Cops cancel Rage at Concert-triggering mass march on Excel Center

Dandelion Salad

http://twincities.indymedia.org

Sept 2, 2008

On the evening of September 2, the cops foolishly chose to prohibit Rage Against the Machine from following several other bands at an existing concert, going backstage and shutting off power. This sent an infuriated crowd of 2,000+ marching on the RNC!

Here are WSQT Guerrilla Radio(DC pirate 88.1) interviews with DC’s own Jay Marx and Adam Eidinger on that canceled Rage concert and what it triggered.

Arrest total has now risen to 300+, but actions just keep coming!

Download Audio:
http://dc.indymedia.org/usermedia/audio/4/jay_adam_rage_day4evening.mp3

***

Riot police form a line as nixed Rage show enrages fans

CityPagesMN

Police in riot gear prepare for the worst behind the stage at a surprise Rage Against the Machine show gone wrong.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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RNC Dispatch #4 + Cops Attack Anti-Capitalist Bloc + 17-year-old RNC protester

MN Natl Guard mobilized + Cop Attacked + Pyrotechnics

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police

MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

Response to RNC Unrest Press Conf + Mass Arrest + Explosions

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

Party whores: Sarah Palin’s Big, Sleazy Safari

Dandelion Salad

View photos at the original source.

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

photos

Speaking of sleazy, is that Sarah Palin in the photo on the right?

“Alaska isn’t really very hard to understand. It consists of a minority that loves the wilderness and an overwhelmingly Republican majority that wants to squeeze all the cash it can get out of the state before the oil dries up, the fish die out and the wildlife disappears…”

By John Dolan, [AlterNet]

September 2, 2008

Most people had never heard of Sarah Palin when she was named the Republican VP nominee. But I’d been hearing her name all too often, because I belong to a group called Defenders of Wildlife — and in her time as governor of Alaska, Palin has used her position as governor of Alaska to ruin the Alaskan wilderness in every way she could.

Her most recent “victory” came on Aug. 26, when Alaska’s voters defeated Measure 2, an initiative that would have banned hunting wolves from airplanes for sport.

Palin organized a campaign against Measure 2 and funded it with $400,000 of state money. For most of us, the idea of zooming around in a private airplane over snowbound wilderness just for the chance to spot a terrified wild dog and blow it apart with a high-powered rifle is insane. But there’s a whole culture out there in love with the idea. Palin did her part by playing the tired old Alaskan pioneer card, saying that lower-48 naysayers who dared to object to the idea of dive-bombing wildlife didn’t “understand rural Alaska.”

Alaska isn’t really very hard to understand. It consists of a minority that loves the wilderness and an overwhelmingly Republican majority that wants to squeeze all the cash it can get out of the state before the oil dries up, the fish die out and the wildlife disappears. Nowhere else does the Republican formula of manipulating the suckers by playing on their silly hatreds and even sillier vanities play out more clearly than in Alaska.

To get an idea of Palin’s core constituency, just go to the home page of Safari Club International, one of the groups that fought hardest against Measure 2 — and is now gloating loudest over this proud victory.

[An aerial wolf hunt. Watch for yourself what these depraved idiots are doing to defenceless animals. Good pals, of course, of Palin. Brought to you by an overwhelmingly Republican “ethic” mixed with big dollops of backward libertarianism. Alaska, poor Alaska, is individualism’s favorite lab.]

Even the name is a little skewed — “safari”? When was the last time you heard that word? Most people are trying hard to forget the “safari” era, when rich white jerks had themselves carried into the African wilderness by nameless black servants, at vast expense, to kill animals they could barely identify.

But for Palin’s core constituency, “safari” is still the dream. And Measure 2 would have interfered with that dream, the dream of strafing social canids from a Cessna plane. Alaska politics runs on the vast opportunities for graft offered by a small, easily manipulated constituency addicted to subsidies and self-delusion. Alaskans like to imagine themselves the last pioneers, hardy individualists, etc. — which makes them classic suckers for Republican propaganda. And they also like the petty cash that trickles down to them from the mining companies, timber companies and hunting guides who make the real money. Palin, an undistinguished part-time sportscaster on a local TV station, was a perfect non-threatening mouthpiece for the companies that want to gouge as much oil, ore and timber from Alaska as they can — while it lasts.

Palin is totally consistent in her anti-environmental stance. She not only wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, but actually vowed to sue the EPA if it dared to declare polar bears an endangered species.

It’s hard for most people to understand this sort of hatred for the great mammal species struggling to hang on at the edges of this continent. But then, Palin is an Alaska Republican. And Alaska’s Republican politicians are the most corrupt, ignorant and generally loathsome political clique in America, bar none. The so-called “dean” of the gang is Sen. Ted Stevens, finally indicted this year after a lifetime of graft. One of the crimes of which Stevens is accused sums up the relationship between Alaska’s Republican ruling gang and its big-money backers: a construction crew hired by an oil company called Veco jacked Stevens’s house up on stilts and added a whole new floor featuring two bedrooms and a bathroom — just returning all the legislative favors Stevens had done for it over the years.

photo

The Right Typical Senior Scum from Alaska, Ted Stevens, longest serving (whom?) Republican in Congress, and one, among many reasons, why the Federal government should take Alaska back from Alaskans and turn it into a national park. Bent on destroying a patrimony that belongs to all Americans, if not humanity, these criminals and morons do not deserve it. Stevens is the first sitting U.S. senator to face federal indictment since 1993, issuing from a federal investigation into his home renovation project and his dealings with wealthy oil contractors. Surprised anyone?

Palin was one of the founding members of Stevens’ 527 corporate slush fund, which skated around campaign finance laws to allow the senator to raise unlimited funds from big oil and other exploiters. Stevens’ fund bore the self-parodying name “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service Inc.” — which is pretty droll, considering that Stevens is not only corrupt but one of the stupidest people in the Republican Party, no small feat in itself. In fact, Stevens’ only claim to the attention of the American people before he finally met his fate was for defining the Internet as “a series of tubes.” Thanks to YouTube, you can actually hear Sen. Stevens dithering for several minutes before uttering that famous phrase. A warning, though: Listening to Stevens will cure you forever of the idea that America is a meritocracy.

picture

On Aug. 26, Alaska’s Republican voters showed their ethical level by choosing Stevens, this utterly loathsome, brainless greed monster, as their nominee to represent the state for another six years. The fact that Stevens had been indicted for corruption four weeks before the election didn’t faze them a bit.

Palin summed up her long, sleazy and profitable association with Stevens by saying that the two of them were “singing from the same sheet of music.” Isn’t that quaint, that “sheet of music” metaphor, with its hint of the hymnal and the pew? Well, that’s Alaska’s republicans for you: a thin coating of hokey populist rhetoric over a vast subterranean reserve of sleaze.

Palin’s predecessor as governor was Republican Frank Murkowski, another nature hater who spent a long, sleazy career in the pockets of the oil, mining and “safari” industries. Murkowski’s “endless ethical lapses” included an attempt to get the state to buy him a jet, and climaxed with his appointment of his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, to the U.S. Senate. That sort of unabashed nepotism was a bit much even for Alaskans and made Murkowski the most despised governor in the country, with an approval rating of 14 percent.

Lisa Murkowski has been busy in Washington, keeping up the family tradition of selling Alaska’s natural resources as quickly and sleazily as she can. In 2006 she got an astounding 2 percent rating on environmental issues from Republicans for Environmental Protection.

In Alaska Republican Party circles, a rating like that is a badge of honor.

Palin fits right in with this slime. She has served the oil, mining and hunting interests from the minute she won the governorship. This summer, she showed herself willing to poison whole watersheds and destroy a huge, lucrative salmon fishery by opposing Measure 4. The proposal aimed to stop the proposed Pebble Mine, a huge operation, from discharging huge amounts of cyanide and mining waste into streams that flow into Bristol Bay, the site of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

Of course, Sarah Palin did her best to ensure the mining interests won. At first she had a bit of a problem: Under Alaska law, the governor isn’t allowed to take a position on ballot initiatives. Palin squirmed her way around that rule in classic Republican style, by speaking as a private citizen, with true George W. Bush eloquence: “Let me take my governor’s hat off just for a minute and tell you personally: Prop. 4 — I vote no on that.”

As one of the supporters of the initiative said, Palin and the rest of the state’s Department of Natural Resources staff were so comfortably in bed with the mining industry that they borrowed a propaganda slide show from their industry backers when making the case against Measure 4. “The slide show (DNR) had up on the screen is straight from the one (mining industry representatives) use in their presentations around the state,” said Art Hackney of Alaskans for Clean Water. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous — and somehow, unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me.”

The reason Hackney isn’t surprised is that fronting for anti-environmental exploiters is what Palin does. It’s her job. So naturally, she spewed up the necessary lie, proclaiming that she had “all the confidence in the world” in the integrity of the Department of Natural Resources that was using themining industry’s own slide show.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of Palin’s disgusting record on environmental issues is the fact that it’s hardly even being mentioned in the debate about her nomination. Most of the focus, for an audience of suckers weaned on celebrity gossip, seems to be about her mothering skills, her daughter’s pregnancy and whether she was Miss Congeniality or just a runner-up in some beauty pageant. The fact that she makes her living helping to wipe out whole species, poison productive watersheds and play to the stupidest great-white-hunter fantasies of her constituency hardly seems worth a mention.

***

John Dolan, poet, sometime English professor, is an editor of the Moscow-based English-language alternative paper, The eXile. He is the author of, most recently, Pleasant Hell (Capricorn, 2005). Rumor has it that Gary Brecher, the notorious “War Nerd”, is his alter ego.

***

h/t: Andrew via email

Subject: Comment from a NYTimes reader

Given how mean-spirited Palin’s speech was, particularly her community organizer digs, I thought that this was quite snappy:-)

“Mrs. Palin needs to be reminded that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.”

see

The Daily Show: Sarah Palin Gender Card

Sarah Palin’s Speech at the RNC

Palin, a bold move or reckless choice? + Palin blackens Russia’s name

The Thrilla from Wasilla: An Alaskan recounts the reign of Gov. Sarah Palin

Jittery Republicans scrutinize Palin

New revelations on VP choice heighten crisis of McCain campaign

Fake photo of Palin in bikini with gun; it’s really Elizabeth

NY Times does it again: More ‘Judy Miller’ tapdancing (Part 3)

by Luke Ryland
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Luke’s blog post
Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Sept 2, 2008

A front page article “In Nuclear Net’s Undoing, a Web of Shadowy Deals” in last Monday’s New York Times by David Sanger and William Broad details the destruction of evidence by the US government in a case involving the nuclear black market.

The article highlights again that the New York Times continues to engage in ‘Judy Miller reporting’ by warmongering and acting as a mouthpiece for the government. Continue reading

RNC Dispatch #4 + Cops Attack Anti-Capitalist Bloc + 17-year-old RNC protester

Dandelion Salad

stimulator

RNC Dispatch #4

http://submedia.tv
1. A tribute to fallen comrades
2. The Illusion of uniforms

Continue reading

US-Iraqi Agreement: Leaked (Full Text)

Dandelion Salad

By Raed Jarrar
ICH
09/01/08

I read about a leaked copy of the US-Iraqi agreement a few days ago when a radio station in Iraq mentioned some of its details, then it was mentioned in some Arab newspapers like Al-Qabas and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. A couple of days ago, one Iraqi website (linked to an Iraqi armed resistance group) published the leaked draft on their web page for less than a couple of days before their website went offline. (Thankfully, I downloaded the 21 pages agreement and saved them before their server went down)

I spent this weekend translating it, and just finished now. you can read the 27 articles August 6th draft below. The title of this draft is “Agreement regarding the activities and presence of U.S. forces, and its withdrawal from Iraq”, but this is the same agreement that is referred to as a “status of forces agreement” or “SOFA” or framework or whatever. It’s the result of months of negotiations after Bush and Al-Maliki signed the “Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America” by the end of last year.

This leaked draft is a treasure of information. It’s the first time any document related to this topic is made public. It shows how weak the Iraqi negotiations team is (it is really pathetic to read their “suggestions” on how to fix the disaster of an agreement).

There are many outrageous articles in the agreement that violates Iraq’s sovereignty and independence, and gives the U.S. occupation authorities unprecedented rights and privileges, but what has draw my attention the most (so far) are three major points:

1- the agreement does not discuss anything about a complete US withdrawal from Iraq. Instead, it talks about withdrawing “combat troops” without defining what is the difference between combat troops and other troops. It is very clear that the US is planning to stay indefinitely in permanent bases in Iraq (or as the agreement calls them: “installations and areas agreed upon”) where the U.S. will continue training and supporting Iraqis armed forces for the foreseeable future.

2- the agreement goes into effect when the two executive branches exchange “memos”, instead of waiting for Iraqi parliament’s ratification. This is really dangerous, and it is shocking because both the Iraqi and U.S. executive branches have been assuring the Iraqi parliament that no agreement will go into effect without being ratified by Iraq’s MPs.

3- this agreement is the blueprint for keeping other occupation armies (aka Multi-national forces) in Iraq on the long run. This explains the silence regarding what will happed to other occupiers (like the U.K. forces) after the expiration of the UN mandate at the end of this year.

It is really disturbing to read how the U.S. government is still going down the same path of intervention and domination in Iraq.

This agreement will not be accepted by the Iraqi people and their elected representatives in the Iraqi parliament, and if the U.S. and Iraqi executive branches try to consider it valid anyway it will lead to more violence in Iraq.

[…]

continued at:
Agreement Regarding the Activities and Presence of U.S. forces, and its Withdrawal from Iraq – August, 6th, 2008 4:00pm

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Ron Paul: Civil Disobedience is very important!

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

http://cspanjunkie.org/
September 02, 2008 C-SPAN

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more about “Ron Paul: Civil Disobedience is very …“, posted with vodpod

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MPLS Liberty Parade (videos)

Looking at America’s Police State By Timothy V. Gatto

MN Natl Guard mobilized + Cop Attacked + Pyrotechnics

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police

This is America. We don’t jail journalists here.

Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.

MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

Looking at America’s Police State By Timothy V. Gatto

Dandelion Salad

By Timothy V. Gatto
02/09/08 “ICH”

Here we are, all primed and pumped for the Republican Convention. This has given the Democrats lots to talk about and also an opportunity to skewer McCain and his new running mate. This doesn’t surprise me, nor does it anger me, every demeaning thing that is said about GOP has this writer’s endorsement, they couldn’t pick on a more deserving target. The only thing that bothers me is their total lack of objectivity when they criticize what the GOP stands for. It hardly influences the masses when they harp on McCain’s war drum beating skills when everyone can observe that Barack Obama’s own predilection for blasting out a great beat on his own set of drums with a talent that has greatly improved over the past few months.

Political analysts and strategy advisers have grossly underestimated the American people this time. It has been painfully obvious that most Americans have let Bush and his henchmen in Congress get away with murder, and I mean that literally, while so many have been silent and complicit. Our leaders have no conscience, and hatch their schemes and plan for conquest, while millions of us wait for a chance to change this nation’s direction. Sadly, for all of us that are truly paying attention, we see that real change is only a mirage.

Just as hope cannot be instilled in society by the hopeless, honesty can not be taught by thieves, and justice can not be administered by criminals, change will not come from those locked into the status quo. The American people however, hoping against reason, tried desperately to believe that one of them would morph into one of us. It may have been just another time in the history of man when good would actually triumph over evil and when reason would replace insanity and we would have a fairytale ending to this national tragedy we have been witnessing during the last decade. The facts are, we have been offered two roads to travel, but they both take us to the same destination; war for resources and empire for profit.

Americans are a people that are slow to anger; in this case I am not describing the people, not their government. The people did not want to enter World War II until we were attacked directly, and once provoked; the people were willing to sacrifice all to ensure victory. We are not a nation of cowards, nor are we a nation of pawns. The mistake that those in power have made is the mistake of underestimating a cultures resolve. Once a certain line is crossed, once boundaries have been overstepped, it is impossible to undo the damage it has done. I believe that this is what’s happening to both political parties in America. The two corporate-led political parties have stepped over the line, both parties have asked Americans to accept the unacceptable, and both parties have lied to the people and both have been, unfortunately for them, caught in their lies.

While the Democrats have been decrying the war in Iraq, and have portrayed Senator John McCain as the “war candidate”, Senator Obama has tried to keep the focus on the economy while moving steadily in the same direction as McCain. The impassioned speech he gave in Denver was looked at skeptically by many, not because of what he said, but for what he failed to say. There was no mention of restoring what we had lost during the Bush Administration, things such as habeas corpus and the end of electronic surveillance of citizens or warrantless searches of homes and property. There was no mention at all of reviewing the draconian laws put in place by Bush and Cheney, or the torture that they have been accused of practicing. There were however, veiled threats against Iran and Russia, and proposals that the military should grow by 65,000 combat soldiers, 10,000 to be sent to Afghanistan so that we can prosecute the “right war” there while leaving tens of thousands of troops in Iraq. This in a time of economic uncertainty when this country spends more on its military than almost all other nations on Earth combined.

Obama didn’t skip a beat when he talked about “Russian aggression”, apparently supporting the lies from the government and the western corporate-owned media that Russia was the aggressor in Georgia when the truth was that Georgia initiated hostilities to regain the autonomous regions. He has supported Bush and his quest to put nuclear medium range missiles in Poland as Russia rightly declares that this would put them in an indefensible position and warned that they would take military action if this comes to pass. This threat by the Russians is completely understandable; it is the American government that is unreasonable. In 1963 we almost went to war over the same type if missiles being installed in Cuba. When JFK finally promised we would take out our medium range missiles in Turkey, war was averted. Now we must sit idly while Bush and Cheney orchestrate another nuclear crisis, this time America plays the villain.

We postulate that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable and that we will embark on a military solution to make sure that it doesn’t happen. The facts are that the United States over 18,000 nuclear warheads, most of them multiple warheads’ (MIRV’s). Iran’s most immediate threat, Israel, has according to most sources, over 300 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. This is a prime example of total hypocrisy. If Israel would agree to dismantle its nuclear weapons and its nuclear programs, would Iran follow suit? Nobody knows, as this line of thought has never been vocalized or written about. Do the majority of American citizens feel that Israel is so important in the scheme of things that they would rush into a situation that could very well provoke World War III? Would American mothers and fathers be willing to sacrifice the lives of their children to insure that Israel has military superiority over Iran? I hardly think so, but if you canalize the rhetoric coming from both political parties in this country, you would think that we would. The truth is that this nation seems to be willing to do anything in order to protect Israel, even if it means starting a thermo-nuclear war.

When it comes to civil liberties and foreign policy, the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans seem negligible. When it comes to domestic policy, we hear Obama say that he will not outsource our industries and pay workers a fair wage, but when will we hear about support for the unions? What about stopping the “privatization” of our resources that has become the mantra of the corporate world, and when will he propose doing something about the corporate influence of the media? In this country, where a handful of corporations control the bulk of newspapers, television and radio outlets in almost all of our major cities, when will we hear about a return to Federal regulation? Why do we allow this?

The truth is that we won’t hear about it. How can we when our media is so thoroughly controlled by so few corporate interests? Propaganda does not necessarily mean that governments are the only ones that put it out. This is corporate propaganda and it is just as detrimental to a free society as its government cousin. Benito Mussolini once remarked that “fascism could be called corporatism”. This is nothing new. When corporations and the government control the media and the resources in a nation, and the people have no voice, that’s simply fascism. This is where we find ourselves today.

The people of this country are finding that out. We have all heard of the police raids on protesters that occurred Sunday morning in St. Paul before any protests took place. We have heard about how the police went into houses occupied by college students, guns drawn, and how they handcuffed the “suspects” and made them lie face-down for hours. We have read about the warrantless searches and the confiscation of computers and other personal items. This was done by police that didn’t even come from St. Paul!

There were arrests of demonstrators in Denver also. Some of the same heavy-handed techniques were used there. Since when do peaceful protesters deserve this kind of treatment?  What’s happening in this country? When did we lose the right to dissent?

The American people are simply fed-up with both the Republicans and the Democrats. We are tired of the wars and the lies. We are tired of the fear tactics and the police state we are evolving into. The thought of a third-party candidate winning this election is not so far-fetched as it once was. It’s about time.

timgatto@hotmail.com   –   http://liberalpro.blogspot.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Ron Paul: Civil Disobedience is very important!

MN Natl Guard mobilized + Cop Attacked + Pyrotechnics

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police

This is America. We don’t jail journalists here.

Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.

MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

Response to RNC Unrest Press Conf + Mass Arrest + Explosions

Amy Goodman Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Hot Day in St. Paul + Press Conference On Amy Goodman’s Arrest

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

MN Natl Guard mobilized + Cop Attacked + Pyrotechnics

Dandelion Salad

www.minnesotaindependent.com

By Tom Elko 9/2/08 9:51 AM

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***

Scenes from the RNC Free Speech Zone

UpTakeVideo

More at htto://www.theuptake.org.
September 1, 2008. The RNC Free Speech Zone is about two blocks from the convention site. A large anti-war march wound through the streets to a triangle of land with about 50-100 counter-protesters. The two sides were up close and personal for about one city block. The path then led the march back through a series of tall, cage-like metal barricades and back out of downtown away from the convention. Police in riot gear were on scene the entire time. This is what roughly 10,000 people experienced in the streets of St. Paul while the police and other smaller groups clashed across downtown. Video by Chuck Tomlinson

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

RNC: Cop Attacked

More at http://www.theuptake.org. The UpTake captured video of a St. Paul police officer dragging a “black bloc” protester away from a bus, only to get tackled from behind. The officer sprayed a chemical agent all around him but ultimately lost the suspect and called for backup. Video by Corey Becker.

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RNC: Cop Attacked“, posted with vodpod

***

Trapped Between Police, Protestors And Pyrotechnics

More at http://www.theuptake.org. Outside the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, UpTake Journalists Corrine McDermid and Oliver Dykstra find themselves caught between police and protesters when there are suddenly explosions.

Video edited by Michael McIntee.

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Looking at America’s Police State By Timothy V. Gatto

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police

This is America. We don’t jail journalists here.

Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.

MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

Response to RNC Unrest Press Conf + Mass Arrest + Explosions

Amy Goodman Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Hot Day in St. Paul + Press Conference On Amy Goodman’s Arrest

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police

Dandelion Salad

Update: RNC Dispatch #4 + Cops Attack Anti-Capitalist Bloc + 17-year-old RNC protester

http://www.minnesotaindependent.com
By Paul Schmelzer 9/2/08 4:39 PM

Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police, according to his mother

The following is a comment left at the Minnesota Independent by Melissa Smith-Tourville, who is the mother of 17-year-old Keith Smith, shown above in a photograph taken yesterday by MnIndy’s Paul Demko and published later in the day. The comment came this afternoon in response to Demko’s story from earlier today, “St. Paul Police Chief Harrington: Cops ‘did heroic work yesterday’.

My seventeen-year-old son is the young man in the photo, peacefully sitting in the street in front of an entire force of swat officers. He was later brutally beaten by five St. Paul police officers. Police Chief Harrington, your officers beat my son instead of protecting him when he was apart from the protesters and doing nothing illegal, dangerous or inappropriate. If this was not an overreaction on the part of your officers, I fail to know what would be defined as an overreaction! This is his story:

Just five weeks ago our seventeen-year-old son Keith was being celebrated by our community and beyond as a hometown star. The regional press covered him repeatedly. He single handedly organized the Music for Peace Festival, in Menomonie, Wisconsin which was attended by about 400 people. The family-friendly event included booths, seven bands and entertainment for all ages. He coordinated the event to raise money for a charity near and dear to his heart; the Red Cedar Peace Initiative. We were very proud of our son then, as we are now.

[…]

Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media. » Youth in iconic RNC protest photo was later beaten by police, according to his mother.

see

RNC Dispatch #4 + Cops Attack Anti-Capitalist Bloc + 17-year-old RNC protester

Ron Paul: Civil Disobedience is very important!

Looking at America’s Police State By Timothy V. Gatto

MN Natl Guard mobilized + Cop Attacked + Pyrotechnics

This is America. We don’t jail journalists here.

Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.

MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

Response to RNC Unrest Press Conf + Mass Arrest + Explosions

Amy Goodman Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Hot Day in St. Paul + Press Conference On Amy Goodman’s Arrest

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

This is America. We don’t jail journalists here.

Dandelion Salad

http://act.credoaction.com

Jailing journalists is unacceptable in a democracy. But that’s exactly what is happening at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Award winning journalist and host of “Democracy Now” Amy Goodman was arrested by St. Paul police while covering a protest outside the Republican National Convention. Though clearly identified as press, Goodman was charged with “obstruction of a legal process and interference with a ‘peace officer.'” Two of her producers were arrested for “suspicion of felony riot.”

[…]

E-mail CNN President Jonathan Klein and NBC News President Steve Capus today (NBC News controls MSNBC) to demand coverage of this brutally important story.

This is America. We don’t jail journalists here..

see

Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.

MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

Response to RNC Unrest Press Conf + Mass Arrest + Explosions

Amy Goodman Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Hot Day in St. Paul + Press Conference On Amy Goodman’s Arrest

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

The Bush Administration Falters in a Geopolitical Chess Match

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By Michael T. Klare
ICH
09/02/08 “TomDispatch

Many Western analysts have chosen to interpret the recent fighting in the Caucasus as the onset of a new Cold War, with a small pro-Western democracy bravely resisting a brutal reincarnation of Stalin’s jack-booted Soviet Union. Others have viewed it a throwback to the age-old ethnic politics of southeastern Europe, with assorted minorities using contemporary border disputes to settle ancient scores.

Neither of these explanations is accurate. To fully grasp the recent upheavals in the Caucasus, it is necessary to view the conflict as but a minor skirmish in a far more significant geopolitical struggle between Moscow and Washington over the energy riches of the Caspian Sea basin — with former Russian President (now Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin emerging as the reigning Grand Master of geostrategic chess and the Bush team turning out to be middling amateurs, at best.

The ultimate prize in this contest is control over the flow of oil and natural gas from the energy-rich Caspian basin to eager markets in Europe and Asia. According to the most recent tally by oil giant BP, the Caspian’s leading energy producers, all former “socialist republics” of the Soviet Union — notably Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — together possess approximately 48 billion barrels in proven oil reserves (roughly equivalent to those left in the U.S. and Canada) and 268 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (essentially equivalent to what Saudi Arabia possesses).

During the Soviet era, the oil and gas output of these nations was, of course, controlled by officials in Moscow and largely allocated to Russia and other Soviet republics. After the breakup of the USSR in 1991, however, Western oil companies began to participate in the hydrocarbon equivalent of a gold rush to exploit Caspian energy reservoirs, while plans were being made to channel the region’s oil and gas to markets across the world.

Rush to the Caspian

In the 1990s, the Caspian Sea basin was viewed as the world’s most promising new source of oil and gas, and so the major Western energy firms — Chevron, BP, Shell, and Exxon Mobil, among others — rushed into the region to take advantage of what seemed a golden opportunity. For these firms, persuading the governments of the newly independent Caspian states to sign deals proved to be no great hassle. They were eager to attract Western investment — and the bribes that often came with it — and to free themselves from Moscow’s economic domination.

But there turned out to be a major catch: It was neither obvious nor easy to figure out how to move all the new oil and gas to markets in the West. After all, the Caspian is landlocked, so tankers cannot get near it, while all existing pipelines passed through Russia and were hooked into Soviet-era supply systems. While many in Washington were eager to assist U.S. firms in their drive to gain access to Caspian energy, they did not want to see the resulting oil and gas flow through Russia — until recently, the country’s leading adversary — before reaching Western markets.

What, then, to do? Looking at the Caspian chessboard in the mid-1990s, President Bill Clinton conceived the striking notion of converting the newly independent, energy-poor Republic of Georgia into an “energy corridor” for the export of Caspian basin oil and gas to the West, thereby bypassing Russia altogether. An initial, “early-oil” pipeline was built to carry petroleum from newly-developed fields in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea to Supsa on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, where it was loaded onto tankers for delivery to international markets. This would be followed by a far more audacious scheme: the construction of the 1,000-mile BTC pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan to Tbilisi in Georgia and then on to Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Again, the idea was to exclude Russia — which had, in the intervening years, been transformed into a struggling, increasingly impoverished former superpower — from the Caspian Sea energy rush.

Clinton presided over every stage of the BTC line’s initial development, from its early conception to the formal arrangements imposed by Washington on the three nations involved in its corporate structuring. (Final work on the pipeline was not completed until 2006, two years into George W. Bush’s second term.) For Clinton and his advisors, this was geopolitics, pure and simple — a calculated effort to enhance Western energy security while diminishing Moscow’s control over the global flow of oil and gas. The administration’s efforts to promote the construction of new pipelines through Azerbaijan and Georgia were intended “to break Russia’s monopoly of control over the transportation of oil from the region,” Sheila Heslin of the National Security Council bluntly told a Senate investigating committee in 1997.

Clinton understood that this strategy entailed significant risks, particularly because Washington’s favored “energy corridor” passed through or near several major conflict zones — including the Russian-backed breakaway enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. With this in mind, Clinton made a secondary decision — to convert the new Georgian army into a military proxy of the United States, quipped and trained by the Department of Defense. From 1998 to 2000 alone, Georgia was awarded $302 million in U.S. military and economic aid — more than any other Caspian country — and top U.S. military officials started making regular trips to its capital, Tbilisi, to demonstrate support for then-president Eduard Shevardnadze.

In those years, Clinton was the top chess player in the Caspian region, while his Russian presidential counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, was far too preoccupied with domestic troubles and a bitter, costly, ongoing guerrilla war in Chechnya to match his moves. It was clear, however, that senior Russian officials were deeply concerned by the growing U.S. presence in their southern backyard — what they called their “near abroad” — and had already had begun planning for an eventual comeback. “It hasn’t been left unnoticed in Russia that certain outside interests are trying to weaken our position in the Caspian basin,” Andrei Y. Urnov of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared in May 2000. “No one should be perplexed that Russia is determined to resist the attempts to encroach on her interests.”

Russia Resurgent

At this critical moment, a far more capable player took over on Russia’s side of the geopolitical chessboard. On December 31, 1999, Vladimir V. Putin was appointed president by Yeltsin and then, on March 26, 2000, elected to a full four-year term in office. Politics in the Caucasus and the Caspian region have never been the same.

Even before assuming the presidency, Putin indicated that he believed state control over energy resources should be the basis for Russia’s return to great-power status. In his doctoral dissertation, a summary of which was published in 1999, he had written that “[t]he state has the right to regulate the process of the acquisition and the use of natural resources, and particularly mineral resources [including oil and natural gas], independent of on whose property they are located.” On this basis, Putin presided over the re-nationalization of many of the energy companies that had been privatized by Yeltsin and the virtual confiscation of Yukos — once Russia’s richest private energy firm — by Russian state authorities. He also brought Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas supplier, back under state control and placed a protégé, Dmitri Medvedev — now president of Russia — at its helm.

Once he had restored state control over the lion’s share of Russia’s oil and gas resources, Putin turned his attention to the next obvious place — the Caspian Sea basin. Here, his intent was not so much to gain ownership of its energy resources — although Russian firms have in recent years acquired an equity share in some Caspian oil and gas fields — but rather to dominate the export conduits used to transport its energy to Europe and Asia.

Russia already enjoyed a considerable advantage since much of Kazakhstan’s oil already flowed to the West via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), which passes through Russia before terminating on the Black Sea; moreover, much of Central Asia’s natural gas continued to flow to Russia through pipelines built during the Soviet era. But Putin’s gambit in the Caspian region evidently was meant to capture a far more ambitious prize. He wanted to ensure that most oil and gas from newly developed fields in the Caspian basin would travel west via Russia.

The first part of this drive entailed frenzied diplomacy by Putin and Medvedev (still in his role as board chairman of Gazprom) to persuade the presidents of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to ship their future output of gas through Russia. Success was achieved when, in December 2007, Putin signed an agreement with the leaders of these countries to supply 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year through a new conduit along the Caspian’s eastern shore to southern Russia — for ultimate delivery to Europe via Gazprom’s existing pipeline network.

Meanwhile, Putin moved to undermine international confidence in Georgia as a reliable future corridor for energy delivery. This became a strategic priority for Moscow because the European Union announced plans to build a $10 billion natural-gas pipeline from the Caspian, dubbed Nabucco” after the opera by Verdi. It would run from Turkey to Austria, while linking up to an expanded South Caucasus gas pipeline that now extends from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Erzurum in Turkey. The Nabucco pipeline was intended as a dramatic move to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas — and so has enjoyed strong support from the Bush administration.

It is against this backdrop that the recent events in Georgia unfolded.

Checkmate in Georgia

Obviously, the more oil and gas passing through Georgia on its way to the West, the greater that country’s geostrategic significance in the U.S.-Russian struggle over the distribution of Caspian energy. Certainly, the Bush administration recognized this and responded by providing hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the Georgian military and helping to train specialized forces for protection of the new pipelines. But the administration’s partner in Tbilisi, President Mikheil Saakashvili, was not content to play the relatively modest role of pipeline protector. Instead, he sought to pursue a megalomaniacal fantasy of recapturing the breakaway regions of Abhkazia and South Ossetia with American help. As it happened, the Bush team — blindsided by their own neoconservative fantasies — saw in Saakashvili a useful pawn in their pursuit of a long smoldering anti-Russian agenda. Together, they walked into a trap cleverly set by Putin.

It is hard not to conclude that Russian prime minister goaded the rash Saakashvili into invading South Ossetia by encouraging Abkhazian and South Ossetian irregulars to attack Georgian outposts and villages on the peripheries of the two enclaves. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly told Saakashvili not to respond to such provocations when she met with him in July. Apparently her advice fell on deaf ears. Far more enticing, it seems, was her promise of strong U.S. backing for Georgia’s rapid entry into NATO. Other American leaders, including Senator John McCain, assured Saakashvili of unwavering U.S. support. Whatever was said in these private conversations, the Georgian president seems to have interpreted them as a green light for his adventuristic impulses. On August 7th, by all accounts, his forces invaded South Ossetia and attacked its capital city of Tskhinvali, giving Putin what he long craved — a seemingly legitimate excuse to invade Georgia and demonstrate the complete vulnerability of Clinton’s (and now Bush’s) vaunted energy corridor.

Today, the Georgian army is in shambles, the BTC and South Caucasus gas pipelines are within range of Russian firepower, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia have declared their independence, quickly receiving Russian recognition. In response to these developments, the Bush administration has, along with some friendly leaders in Europe, mounted a media and diplomatic counterattack, accusing Moscow of barbaric behavior and assorted violations of international law. Threats have also been made to exclude Russia from various international forums and institutions, such as the G-8 club of governments and the World Trade Organization. It is possible, then, that Moscow will suffer some isolation and inconvenience as a result of its incursion into Georgia.

None of this, so far as can be determined, will alter the picture in the Caucasus: Putin has moved his most powerful pieces onto this corner of the chessboard, America’s pawn has been decisively defeated, and there’s not much of a practical nature that Washington (or London or Paris or Berlin) can do to alter the outcome.

There will, of course, be more rounds to come, and it is impossible to predict how they will play out. Putin prevailed this time around because he focused on geopolitical objectives, while his opponents were blindly driven by fantasy and ideology; so long as this pattern persists, he or his successors are likely to come out on top. Only if American leaders assume a more realistic approach to Russia’s resurgent power or, alternatively, choose to collaborate with Moscow in the exploitation of Caspian energy, will the risk of further strategic setbacks in the region disappear.

Michael T. Klare is professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Metropolitan Books).

Copyright 2008 Michael T. Klare

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The 2008 Crisis in the Caucasus: A Unified Timeline, August 7-16

Putin accuses US of staging Georgia conflict (Gareth Porter)

Eric Margolis: The US Created a Crisis in Georgia

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Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.

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Free Press

Sept 2, 2008

Police in St. Paul arrested several journalists yesterday, including Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and an AP photographer as they were covering protests of the Republican National Convention. And earlier this weekend, police raided a meeting of the video journalists’ group I-Witness with firearms drawn to arrest independent media, bloggers and videomakers.

Fill out the form below to demand that press intimidation cease immediately and that all charges be dropped. Your message will be delivered to:

* St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

* Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner

* St. Paul City Attorney John Choi

* Host Committee of the Republican National Convention

Free Press: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter..

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MinnPost: Scenes from the March in St. Paul

Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

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Amy Goodman Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Hot Day in St. Paul + Press Conference On Amy Goodman’s Arrest

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

1 Million For Impeachment

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Democracy Now!’s Report on Their Arrests

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Updated: added the videos

Democracy Now!

Sept 2, 2008

Amy Goodman & Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested At RNC Protest

More than 280 people were arrested here in St. Paul Monday, the opening day of the Republican National Convention. Among them were several journalists covering the protests in the streets—including three of us at Democracy Now. Amy was detained trying to question police officers about the arrests of Democracy Now producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar.

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Democracy Now! | Amy Goodman & Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested At RNC Protest

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