intimidation in the police state of minneapolis

Sweeping police raids are being reported around Minneapolis today, in the run-up to the Republican National Convention. Dozens of people thought to be potential protesters are being singled out for harassment and, in some cases, threatened at gunpoint.

Apparently the Bush administration’s “free speech zones” weren’t Orwellian enough.

update: The following comment was just left by Bob Krzewinski of the Washtenaw County chapter of Veterans For Peace. I thought that it deserved to be up here on the front page:

I was at the Veterans For Peace national convention on Saturday, held south of St. Paul, Minnesota at a Ramada Inn, and all through the day, squads of police drove to the hotel and were doing “walk throughs” of the convention (the largest was a group of 20). Also at the hotel were a large number of Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAW), some who just returned from Denver where they held an march without a permit right up to the Democratic convention site.

Apparently the police here in Minnesota were trying to send a message to the IVAW members here that they perhaps out to think twice about trying to do a march to the Republican convention site, which the IVAW, and Vets For Peace, are planning on doing on Monday.

This is really pretty sick when you have the powers to be in government trying to harass a group of vets, many of them combat veterans, who when they first joined the military, had to raise their hands and promise to defend the Constitution, which includes the right to freedom of speech.

Bob Krzewinski
Veterans For Peace – Washtenaw County Chapter

Sounds like China during the Olympics, doesn’t it?

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8 Comments

  1. Bob
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I was at the Veterans For Peace national convention on Saturday, held south of St. Paul, Minnesota at a Ramada Inn, and all through the day, squads of police drove to the hotel and were doing “walk throughs” of the convention (the largest was a group of 20). Also at the hotel were a large number of Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAW), some who just returned from Denver where they held an march without a permit right up to the Democratic convention site.

    Apparently the police here in Minnesota were trying to send a message to the IVAW members here that they perhaps out to think twice about trying to do a march to the Republican convention site, which the IVAW, and Vets For Peace, are planning on doing on Monday.

    This is really pretty sick when you have the powers to be in government trying to harass a group of vets, many of them combat veterans, who when they first joined the military, had to raise their hands and promise to defend the Constitution, which includes the right to freedom of speech.

    Bob Krzewinski
    Veterans For Peace – Washtenaw County Chapter

  2. Michael Schils
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The War Machine fears veterans who no longer support the war. Thanks Bob for expressing an important perspective.

    Obama and Biden should be issuing a statement condemning these police actions any minute now….yeah, right.

  3. mark
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your comment, Bob. It’s appreciated… I’ll move it up to the front page.

  4. Michael Schils
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    more info . . .

    Minnesota Independent . . .
    http://www.minnesotaindependent.com/

    The Uptake . . .
    http://theuptake.org/

    MPR has detailed story here . . .
    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/08/30/more_raids

  5. Posted September 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    This kind of thing is becoming a “best practice” for cities dealing with large protests, quickly learned by PDs nationally after the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle. In 2000, at the IMF/WB protests a few months later, the DC PD raided privates homes on weak grounds ( DIY gas mask == molotov cocktail? ), shut down the protest convergence center (cayenne pepper in a kitchen == chemical weapons?), and the day before the main protest arrested en mass b/w 500-1000 people “preemptively” to minimize the number of people engaging in protest the next day. This is the pattern that has been repeated since then (see the Denver shutdown of the convergence center).

  6. Meta
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Amy Goodman from Democracy Now was arrested:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=29751

  7. Robert
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s about time you folks stop being such pacifists and start using pre-emptive counter measures. These people are thugs, and they’re far from being geniuses.

  8. Michael Schils
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a piece on that veteran harrassment Bob Krzewinski mentioned,

    Police Harass Participants at Veterans Convention in Twin Cities

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