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Metro cooperation a foundation on which to tackle other issues.
If the cost of having one of these lousy conventions in town is the suspension of civil rights for the duration, mass arrests, police home invasions on slim pretexts, and $10 million insurance polices to cover police brutality charges, then I'd rather we went another hundred years before we host another one of these conventions.
I'm writing from Boise, ID, where a local activist who went to Beijing during the Olympics (to protest China's abortion policy & denial of rights to Christians) was manhandled by police, along w/ a clerical companion. Much is being made here of her naivete in not knowing her civil rights in China were non- existent! Couldn't the same be said for Amy Goodman, who didn't know her civil rights in St. Paul were non-existent? This editorial sounds like it was dictated by the Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce! And the other editorial on how the show of force was "appropriate" because all the demonstrators were "anarchists" sounds sophomoric. How do you know what the motivations were of ALL those demonstrators? Some of them may have been little old ladies in tennis shoes who simply wanted to protest the Bush administration's war policies! Here is one little old lady who won't be making the trip to St. Paul anytime soon. I hope all the traffic you get from happy civil-rights-deniers makes up for the loss of my business.
Police going overboard because protesters are going overboard (and yes, protesters were going overboard).
That alone spells trouble.
Lemme get this clear ,the 369 people who participated in Civil Disobedience on the last night were 'troublemakers'? Wow, that's a really developed understanding of democracy this editorial board has. The editorial board should be grateful that the 'good' protesters didn't do a mass Civil Disobedience action on the first day...But there's time for that, this endless war business isn't going away any time too soon...much like the Vietnam War, it just will drag on until there are mass sit-ins and acts of civil disobedience--even if they're poo-pooed by the editorial board, Nick Coleman, etc.
It's lovely to pat yourselves on the back, but what I have heard from the convention, from firsthand accounts and from the imprisoned press would never make me want visit the Twin Cities again. The civil rights violations were disgusting. I hope your cities are boycotted.
I've been impressed at how diligently the local mainstream media, Star Tribune included, has ignored the abuses by the police. Here is a summary of some of the stories of police abuse: http://tinyurl.com/5q8nez So Strib editors, tell me - is someone leaning on you all to keep these stories out of the press, or are you in a deep state of denial?
We are not going to miss you, please stay away. I think that we will get along just fine inspite of your boycott.
I do find it remarkable how warm and clever the self-congratulary back-slapping is in Minnesota. All 'round, from Chief Harrington to the Strib. I thought, when I looked at the lede for this article I would read critical commentary about the illegal arrests of journalists and Amy Goodman, but I see that matter rendered as a near-trivial detail instead.
And so on to Chief Harrington, Sheriff Fletcher and others, sternly repeating their mission statements and blathering on about how well their forces carried out their duties, all within the law, of course. And how they and the Ramsey County attorney so diligently labelled those they imprisoned. Always as 'malefactors' by whatever name: the criminal element, and so on.
But of course. We need protection from criminals. Especially ahead of time, and above all the moment we perceive in our own minds the least 'reasonable cause' to 'suspect' the ulterior motives of others. Including I-Witness, the videographers whose crime was arriving to witness and film the public events; and the journalists, of course, and anyone with a camera plus eyes, brain, and memory, one assumes.
The final night proved the case. The police deployed a trap and swept up anyone and everyone, having defined a priori the state of mind and motive of those citizens.
But I'm sorry, this won't do. It is time for Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnesota, and our nation to review and implement Magna Carta 2.0. And our own Constitution.
The news reports are filled with eyewitness accounts of police going over the top: the troops - sorry - lines of officers - waiting outside the Target Center as Rage Against the Machine ended its concert, who taunted the exiting concert-goers with obscene gestures, epithets, and slappings of batons against palms and thighs.
This is the 'friendly policeman' I was taught as a kid to honor and know I could ask for help when I needed it? Someone to trust implicitly? This is 'professionalism'? What happened to silent, watchful, measured police presence? So far as I know not one incident of direct, violent assault against police officers took place. Property vandalism (it is not quite proper to call this 'terrorism', I am very sorry to correct all and sundry who have so written in the media or among the military-police management ranks) is not violence.
Police abusiveness, testosterone, and acting-out of repressed frustration is regrettable, and wrong, as are the crimes of wanton destruction of property. However neither can justify the Gestapo-Blackshirt-Military pre-emption of civil rights that we saw.
In the larger picture all of this may be dismissed as petty turmoil unworthy of comment. Yes, the convention was successful, that I agree in spite of my own (full disclosure) firm opposition to the current GOP platform and candidates. (That the convention itself was, apart from the cheesecake energy of the VP introduction, dull as dishwater may or may not be more than just my opinion.)
No, the actions of some in the streets were not supportable. And no, the police did not acquit themselves with honor.
Yes, the journalists were doing their free-speech First Amendment duties when yes, they were manhandled and violenced, by the police.
Who knows whether this will be a lasting memory, a permanent icon in our national, constitutional development, or a forgotten incident on the way to ever less empowering, liberating national policy and nefarious, hidden government agendas driven by extra-constitutional maneuvers by the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rove - and their political descendants.
BT - Turin - Italy
I had a booth and it's number is #208 and I hope you check out the disaster of the Civic Fest before you plan another event. The vendors were taken advantage of and the public was not made aware of the great opportunity. The public was taken advantage of by the high prices to get in. The attendance was horrible. This Group needs to be investigated and held to account for this disaster. Where is Minnesota Nice in this story? The story of the losses the vendors took at the CIVIC FEST will be aired and the public will be made aware of the severity of those losses.
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