More On Twin Cities – Developing

Here's another account, with a statement from the National Lawyer's Guild:

National Lawyers Guild dondemns fabrications of Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher and preventative detention arrests
National Lawyers Guild Press Release

The Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild condemns the coordinated raids carried out by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher against citizens planning to engage in demonstrations at the Republican National Convention.

The primary prop used by Sheriff Fletcher in his afternoon press conference, where he displayed items seized in three early morning raids conducted in south Minneapolis, were three buckets of alleged urine. As shown by inventory sheets left by law enforcement, these buckets were seized at 2301 23rd Avenue South in Minneapolis, MN. Two buckets contain grey water and were being used to flush toilets, to conserve water, in the upstairs bathroom. Both were identified in the inventory as “unidentified liquid.” The third bucket, as shown by inventory sheets, was seized from illegal apartment over a garage in the rear. This apartment has been occupied for several years by a person unconnected to the house occupants or the RNC. No bathroom was in the illegal apartment and urine was collected in a bucket. This was listed as “unidentified yellow liquid” in the inventory sheets.

Bruce Nestor, chapter President of the Minnesota National Lawyers Guild, was present at both locations during the execution of the search warrants. “Police seized political literature, cellphones, computers, cameras, personal diaries, and many common household items such as paint, rope, and roofing nails. These items are present in almost any home in south Minneapolis and are not evidence of a crime,” said Nestor. “Seizing boxes of political literature shows the motive of these raids was political. Sheriff Fletcher has staged a publicity stunt, violated constitutional rights, and misrepresented what was seized during the raids,” he said. Another raid was carried out the evening before on a political meeting hall in St. Paul. Inventory sheets for that raid show that no contraband items were taken. Literature, computers, maps of St. Paul, and banners were the vast majority of the items seized.

In addition, during the raids, four persons were arrested without arrest warrants or formal charges. They are being held on probable cause holds for “Conspiracy to Commit Riot,” which will allow their detention until Wednesday, September 3, 2008, at noon. Two other persons were also arrested without warrants, off the streets of Minneapolis, one after she addressed a mass rally of over 200 people at Powderhorn Park. “Conspiracy to commit riot was the charge used against the Chicago 8 after the police riots in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention,” said Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director the National Lawyers Guild. “Guild attorneys defended those charged in 1968 and we will do so again now.”

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9 Responses to More On Twin Cities – Developing

  1. chicken_little says:

    Yes it is so like the republicans to want to stop a bunch of hippies from protesting because the republican base gets depressed whenever exposed to hippie protests because the republican base is so persuaded by hippie protests. Republicans hate it when hippies like Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and Reverend (Obama) Wright are in the spotlight because it motivates the republican base too much. So it makes perfect sense that republicans want to arrest a bunch of hippies who pee in buckets like animals.

    The National Lawyers Guild is so anti-democrat that it is utterly shocking they are involved, as surely they would side with their republican masters. I guess that means that the National Liars Guild can and should be trusted here because they have absolutely no agenda and we all know that lawyers are honorable and trustworthy people because John Edwards is probably a member and he is an honorable and trustworthy (as covered in great detail on this blog!) and he loves republicans.

    I am so afraid and uncertain now that the republicans are going to kick in my door and send me to a work camp. I will vote for Obama already, so please now group cuddle!

  2. christy says:

    So the cops seized items and arrested a few people, after obtaining a lawful warrant. Correct? “Conspiracy to riot.” I would assume that there must have been some solid evidence to obtain the evidence, and that this wasn’t a simple political protest scenario. If I’m wrong, and I hope I’m not, I’m sure the Lawyer’s Guild will get to the bottom of things and right a wrong. But I’m not sure that one needs to refer to any potential illegal acts by the authorities as Republican evils.

  3. LACJ says:

    Wow. Pure insanity.

    Amazing that you are being attacked simply for informing people about this violation of the protesters’ rights. I cannot even begin to fathom the mental processes involved in that.

    Now one point I admit I do not understand is why these types of incidents would happen. The police are not going to intimidate any significant number of people. Maybe the GOP is just a bunch of common thugs at heart and so this is what they do, regardless of whether it ‘makes sense’. Maybe someone else could throw out some ideas. Coherent ideas, I mean.

    And the upshot of this apparently is that now the conservatives should be afraid that the Dems, once in power (which will be quite soon), will begin to trample on their civil rights.

    What they do not understand is that the Dems will never go anywhere near as far as the GOP has. But we will learn how to shout these damn fools down soon enough. They really are not that smart, and kind of sad in fact. Poor schmucks.

    I guess the beauty, in a sick sort of way, is that, by informing people of this violation of civil rights, you prove yourself to have no respect for the civil rights of others….somehow I can almost see a type of logic there, sick, twisted and malformed, but still somehow cohesive…

  4. LACJ says:

    Umm, buckets of urine put on display as ‘evidence’ of anything?

    We will see when all the evidence is known, and when more information is known about the warrants. But your assumption, Christy, is nothing if not premature, and your complaint about premature accusations is not particularly appropriate or cogent in this forum.

    At this point my guess is that this is a stunt to rile up the ignorant GOP base. Those fools love this kind of stuff. Ha ha! Dirty hippies! Buckets of urine!~!

    Again, the logic is that our rights under the Constitution are meaningful when they are ‘our’ property rights, or the right to own a gun, or other similar rights. You wanna hear the conservatives scream about the evisceration of the Constitution, start threatening their gun rights and watch them go! But when it is my right not to have the government listening in on my cell phone calls or reading my email, well then its the old ‘if you aren’t doing anything wrong then you should have nothing to worry about’. Like I said, its just stupid and ignorant, this kind of thinking, and I truly feel sad for these people.

    In other words our rights under the Constitution don’t mean anything when they are the rights of someone we don’t like or approve of.

    Sad, sad people. Thank god they will be the permanent minority soon in the USA. Can’t happen soon enough.

  5. joe says:

    Law enforcment has seized some sheet-metal items which they refer to as “caltrops”. The pictures of the items seem consistent with the “caltrop” label. Further, the items seem consistent with the disruption strategy posted at the “RNC Welcoming Commitee” website:

    Tier One: Establish 15-20 blockades, utilizing a diversity of tactics, creating an inner and outer ring around St. Paul’s Excel Center, where the RNC is to take place.

    Tier Two: Immobilize the delegates’ transportation infrastructure, including the busses that are to convey them.

    Tier Three: Block the five western bridges connecting the Twin Cities.

    The other items seized (photo, related story) seem less clearly indicative of criminal intent.

    But that’s just the so-called “RNC Welcoming Commitee”.

    Overall, the consistent pattern that’s been observed at least since the N30-WTO protests in Seattle is that all people outside the approved venue —of whatever political stripe and message— end up painted in the media as violent anarchists. So, the “caltrops” become justification for completely unrelated actions against completely different people, like pepper-spraying and arresting journalists.

  6. Michael says:

    I think Joe has the key point in his last paragraph.

  7. Steve says:

    One word for “chicken_little“.


    It’ll help.

  8. concerned says:

    So in order to prevent any potential “urine baths”, the authorities decided to violate some “hippies” civil rights. Correct? Sounds eerily similar to China.

  9. concerned says:

    So in order to prevent any potential “urine baths”, the authorities decided to violate some “hippies” civil rights. Correct? Sounds eerily similar to China.

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