Tuesday, September 2, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS POLICE TERROR TACTICS CONTINUE

Coldsnap Logal Collective - In an outrageous series of state-sanctioned actions, police raided an activist convergence space and several homes in the past 24 hours, detaining multiple people on extraordinarily flimsy pretences, arresting several, confiscating computers and laptops, and even handcuffing a small child.

At least five separate raids have been reported throughout the Twin Cities, with the primary focus appearing to be the confiscation of computers and personal affects.

"These actions are clearly intended to have a chilling effect on dissent prior to the launch of the Republican National Convention," said Natalia, a local activist and mother of two, who asked that her surname be withheld. "The message being conveyed is: 'If need be, we will terrorize your children to dissuade you from voicing your opinion.'"

- Last night, police raided an activist meeting location. All occupants, including a five year old child, were detained, handcuffed, and photographed. Computers were removed from the space, and some personal property (like notebooks) were seized;

- A private residence on 17th St. was raided this morning and had its door kicked in. The same five year old child was again terrorized by armed law enforcement. The police continue to threaten to board up the house unless minor code violations (like a broken door) are remedied;

- A private residence in St. Paul, occupied by local residents and out-of-town journalists, was raided on the basis of an identical search warrant to the one presented last night at the Convergence Space (it specified "bomb-making materials," though nothing of the sort was apparently seized);

- A private residence on Harriet Ave. was raided and has been threatened with being boarding up. Other similar actions are being reported, but fuller details are not yet available.

It is evident from all reports that there was no real concern about "bomb-making materials" or anything similar. On the contrary, these actions were taken to suppress dissent and detain activists.

SF Chronicle - "Certainly there were troublemakers and they deserved to be arrested," said Teresa Nelson, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union-Minnesota. "But we're very troubled that the police were using heavy-handed tactics. We heard reports from people who were listening to music in the park and who were surrounded and detained." Nelson's organization will be in court today to try to regain some of the material seized in the raids. "That is constitutionally protected material," she said.

Editor & Publisher - At least four journalists were among those detained, including Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke and Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, a nationally syndicated public radio and TV news program. Goodman was intervening on behalf of two producers for her program, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, when she was arrested, said Mike Burke, another producer.

1 Comments:

At September 3, 2008 1:18 AM, Anonymous Rachel Corrie said...

Looks like the Twin Cities are getting the occupied Palestine treatment.

 

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