Saturday, August 30, 2008

Police target protesters with preemptive raids in Saint Paul and Minneapolis: media sources

There are several fundamental constitutional issues that are being played out on the streets of Minneapolis and Saint Paul in these days before the scheduled convening of the Republican National Convention. They include the free speech rights of the delegate as well as the rights of those who wish to "petition their government for redress of grievances."

Those last have been undergoing a campaign of suppression by the police. What has happened is an militarization of the Twin Cities. Police powers have been expanded and are being used.

Two days out from the convention, roads are closed and raids are occurring. For months, protesters from a number of different political tendencies and points of view have been organizing. Particularly targeted are the anti-authoritarian RNC Welcoming Committee. The lead agency in these raids appears to be the Ramsey County Sheriff's department, led by Bob Fletcher.

Sheriff Fletcher, a former Republican city council member, is following a hard-line, law-and-order playbook that includes a series of raids and selective arrests.

There are a number of sources who are covering these actions. These are the best, if you are looking for journalism that does not begin (and sometimes end) with official police statements.

Twin Cities Indymedia
An explicitly activist media center, the Independent Media Centers were formed to give alternative media types a central location at protests like this.

The Minnesota Independent

MNIndy (Mindy?) is one of a network of independent media sites, run by the nonprofit Center for Independent Media (not the Independent Media Center. See above.)

Twin Cities Daily Planet

The Daily Planet is a 'group blog' of Twin Cities alternative, ethnic, and neighborhood media, which also does independent reporting on it's own.

Also look for these resources -

The Stimulator is a video activist who is producing short clips. Salty language, salty politics.

The legal collective for the activists - Cold Snap - is using a twitter channel.

Use these channels to back up the reporting you see in other areas.

Forgot the Uptake!

The Uptake

Progressive street video bloggers.

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