by Glenn Greenwald
Sunday Aug. 31, 2008 11:46 EDT
As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue — see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway — it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that “the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Today’s Star Tribune added that the raids were specifically “aided by informants planted in protest groups.” Back in May, Marcy Wheeler presciently noted that the Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force — an inter-agency group of federal, state and local law enforcement led by the FBI — was actively recruiting Minneapolis residents to serve as plants, to infiltrate “vegan groups” and other left-wing activist groups and report back to the Task Force about what they were doing. There seems to be little doubt that it was this domestic spying by the Federal Government that led to the excessive and truly despicable home assaults by the police yesterday.
Any rational person planning to protest the GOP Convention would, in light of this Government spying and these police raids, think twice — at least — about whether to do so. That is the point of the raids — to announce to citizens that they best stay in their homes and be good, quiet, meek, compliant people unless they want their homes to be invaded, their property seized, and have rifles pointed at them, too. The fact that this behavior is producing so little outcry only ensures, for obvious reasons, that it will continue in the future. We love our Surveillance State for keeping us safe and maintaining nice, quiet order.
Police Swarm Bus in St. Paul
RNC Eve: Police Seize Sustainable Living Bus
More at http://www.theuptake.org. Delyla Wilson tours the country with her family in the “PermiBus,” a mobile permaculture demonstration. The group is in the Twin Cities to teach people about sustainable living practices.
On the evening of Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008 the bus was pulled over in what police eventually described as a routine traffic stop. After detaining the bus occupants, the police decided the bus was a commercial vehicle and impounded it for inspection, leaving the family and their guests stranded and homeless.
The police allowed the Wilsons to remove their dogs and chickens, but were not allowed to retrieve their computers or any other belongings, including their daughter’s shoes.
This incident ended a day that saw multiple pre-RNC raids, which some legal observers believe is a coordinated pre-emptive effort by local and national law enforcement agencies to chill RNC protest action.
Video by Chuck Olsen of The UpTake: http://theuptake.org
Photos by Tony Webster, used with permission: http://www.tonywebster.com/