baiting militants, and the acceptance of sexual predators and really disruptive conversation dominators in what was supposed to be a consensus process, that was about the end of my involvement with "the community".

In fact, it's a lot like what I'm experiencing now with online communities - I never really belonged. I'm not ideologically strong minded enough, and I never dress right or listen to the right music, so I'm always on the edge.

I like a lot of anarchist groups a *lot* - the beehive collective is awesome, there's a local group called Jack Pine that does great work, the ARA is a fabulously effective use of non-hierarchical organization, Food Not Bombs is an amazing idea that is often really effective and useful. But then there are groups like the RNC Welcoming Committee that make me wish we weren't on the same side. Not because of their analysis but because of their actions.

katecontinued said...

What is ISAG? (Oh there is a bunch of googling I need to do with the names in your comment. I feel ill-informed.)

I have to wholeheartedly agree with you. I had to leave My Left Wing despite enjoying so much there. That was sad. There was this antagonism and swaggering by a bunch of men (an a few women) that I just wasn't able to take on in defense of myself or in principle. And the amount of rationalizing of this behavior for the sake of free speech defies my sense of civility.

Disruptive conversation dominators is something I may have to steal. That describes a pervasive condition. There is so much to be done, so much to research and share it is disheartening that our energy gets bled away for this 'invasive species.'

In fact I am trying to write something about civility for my park newsletter. Occasionally there is behavior that can only be defined as infantile. I just want to call nap time on a few people.

Rosa said...

Nap time is a good solution. I wish we could enforce it on a wider scale. Though I can't even get my 3 year old to nap.

We actually stayed home today to do laundry and clean the house and tidy the yard, since my partner's parents will be here on Friday. So we missed the tear gas & stuff.

ARA is Antiracist Action, originally an antiracist skinhead group. I know a woman who goes by the name Ducky Doolittle, who was one of the founders. They're not a punk group anymore, the most recent incarnation I've seen warns people away from ICE raids.

ISAG is the international society for animal genetics. They had a big convention here in 2000. It's not really my issue, but a bunch of people I knew were going to be there and there had been a bunch of repressive police actions, so I went in solidarity. They chased us around downtown with tear gas and pepper spray, and then cornered, ordered us to disperse, maced those who tried to leave, and arrested everybody.

The crappy thing is, most of the people arrested pled on suspended sentence.

The thing i've finally learned is that no group is perfect, but it makes it hard to really work on any of the cool projects I hear about - I did informal child care at our democratic primary this year, and people were surprised. It never occurred to anyone that child care would allow more people to participate, I guess. That's something radical spaces often at least try to do. I was surprised it's not something the DFL does, since they are all about getting out the vote.

Anyway, we went to the art car parade yesterday, and i'm done for this week excep the Peace Island concert on Wednesday. Only baby-friendly stuff for me this week.

katecontinued said...

Through it all, Rosa, the hugging the important ones closely and sustaining is what gives us the wherewithall to do each successive action. Sounds like a wonderfully peaceful weekend.

I barely ate or drank or peed today. I wrote this week's park newsletter and the next one for Sept. 18th. That is the one with the emphasis on civility, sharing, kindness and having a autumnal equinox cookout and fire. There is a beach clean up that day and 2 people are returning after being gone all summer. I hope this energy my heal some of the toxic uglies floating about the place. Gah.

I failed to post on my purge items, but will do it when I'm in the mood.