Quickhit: protests and arrests in Minneapolis St. Paul stifle legitimate dissent

If it wasn’t for blogs I would hardly have heard that nearly 300 people have been arrested while protesting the Iraq war and the Republican convention over the last few days. The city centres have been heavily militarised with large squads of police in full riot gear. There were even raids on houses where known activists resided on the weekend, before any protests were underway, and a well-known journalist was arrested as she was reporting on the police actions against the protestors.

Glenn Greenwald has several posts rounding up links and his own eyewitness descriptions of the protests and some arrests. [raids on Sunday] [Federal Government involvement] [the arrest of Amy Goodman]

After all, if you don’t want the FBI spying on you, or the Police surrounding and then invading your home with rifles and seizing your computers, there’s a very simple solution: don’t protest the Government. Just sit quietly in your house and mind your own business. That way, the Government will have no reason to monitor what you say and feel the need to intimidate you by invading your home. Anyone who decides to protest — especially with something as unruly and disrespectful as an unauthorized street march — gets what they deserve.

Isn’t it that mentality which very clearly is the cause of virtually everyone turning away as these police raids escalate against citizens — including lawyers, journalists and activists — who have broken no laws and whose only crime is that they intend vocally to protest what the Government is doing?

Greenwald notes an ironic contrast:

Yet how is our own Government’s behavior in Minnesota any different than what the Chinese did to its protesters during the Olympics (other than the fact that we actually have a Constitution that prohibits such behavior)? And where are all the self-righteous Freedom Crusaders in our nation’s establishment organs who were so flamboyantly criticizing the actions of a Government on the other side of the globe as our own Government engages in the same tyrannical, protest-squelching conduct with exactly the same motives?

Please add links to other articles discussing these raids and arrests in comments.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, law & order, media, social justice, violence

Tags: , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Here’s a great story on what is happening to journalists, and not just Amy Goodman: http://tinyurl.com/584jz8
    My post yesterday included some links to other good stories: http://tinyurl.com/62g7la
    And go to http://www.theuptake.org for video as-it-happens (archives, too).
    This is crazy.

  2. Lindsay Beyerstein (Majikthise) has a set of pictures up at Flickr as well.

  3. I always recommend indymedia and in specific case the twin cities imc.
    Its absolutely bonkers what’s going on, but it’s far from being without precedent.

  4. I would recommend Indymedia for absolutely jackshit.

    Simply a bunch of SWP and anarchist crazies with no strategy.

  5. As a pagan American I’m also an eco-activists and this came from Starhawk, who does a lot of peaceful demonstations:
    starhawk-owner@lists.riseup.net; on behalf of; Starhawk [stella@mcn.org]
    Emergency Note: Yesterday, Tuesday, two of our cluster were arrested before the start of the March for Our Lives organized by the Poor People’s Movement. Riyanna and Jason were standing at the edge of the park where the rally was happening when they were attacked by police. Witnesses reported to us that Jason was tasered while he was lying on the ground, not resisting, and was refused medical aid. Somehow, later, he managed to get a call through to us on his cell phone, to report that the two taser barbs were still in his hip and the police were refusing to take them out. His phone remained on while we could hear what sounds like the cops beating him up. In a later call, he reported that he has a black eye and multiple abrasions on his head and torso, but is basically okay, and that the taser barbs have been removed. We also heard from Riyanna who is also okay. I just talked to her, and she sounds fine and strong and worried about other prisoners who are being denied needed medication. Arraignments and release are now going very slowly, and she could be held as long as 36 hours, or more. . A good person to call today would be the St. Paul mayor, Chris Coleman, 651-266-8510 demand that he end the targeting of protestors, the abuse of prisoners, and the confiscation of property.
    Our PermiBus has been officially ‘released’, but its owners are being told there are 23 violations against it and they are not being allowed to drive it away. They have not received copies of any of the violations except for one: ‘no proof of insurance’. In reality, Stan Wilson has proof of insurance on the bus but was never allowed to produce it. The authorities claim that all searches and seizures over the last week have been done legally, with warrants and judicial review. But the bus was seized illegally with no charges and searched illegally, without a warrant and without the presence of the owners. This is a violation of the Bill of Rights. For the PermiBus, call the Mayor Rybek of Minneapolis,
    (612) 673-2100 (His office)
    Complaints to Mayor Rybek can be directed by email to dsicomplaints@ci.stpaul.mn.us.

  6. CK: Even so, they are on the ground. You have anyone else that is giving minute by minute?
    (asks the anarchist crazy)

  7. Minneapolis FOX affiliate cameras were gassed today…while shooting footage. Link via indie protestors the Uptake.

  8. Well that strikes me as somewhat of an own-goal considering that any Fox coverage was likely to be sympathetic to the police.

  9. Well, it’s the FOX affiliate, not FOX News themselves, which is more MSM than FNC. That said, any part of the MSM getting gassed is not going to endear the police to the media.

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