Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tiananmen Square comes to Minnesota

Law enforcement actions in the hosting city of the Republican National Convention have been ... to say the least ... over the top.

Funded and directed by the Department of Homeland Security St. Paul, MN police raided homes of the ‘RNC Welcoming Committee.’ With their guns drawn police forced everyone to the floor to be cuffed and searched including a 5 year old child. No one was arrested but all were photographed and identified for government files.

The government is being very secretive about the cause of the illegal search not revealing the reason at this time, but those on the scene claim officers said they believed there were ‘bomb making materials’ located at the residents. No bomb making materials were found, instead U. S. citizens were enjoying dinner and watching a movie. The owners of the homes were latter fined for violating obscure fire code(s).

From Glenn Greenwald at salon.com:

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous were arrested and released hours later at the Republican National Convention yesterday. All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Goodman was charged with obstruction, and felony riot charges are still pending against Kouddous and Salazar.

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped. Stay tuned for more information.

Keep the story of illegal arrests of independent journalists at the RNC alive. Please forward these videos to everyone you know.

Footage of Producer Nicole Salazar's Arrest at the RNC:

Footage of Amy Goodman's Arrest at the RNC:

Amy Goodman Interviews Producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous About Their Arrests at the RNC:

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