Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Activists' Houses Raided Prior to RNC

I recently wrote about Denver police assaulting protesters at the Democratic National Convention, but what is happening in the Twin Cities makes the former look like child's play.

Groups of around 25 officers in riot gear are raiding homes in Minneapolis:

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 residence housed people from I-Witness Video, a group whose work during the 2004 Republican National Convention helped get charges dropped against hundreds of protesters. The group's co-founder wrote a blog post (scroll down to "i-witness video emergency press statement from the RNC") while police were outside the house waiting for a search warrant. It seems that the government doesn't want video to capture the truth.

These incidents brought to mind the post on Green Is the New Red, in which an activist from the Twin Cities was asked by the FBI to infiltrate vegan groups in preparation for the RNC.

In addition to houses of activists being raided, a lawyer from the National Lawyers Guild (a progressive group) and a producer for Democracy Now were also arrested.

So, both journalists and lawyers -- in addition to protesters -- have been detained and arrested even though not a single violent or criminal act has occurred.
(Photo courtesy of alternet.org.)

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