Something Very Bad is Happening in the Twin Cities

Early reports are flooding in of what sound – at first blush – as police state tactics designed to disrupt and intimidate anyone who authorities think might be protesting — peacefully — at the Republican National Convention.

Some of these accounts are from reputable sources, including both lawyers who were called in to help clients only to be arrrested an handcuffed, and from a group called Founders of I-Witness, which specializes in filming police behavior and that was at the 2004 GOP Convention and took film that cost New York Police seven figures in settlements. Their account is chilling: Armed police surrounded their house and held them hostage for hours while waiting for a warrant to enter.

The house where I-Witness Video is staying in St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house. The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a dozen police are wielding firearms, including one St. Paul officer with a long gun, which someone told me is an M-16.

The first thing you do is silence the witnesses. Police are also detaining reporters.

“Food Not Bombs” — so far as I know a peaceful group — was also raided. Jane Hampsher of firedoglake has an account and links to a video..

See Glenn Greenwald for more, with updates.

I believe some people got quite upset when similar tactics were used recently in China to prevent demonstrations at the Olympics.

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4 Responses to Something Very Bad is Happening in the Twin Cities

  1. chicken_little says:

    I heard Obama was hanging out with Ayers who someone told me was a terrorist. Also that his pastor said some things that someone told me were bad.

    You make me so scared that out of fear and uncertainty I will vote for Obama because you say he is warm and fuzzi.

  2. Michael says:

    If these charges are true, they are no laughing matter.

  3. chicken_little says:

    Whether they are true or not I will draw conclusions from your allegations and act out of fear and uncertainty. You are an excellent lawyer as good as John Edwards because you are convincing me to vote with my emotions and to put logic and reason aside. All hail Obama, now lets have a group cuddle.

  4. LACJ says:

    Wow Michael you really have one or two particularly unhinged trolls. Allegations!! Making me act out of fear and uncertainty!! Yaoza!!~ Making me put aside logic and reasons!!1! Can…not…resist!!

    Why do I get the feeling that there was not much in the way of logic and reason to put aside? And who, if I may, is the real chicken here? Perhaps the anonymous troll?

    On to the substance of this situation, of course this is very serious, and is another piece of evidence that our constitutional rights are, as a practical matter, long gone.

    My question, as always, is what remedy could there possibly be, and how could we go about re-establishing a lawful system? The police had a warrant as I understand, although presumably it was based on lies.

    The attitude of the police, while offensive, is neither unusual nor actionable. Asking to see the warrant gets you automatically arrested? Welcome to what has been reality for years and years for the majority of the nation. I used to laugh back in law school in Crim Law when we would talk about carefully asserting your rights to police. Good luck with that.

    And of course some portion of the judiciary thinks that is just fine. Certainly Scalia thinks that any constraints on police action is unnecessary in this day and age.

    We have a broken system; it has been broken for years and is just getting worse. Remember what happened in NYC in 2004? People got locked up and ‘forgotten about’ for 3 days, if memory serves. What remedy was provided to those individuals, (or at least the ones who had the desire and ability to challenge the state over their treatment)? I am afraid there was none.

    Too bad the fools who love to laugh when it is ‘hippies’ getting treated this way are too stupid to realize it could be them next. Some think they are immune, however many find out the hard way that they are not, and a broken system has many victims.

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