Tag Archives: police brutality

More Video from the RNC – featuring a Salt Lake Residenrt- Hip Hop Concert Attendees arrested

Thank you to Ester Republic which states:
This is a video of the arrests at the Take Back Labor Day concert, narrated by a guy from the Glass Bead Collective who interviewed a bunch of people and then buried his video camera so it wouldn’t get confiscated. Good thing, huh?

The Minnesota Independent has continued to cover this story, the most recent development being a forum held by the Society of Professional Journalists. Nick Coleman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has also written about the experiences of St. Paul residents vis-a-vis the protests and arrests.

Salt Lake’s “Wes”, who is a regular at our weekly peace vigils, is featured and describes the police scene at the RNC, inlcuding innocent hip-hop concert attendees arrested for no reason

Wes at a peace vigil in Salt Lake:

Greens condemn brutal ‘police state’ raids, arrests of peaceful protesters and journalists

Greens condemn brutal ‘police state’ raids, arrests of peaceful protesters and journalists outside the GOP convention in St. Paul


For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Green Party members are among those targeted; trumped-up charges are meant to intimidate and crush political dissent, say Greens, who urge media covering the convention to report the brutal treatment of fellow journalists

Combined effort by local police and Feds reveals that Bush’s domestic spy program is aimed at Americans exercising their lawful rights

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders strongly condemned the brutal police assaults, raids, and arrests on dubious charges targeted at peaceful protesters gathering near the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Among those arrested and brutalized are journalists, including Amy Goodman and other Democracy Now! staff (http://www.democracynow.org), and antiwar and progressive activists.

Police have attacked nonviolent demonstrators with concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray, and tasers and have raided meetings and activists’ homes.

Police raided the home of Michael Whelan, a long-time Green Party supporter whose Arise Bookstore once housed the party’s local office (see Green Party of Minnesota press release, Sept. 1, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=99).

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Distributed by the Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org

Green Party of Minnesota

For Immediate Release
September 1, 2008

Contacts: Rhoda Gilman: (651) 224-6383; Dave Bicking: (612) 276-1213, Spokespersons, Green Party of Minnesota


Greens have been among those targeted for harassment and intimidation by police in a wave of pre-emptive actions taken before the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

On Saturday police surrounded the home of Michael Whelan, a long-time Green Party supporter, whose Arise Bookstore at one time housed the party’s office. He was host to a group of independent journalists. The police broke down doors and subjected occupants to house arrest. “You figure this would be going on in South Africa, or Russia, not in St. Paul,” Whelan said. “St. Paul is nice.”

The previous night, police had invaded a meeting space in St. Paul rented by the anarchist RNC Welcoming Committee. They seized equipment and subjected some fifty people to handcuffing and search. Next day Monica Bicking, a leading member of the organization, was jailed along with three friends, and her home in Minneapolis was boarded up for alleged violation of city codes.
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Massive house arrests and detentions of activists and media have been occuring in Minneapolis during the RNC.  Please do what you can to speak out!
Power to the People!
If you have a spare minute today or tomorrow, would you please pick up the phone and help the people that are being rounded up by calling Mayor Coleman?:
We are asking the public to contact the office of St. Paul, Mayor
Chris Coleman at 651-266-8510 to stop this house arrest, this gross
intimidation by police officers, and the detention of media activists
and reporters.
Feel free to pass that number 651-266-8510 out to all of your friends around the country that might have time to file a complaint with the mayor. 

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As we go about our important business today at the March on the RNC, let’s also remember those that can’t be with us on the streets.
Viva La Lucha!
Heidi  Sheen
VOTE FOR REAL CHANGE:  McKinney/Clemente 2008  (www.votetruth08.com)

Rainbow Gathering Police Presence

The police presence at the Rainbow Gathering this year was quite unsettling.  There is always some type of police presence near the Gathering and sometimes within the Gathering, but this year seemed to be heavy on that presence (at least in my limited experience – this was my 4th Gathering since 1998).  On our way in to the Gathering on July 2 and out of the Gathering on July 6, through the mountain dirt and gravel roads, we saw people pulled over and dogs searching cars in numerous spots.  There were reports of people being cited for things like not using turn signals to turn onto dirt roads from other dirt roads, not applying brakes properly on curves, and not adhering to the 20 mile per hour speed limit, even if they were just one mile over that limit.

During the evening meal circle on Thursday, July 3rd, I noticed federal law enforcement walking around the circle:

These officials had on black gloves. 

Shortly after that there was a commotion from the forest at the edge of the meadow.  People were screaming that the police had opened fire in Kiddie Village.  What we learned was this:

Apparently an undercover police officer had identified one individual who had been offering him marijuana and when the undercover office called for reinforcement to arrest the individual, the individual resisted arrest.  This resulted in other Gathering participants surrounding the police, from what I hear.  I was not in the area nor did I witness the actual incident, so I am not sure exactly what happened,  but from eye witnesses I heard nothing of Gathering participants throwing sticks or rocks as the news reports indicate, in fact, quite the opposite.  What I did hear from a friend who was there and witnessing it all is that the police opened fire at peoples’ feet with pepper spray pellets and rubber bullets and then fired the same projectiles directly at people’s bodies.  The reports indicate that they did this with children in the area and one child was hit.

Here is a  photo of my friend’s left side from being hit by the police shooting:

There were many more reports and accounts of police brutality.

Fortunately, people who witnessed the event provided documentation. 

Here are links about the incident as told on live radio to We The People Radio Network which had a reporter attending the Gathering with equipment like a satellite phone on which she could call in about this particular incident and other Gathering happenings:

and has posted this photo:

and a link to a blog that had a post on the incident and also has really nice updates on the Rainbow Gathering:
and has this audio:

I have not yet seen anything appear on You Tube.

Here is a link to Pinedale Online which has been reporting regularly on the Gathering:
Its photo page is here:

Here is a link to a blog that has been offering updated information when possible:

I will update this particular post as I obtain more information.  I was part of a recording myself by an individual gathering audio information on his recorder.

National Rainbow Gathering: Fun and Facts

I am back from 4 days in the Wyoming Mountains from the Annual National Rainbow Gathering.  Over the next couple of days I will have stories and photos to share.  I wanted to write in tonight, however, as a heads up that I will have an account of what happened with the police action on July 3rd, that is being reported in the news as an “assault by hippies” on law enforcement, which is a myth.

Stay tuned….