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In MN, Massive Police Raids On Suspected Protestors

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the it-can-happen-here dept.

Government 961

X0563511 alerts us to events in Minneapolis and St. Paul in advance of the Republican convention (which has been put on hold because of Hurricane Gustav). Local police backed by the FBI raided a number of homes and public buildings and confiscated computers and other material. From Salon.com: "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. Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning — one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided." Here is local reporting from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an 'anarchist' plan to disrupt this week's Republican National Convention. From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses, broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected tools of civil disobedience ... A St. Paul City Council member described it as excessive, while activists, many of whom were detained and then released without charges, called it intimidation designed to quash free speech."

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Oblig. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823651)

FUCK THE POLICE!

Re:Oblig. (5, Informative)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823707)

If only it were the police; it looks like the FBI may be involved as well http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/31/raids/index.html [salon.com]

For the sake of the country, the people responsible for these raids must be fired (and very possibly sent to prison) for this. This is utterly unacceptable.

Re:Oblig. (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823775)

For the sake of the country, the people responsible for these raids must be fired (and very possibly sent to prison) for this

If you think that will actually happen, can I have some of what you are smoking?

Re:Oblig. (5, Insightful)

24-bit Voxel (672674) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823781)

We've almost hit rock bottom. It feels like the last 8 years were just a litmus test to see how much corruption we as a nation would turn our heads to. The answer appears to be all of it.

Re:Oblig. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24824081)

It's especially bad when you realize that this story is just more Republican bashing. Why? Because this is Standard Operating Procedure for police.

Boston police arrest dozens before annual festival [boston.com] - in an effort to prevent disorder before some local festival, the Boston police arrested dozens of suspected trouble makers for the explicit purpose of keeping them in jail for the duration of the festival.

Needless to say, the same type of thing happened before the DNC [tampabay.com] , too.

So this is just more Republican bashing, in that the only reason it's news isn't that it happens, because it's routine, it's because it's happening for a Republican event.

Note I'm not saying that it's OK because Democrats do it too - I'm saying that this type of thing happens all the time and almost no one bothers reporting it. It's wrong, no matter who does it, Republican or Democrat.

Yes, indeed. (2, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823817)

And I really hope the legal community (especially the lawyers who were arrested themselves) steps up to the plate - even if it means working for free.

Unfortunately, it will not be a PC thing to do considering the most folks believe that if yo do nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about and the police are always right and never lie. I once actually tried to convince someone of this (stupid me) but he insisted that the cops are always right and always have a justifialble reason. I guess he saw too many cop TV shows where the cops are saints and the "bad guys" are always guilty.

If the lawyers get those folks acquitted, I'm sure the consensus will be that the sneaky, snarky, lying, greedy, lawyers got those dirtbags off because of a "technicality" and the poor innocent police who didn't have warrants or just cause are the victims.

Re:Yes, indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823987)

I guess he saw too many cop TV shows where the cops are saints and the "bad guys" are always guilty.

He had a mortgage to pay.

also (5, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823797)

FUCK THE POLICE!

And the sheriff's office, and the FBI, and DHS, and ICE, and the mainstream media, and us...

Yep, us too. Every US citizen bears some responsibility. We should demand media coverage of these obvious civil rights violations, these people aren't violent anarchists, they are citizens protesting the government. We should demand a police force that upholds the law instead of subverting it. We should elect the leaders who will do the most to protect our civil rights.

We've been tolerating this kind of behavior since 9/11 out of fear. It's time to admit to ourselves that we overreacted to the events of 9/11 and allowed our government to trash our civil rights in the name of protecting us.

We let fascists take our country from us in the name of making a 'war on terror.'

Vote. Email or write your local, state and federal representatives. Email local and national news. Protest.

Re:also (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823935)

We've been tolerating this kind of behavior since 9/11 out of fear. It's time to admit to ourselves that we overreacted to the events of 9/11 and allowed our government to trash our civil rights in the name of protecting us.

Get a tiny bit of perspective - things have been like this before the Conventions since the '68 DNC Riots. Or did you not notice the guy who was arrested in Denver for checking into a hotel just before the DNC with a couple rifles? No reason to believe he was doing anything wrong, other than having a rifle near a Democrat, but that's the way it goes.

Admittedly, the Secret Service types have to be especially sensitive to the possibility of someone trying to do in Obama. I don't think it'll happen, but that opinion changes from day to day....

Re:Oblig. (5, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823861)

No joke. When did South Central police tactics become apros po for college kids and uppity hippies pushing 60? Easy must be having a laugh right now.

Something important to remember here is that the some of the groups being raided are the same ones who, in 2006, helped overturn over 400 bogus arrests where video directly conradicted sworn police testimony.

It's the cameras, and the citizen journalists, and the people on the Internet who the police are afraid of. I don't presume to judge every John Law out there but this is really bad what they are doing in MN.

Of course the networks pay it no heed :)

M

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823963)

DENVER DID THE SAME THING!!!

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24824093)

No, it didn't.

Re:Oblig. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824015)

No, fuck the taxi drivers [msn.com] of MN who choose not to give rides if there's booze in the car. Oh, wait: McCain's crew, like the aforementioned crew, wants to chose what you shoud be allowed to think. I think there's a pattern there.

This is not how you stop riots... (5, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823661)

... this is how you START them. This coming from someone from Seattle who lived on Capitol Hill during the WTO riots and had police overreact and create a situation when none existed.

Re:This is not how you stop riots... (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823701)

... this is how you START them. This coming from someone from Seattle who lived on Capitol Hill during the WTO riots and had police overreact and create a situation when none existed.

Yes, indeed. The "anarchist" morons from all over the country came to Seattle looking for a riot , the the equally brain-dead cops gave them a reason.

"Anarchists" and Repugnitans, a match made in heaven.

Re:This is not how you stop riots... (4, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823739)

Well a couple of brain dead anarchists breaking windows and throwing bottles does not create a riot. Cops over reacting to those couple of people and treating the entire crowd as IF they are those couple of people and then driving them all into a residential neighborhood of people who have nothing to do with any of it DOES create a riot.

Re:This is not how you stop riots... (3, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823773)

Well, Foo, I was there (I worked in downtown at the time), and it's not quite a you state. But there's really no point in arguing with someone who thinks "anarchists breaking windows and throwing bottles" is a minor issue.

When was the last time that caused a riot? (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823835)

Bottles are broken every single day.

I see a different broken window at local businesses at least once a month.

Those events do not cause riots.

They are "minor". They are resolved by arresting / fining the idiot(s) who did it.

I am also in Seattle.

Re:When was the last time that caused a riot? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823925)

It's called "inciting a crowd to riot".. it's a symbol.

The Seattle Riots (2, Informative)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824095)

"Well a couple of brain dead anarchists breaking windows and throwing bottles does not create a riot."

Anyone that says the Seattle rioters (PRIOR TO the police response) were just "a few brain dead anarchists" are at best misinformed, or worse, utterly full of shit. Everyone from Greenpeace to Earth First planned "direct action" in Seattle, and lots of violence was on the menu for the Earth First types. The cops may have overreacted, but lets can this BS meme that the cops were overreacting to a handful of rowdy boys. There were people that had planned violent activities for weeks prior to those meetings, and they were certainly more than a handful. Furthermore, once they got started, the crowd seemed plenty eager to join in the festivities... including things like busting up every Starbucks and McDonalds they could find.

Don't pretend it was a bunch of naive innocents vs. the gestapo.

Re:This is not how you stop riots... (4, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823839)

Whelan says his roommate, Erin Stalmaker, went out to talk to talk to the police. She asked the officers why they were there. The officers asked why people were running away from them. Erin reportedly told the officers that their drawn automatic weapons probably had something to do with it. She was detained after asking to see a warrant.

http://firedoglake.com/2008/08/30/inside-an-rnc-raid/ [firedoglake.com]

If this is true (being arrested after asking to see a warrant; no warrant being produced), this is insane. Heads must roll for this; our country absolutely depends on it.

Re:This is not how you stop riots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823809)

Oh, I hope I hope I hope I HOPE to see some riots over this!!!

textbook example (3, Interesting)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823911)

At least this gives us a textbook example for the good old "nothing to hide" misconception.

You can bet that a lot of illegal wiretaping was involved here to find the ringleaders, exactly like during the anit-vietnam protests. Also, note how they went straight for the computers: welcome to the world of "little brother"!

"- I've got nothing to hide!"
"- Then you agree with everything the government thinks. Oh, and the Church of Scientology, too."
(alternate: "- Then you don't have a political life")

appologies (1)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824009)

Hum, after reading TFA, the "tools of civil desobidiance" were indeed just that, and the claim that all the information was obtained from informants seems plausible. Oh, and I apparently dreamed the seizing of computers. Am I getting paranoid?

Not that it won't be a textbook example when we get more details; protecting their conventions seems so important to them that they always go way over the line.

Disruption != peaceably assembling (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823663)

The Constitution guarantees the right to peaceably assemble. It doesn't give free license to actively disrupt. If they were planning to do something illegal in this case, it's conspiracy.

Push them out of MN. Pop some of them in the face. And move them into a nice safe cell for the time being.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (5, Interesting)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823681)

Were they planning on doing something illegal? I doubt it.

In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as "Do you have Terminator ready?" as they lay on the floor in handcuffs.

I don't call this freedom.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823725)

Why do you doubt it? Because the one-sided article doesn't give enough details about the protestors' activities?

Since the police had a warrant, some judge thought they had enough reasonable suspicion to go in and make these raids.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823767)

Except that there were no warrants.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823789)

The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant.

Now, I have only the same information you do, probably less. But the quote above seems to indicate that they actually did have a search warrant.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (5, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823843)

Let's say they did have a warrant. Why did they refuse?

The police have a higher standard to hold to because they're the professionals. If they can't follow the law then they have no business enforcing it.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (1, Insightful)

Dogun (7502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824013)

They might have refused because they didn't want the person on whom they were serving a warrant to call up their lawyer and have him hover over the officers' shoulder to make sure they didn't overstep the bounds of the warrant.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824041)

No, they are required by law to show the search warrant when asked.

To me, their refusal clearly indicates that they didn't have one.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823889)

because your right to peaceful protest is more or less gone at this point. that's why. thank you for playing.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (5, Informative)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823799)

From: http://www.nornc.org/ [nornc.org]

This isn't a peaceful assembly if you ask me:

"How we get there (the strategy):
1. Start Strong - Throw all of our energy into the first day. We'll kick this off right and stretch the militarized police state out so far that it can no longer contain and suppress our voices and desires.

2. Transportation Troubles - This includes blockades downtown (at key intersections), on bridges (10 bridges over the Mississippi River in the metro area), and other sporadic and strategic targets (busses, hotel and airport shuttles etc)."

This is the group that the Star article describes as having been arrested.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823945)

Transportation Troubles - This includes blockades downtown (at key intersections), on bridges (10 bridges over the Mississippi River in the metro area), and other sporadic and strategic targets (busses, hotel and airport shuttles etc)."

Nothing like annoying thousands of people who are late getting to work to convince them that your cause is just.....

you == asshole (1, Troll)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823971)

Wow, so causing you to be late to work is "not peaceful".

Hell man, I must be at war every day driving to work. My traffic is disrupted. It's not peaceful. Someone should be arrested. That will fix everything.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (2, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824005)

Transportation Troubles...

Sounds like a Critical Mass rally.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (4, Informative)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824075)

This is how we do it in a civilised country [bbc.co.uk]

Note the quote from the police - Police said despite the massive traffic disruption on the motorway, the man had the right to protest peacefully.

Bob

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823733)

Yes! Absolutely!

That's why we need a pre-crimes unit composed of psychics to nip stuff before it even buds!

That will never pass Constitutional muster and you (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823949)

That will never pass Constitutional muster and you will have hard time getting it past a jury

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823755)

That's all well and good, but how does violating fire codes disrupt a convention?

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (4, Informative)

NeoTron (6020) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823921)

It obviously doesn't.

But consider this : in order for Those In Power to keep their power, they have to do a number of things;

1) Subvert the Constitution - because it gets in the way of their plans.
2) Create an atmosphere of Fear - this is accomplished in a number of ways;
        a) Create more criminals - this is done by adding lots of laws.
        b) Engineer situations where you can create enough world tension that eventually you can say you
              are in a permanent state of "war".
3) Dumb the people down - again, this can be accomplished in a number of ways;
        a) Culturally - dumb down the Press, TV
        b) Educationally - dumb down the system.

What you have seen is the use of point 2)(a) in that basically They Can Get You For Anything if you do something
to disrupt their plans.

Welcome, America, to your Police State.

Re:Disruption != peaceably assembling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823859)

There were no plans to 'disrupt' the convention, i.e. stop it from happening. Some people who were attacked in their homes may have intended to attend protests, as any free people should have the right to do so. The police clearly want to fight. Their superiors view protests as an opportunity to start fights and thus alienate the greater public against them as 'radicals'. Its another way of strengthening state power.

We currently have two domestic military operations against private 'citizens' in the United States, New Orleans and St. Paul.

But anyways, let the media circus show begin for all our voting television viewers!

In Soviet Russia. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823665)

In Soviet Russia, you didn't have the right to peaceful assembly or to travel without showing your papers.

I wish there was a joke I could make here.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (5, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823711)

Actually, you COULD travel inside the USSR without showing papers. Train and airplane tickets were anonymous and you did not need to show ID to board a train or an airplane.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823875)

But every apartment block had a person responsible for checking and registering who was staying there and with who, hotels did the same.

Only with a permit you could legally stay in a different town.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (4, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823965)

No, it was more complicated. You could stay for about 3 months without needing any permits. In fact a lot of students used to travel during summer to all parts of the USSR without any problems.

However, you needed a stay permit (it was called 'propiska') to permanently move to another city. Getting this permit was a quite different story.

PS: I'm not saying that USSR was a very nice place overall. But there were good parts which I miss...

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824057)

Actually, you COULD travel inside the USSR without showing papers. Train and airplane tickets were anonymous and you did not need to show ID to board a train or an airplane.

Damn hippie communists.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823717)

Also, private trade for profit is a crime.

Yet, on The Berlin Wall came down and the Russian government revoked this law, there were people on the street corner selling clothes and food within hours of the announcement. 70+ years of suppression wasn't enough to crush the entrepreneurial instinct.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823813)

70+ years of suppression wasn't enough to crush the entrepreneurial instinct

No, it takes a Western style bureaucracy and twenty different layers of Government to do that ;)

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823821)

there were people on the street corner selling clothes and food within hours of the announcement.

I expect they'd been doing it discretely the whole time. Just revoking the laws brought it out into the open

Re:In Soviet Russia. (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823885)

Yes.. that's what "suppression" means.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823741)

welcome to the people's republic of america

Re:In Soviet Russia. (0)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823855)

Peaceful assembly?

From the org's website (http://www.nornc.org/):

"How we get there (the strategy):
1. Start Strong - Throw all of our energy into the first day. We'll kick this off right and stretch the militarized police state out so far that it can no longer contain and suppress our voices and desires.

2. Transportation Troubles - This includes blockades downtown (at key intersections), on bridges (10 bridges over the Mississippi River in the metro area), and other sporadic and strategic targets (busses, hotel and airport shuttles etc)."

If these idiots *aren't* allowed to protest, perhaps there's a chance they won't ruin it for the peaceful protesters. One big problem in situations like this is that a small group ruins it for everyone else who was protesting peacefully.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (3, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823959)

...ruin it for the peaceful protesters... Bullshit. If cause for arrest cannot be found for each person than arresting that person is a crime. "someone may commit a crime so lets round them all up" is the primary tactic of a police state.

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824001)

I'm not seeing anything violent in your quotes. Perhaps you could point out what I'm missing?

Bob

Re:In Soviet Russia. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823857)

In Soviet Russia, people abuse power over people.

Not funny, but fitting.

Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823667)

Just because this was the kind of thing the Nazis used to do, it has nothing to do with Republican/Bush outfit. So shut up and put up with it. You either voted them in or are apathetic enough to not bother voting. Send these criminals down for 20 years!

Almost certainly overblown and false (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823671)

Their is no reason for our brave police men and women to be more GOP than Democrat.

I'm sure these people were doing something wrong otherwise they wouldn't be targeted.

And fires are dangerous, they should obey the fire code.

Unfortunately people seem to hate Republicans more than Democrats for reasons unknown to me, and it makes sense that there is extra security and vigilance at the convention. If this means the police have to break a few eggs to mkae a peaceful and incident-free omelette then so be it.

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823673)

I, for one, do NOT welcome our new jack-booted overlords.

sorry... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823675)

but free speech doesn't include throwing buckets of urine on people.

Anarchists? (4, Funny)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823685)

Isn't that what they blamed stuff on pre-WW I? What kill the kaiser think? God help us if Ferdinand is shot!

Re:Anarchists? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823867)

Ferdinand was a classmate of John McCain, you insensitive clod!

Not suprising (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823695)

seeing as all the same senior politicians in the WH today are the very same ones that where there in Nixons goverment, they just slinked into the background in the 60's hoping you would forget their names and misdeeds
and it worked ! except they are back with more vigor
torture, wiretaps, harrasing political groups, removing civil liberties, wiretapping
the list is endless and so it seems the Americans patience as they dont want to do a damm thing about it

a single clip could sort out a lot of troubles in this world

Re:Not suprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24824045)

I think your last comment is worth reporting. Hopefully it will be investigated somehow - with or without wiretaps.

Now is the time to make your voice heard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823703)

Not with votes, but with guns.

Unconventional weaponry (2, Funny)

Nasajin (967925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823705)

On Saturday afternoon, he displayed a number of the confiscated items: a gun, throwing knives, a bow and arrows, flammable liquids, paint, slingshots, rocks and buckets of urine.

Personally I'm surprised that, upon finding "buckets of urine" that the police decided to take it with them.

Re:Unconventional weaponry (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823929)

They took along *anything* and *everything* that might be related to possible riots. When they raided a home that wasn't actually the correct home, they still detained people for over and hour while they obtained the correct warrant. When I read that I posted that I was concerned that when I arrived at home that I too would find cops on my doorstep [twitter.com] because after all, that was the point of all of this horseshit.

When you finally hear from the other side you learn that the "buckets of urine" was actually gray water used to flush the toilet [blogspot.com] (my father developed a tank system in the 1980s that used shower/tub water to flush the toilet which saved us so much money that the water company came out 3 or 4 different times to replace the meter because they thought it was defective).

I have been ashamed to be an American for a long ass time but between the Ramsey County Sheriff's response to this event, the confiscation of camera equipment in the name of Homeland Security for the RNC [twincities.com] , and using Blackwater mercenaries in New Orleans in preparation for Gustav [wired.com] I am not quite sure I am actually living in the United States of America anymore.

I am disgusted to be a Minnesota and United States resident. This is fucking shameful and horrifying. There is absolutely no excuse for this type of free speech violation. This is a stupid political rally, not a fucking war on our soil. Personally I'd love to join the protests but I seriously fear for my freedom and my life. I am not against the RNC but I am definitely against the manner in which protesting is being handled.

FUCK YOU AMERICA.

For live footage of raids and other First Amendment violations, check out The UpTake [qik.com] on Qik.com.

Re:Unconventional weaponry (1, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824021)

Thank you for marking this troll and proving that Americans just don't care about the atrocities being committed against our fellow citizens.

Re:Unconventional weaponry (2)

iworm (132527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824011)

The cops were just taking the piss.

sad day (4, Insightful)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823731)

Stuff like this really makes me sad. Just 20 or 30 years ago, demonstrations could get out of hand, but I think that is part of free speech. Now, any speech off script by either party is squashed as if it was soviet russia. Maybe mrs mccain should rethink the trip to georgia she just took. Maybe instead of taking democracy around the world, we could start by re-invigorating freedom here at home. I'm afraid to predict the next 20 or 30 years. I'm sure it will include many cameras, microphones, drone planes and fear.

"Part of Free Speech" (0, Troll)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823901)

"Just 20 or 30 years ago, demonstrations could get out of hand, but I think that is part of free speech. "

Throwing urine on convention attendees is free speech? Do you yell "fire" in crowded theaters for fun too?

Re:"Part of Free Speech" (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824007)

yes 20 or 30 years ago it was alot worse than some urine or a tomato. Do you not remember the riots in chicago in 68? I seriously doubt these guys were planning anything even close. Just google it if your too young to remember.

How close are we to arresting people applying for permits to demonstrate like the chinese did at the olympics?

Re:"Part of Free Speech" (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824025)

In most countries you would get arrested for throwing the urine, not merely thinking about it.

Bob

Re:"Part of Free Speech" (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824069)

Urine is not very dangerous. By all means arrest these people if they actually go out and throw it on other people, but there's no justification for a preemptive strike.

Sad and scary (1)

JimMcc (31079) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823777)

We are rapidly turning into the latest Banana Republic.

No protesters at the DNC? (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823787)

Could the fact that we didn't see such an article about last weeks DNC be because there wasn't anybody bothering to protest? HBO's Real Time had footage from the "Free Speech Zone" in Denver which had more kids on bikes than protesters.

Where were the DNC protesters (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823943)

Could the fact that we didn't see such an article about last weeks DNC be because there wasn't anybody bothering to protest? HBO's Real Time had footage from the "Free Speech Zone" in Denver which had more kids on bikes than protesters.

That's because they were elsewhere in Denver, doing things like trying to levitate the Denver Mint, and screaming Kill Michelle Malkin! [youtube.com] .

All officers who participated are enemies of U.S.A (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823811)

Every officer at every level who participated of the local police and within the FBI should be considered an enemy of the United States of American and executed for sedition.

Evidence of conspiracy? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823825)

Was there any actual evidence of conspiracy? Or will this end up being one of those deals where the police confiscate all the protesters signs and bullhorns and then apologize and return them? Next week, after the GOP convention has finished.

NEWS FOR NERDS HOW???!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823847)

Why is it that slashdot.org is becoming indymedia, a place for anti-police, anti-law enforcement stories.

Whether the FBI was right here or not, this doesn't seem to be of slashdot's concern. News for nerds my ass.

Free Speech (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823887)

We'll be getting a lot more of this if we elect McCain into office. Nominally we all have the right to free speech, but in practice the government can easily suppress unauthorized speech on technicalities such as "fire codes". If it weren't for the Internet, free speech in the United States would be mostly limited to private spaces between trusted friends -- public criticism being so easily stifled.

I think the only way to get a message across is for people to speak out even in the face of strong government opposition. If they won't let you speak, go ahead and speak. People carrying signs and screaming "blah blah blee blee blah blah bloh... hey hey... ho ho" are bound to be ignored. People who get beat on by police, on the other hand, might actually get some attention from the media.

Repeat of the NY Republican Convention (5, Informative)

John3 (85454) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823891)

This happened in NY City in 2004 [usatoday.com] during the Republican Convention although the police waited until the convention had started. My brother was one of the thousands swept up in the sweeps the police did to clear protesters from the street. His lawsuit is still pending, most likely he will wind up with a nice settlement, but the goal was to get these "troublemakers" off the street and that was accomplished. The same marching orders are likely in effect for the Republican Convention this year, and by the time the lawsuits are settled in four years the next election will be on the horizon. Kind of depressing that the police can get away with this bs.

Rise of FACISM (1)

Tschuai (1354539) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823897)

They didn't show their warrant?! We need to organize, write letters and make sure that justice is served. It's still our country no matter how many incidents like this happen. Take responsibility America!! Stand UP against this fascist bullshit! Write your congress/senate write the police station. When that doesn't work (it won't) we need to protest at their front fucking door! OUR COUNTRY

And you guys want to bring democracy to others? (5, Insightful)

Britz (170620) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823905)

I mean I don't want to barge ahead. We only read the accounts of one side, but if it is even remotly true the US of A is far from being a free country. Why would the police even want to intimidate people that way? Only if there was a political reason. Semi-random police brutality is one thing, but the report looks like those were fairly large scale orchestrated moves by the police to influence politics. When the police stops working as law enforcment and starts working for a political party how far is that from a banana republic?

And then the W guy comes up and talks about spreading democracy in the middle east? How about spreading it in Minneapolis?

Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823909)

I guess George Bush learned something from his China trip.

This needs to backfire. (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823955)

And charges need to be filed against those responsible for such raids.

I'm not into teh politics either way and as such I can see without bias, this was wrong.

Perhaps its time to again read the declaration of independence.

Re:This needs to backfire. (1)

cmoney (216557) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823979)

Agreed. I'm not really sure of Obama but this pretty much seals the deal. No way is McCain and the police state getting my vote.

COINTELPRO 2.0 (3, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823957)

Does anyone get the feeling this has all happened before, then laws were enacted to stop it, then Bush was elected and said laws were repealed?

What does "no crime other than . . . " mean? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823981)

Well, it could mean that it's a good, old-fashioned violation of civil rights. Peaceful protest is a right in America, and if these raids were designed only to violate that right, there will be successful lawsuits.

However, it's far more likely that although they have only (so far) been charged with "no crime other than 'fire code violations'", more charges are forthcoming. They don't take computers unless they intend to scrutinize them for evidence.

Plausible scenerio leading up to the raids: An idiot on a message board was going on and on about icing McCain and Bush II, and even bigger idiots were playing along.

PROTIP: The secret service takes all assassination threats seriously no matter how ridiculously they were hatched. See, e.g., the nazi meth-heads that the secret service caught en route to fail miserably at shooting Obama.

So peaceful!!! (3, Informative)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823983)

According to KSTP: "The sheriff's office said it confiscated weapons on Saturday including a machete, hatchet and several throwing knives, empty glass bottles, rags and flammable liquids, homemade devices used to disable buses, metal pipes, axes, bolt cutters, sledge hammers, empty plastic buckets made into shields, an Army helmet, and large amounts of urine." http://kstp.com/article/stories/S561752.shtml?cat=1 [kstp.com]

There is video on this... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24823985)

Crookandliars.com has some interviews and coverage on these raids.

story #1 [crooksandliars.com]
story #2 [crooksandliars.com]

It's the quadrennial FNCs (1)

shma (863063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24823989)

Time once again for the Fascist National Conventions. Featuring:

Confinement of protesters to "Free Speech Zones" [youtube.com]
Jailing of Journalists [go.com]
Authoritarian Scare Tacticts [youtube.com]

And remember, the best part about the FNCs are that no matter who is nominated, one of their candidates always wins.

Selective Citations? (0, Flamebait)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824037)

http://www.twincities.com/ci_10344356?nclick_check=1 [twincities.com] ...

The statement said the items found in the searches included:

- Materials to create "sleeping dragons" (PVC pipe, chicken wire, duct tape), which is when protesters lock themselves together
- Large amounts of urine, including three to five gallon buckets of urine
- Wrist rockets (high-powered slingshots)
- A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives ...

Protesters have the right to protest. They DO NOT have the right to plant IEDs, spray urine on delegates, etc. Kudos to the police in Minnesota for busting these Stalinists.

This sounds familiar (2, Funny)

Len (89493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824061)

Government arrests people for planning to speak in public

Sounds like some other headlines I've seen recently:

Severe pollution in Minneapolis is expected to hamper the Convention

John McCain alleged to be 14 years old, not 72 as claimed

GG democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24824063)

Even if you think about using your right to free speech you will now get quashed before you can ever use your right. Welcome to the land of the free, free to be screwed over that is.

Freedom no more (1)

Imatelephone (1324159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824085)

Things like this prove that America is heading in the direction of a dictatorship. They may not call it that, but that's what we will soon be. It's like George Orwell's "Animal Farm". As the public loses insight and opinion, the manipulative government gains power. Finally, FUCK THE POLICE!!

Where were the raids on Repulbican demonstrators? (1, Flamebait)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#24824089)

The chuckleheads with the rifles aside, there were Republican protests at the Democratic convention, why weren't they arrested and photographed? The same thing happened in '04. The FBI started intimidating political activists. And now we find out the FBI was behind the raids in St. Paul.

There have been rumors going back a long way that Rove had friendlies in the FBI that were using police powers in primarily political investigations.

Don't forget that a lot of /. readers supported this administration and are, at least in my mind, partially responsible for the thuggish, heavy-handed tactics our government feels it can employ with near impunity. Guess you could call it trickle down stupidity. But many of you voted for the bozos at the top. If they keep to their usual form they'll either blame the victims or blame Clinton.

Ah, Minnesota... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24824097)

Where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the police beat the ever-loving shit out of you if they even think you'll exercise your rights.

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