One year after the 2008 Republican National Convention, the Chicago Independent Media Center takes a look back over the last year of RNC aftermath work. This documentary shares helpful advice with any activists organizing under state repression. Includes interviews with legal workers, members of the RNC8 and arrestees, as well as updates on our incarcerated friends.
1. Montezuma’s Revenge in Reverse
2. California Droughting
3. Coke Crude
4. New School student beat down
5. London PoPo G20 murder
6. RNC 8 are not terrorists
7. Univ. of Colorado gets pwend
8. Obama’s war chest
10. Skidmark Bob of Free Radio Santa Cruz
1. Good news round up
2. Montreal Angst
3. X-acto Shooting
4. Olympic Greenwash
5. Obama chills motherfucker out
6. European Rebellions part Deux
7. Biden needs more time
8. Goose Liver Revolution
9. Atari Teenage Riot
10. C.R.A.S.S. & the RNC 8
Last September in St. Paul, Ramsey County prosecutors formally charged eight members of the group RNC Welcoming Committee with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. The criminal complaints reportedly do not allege that any of the defendants personally engaged in any act of violence or damage to property. Instead, authorities are seeking to hold them responsible for acts committed by other individuals during the RNC’s opening days. We speak to one of the defendants, Luce Guillen-Givins, and RNC 8 Attorney Jordan Kushner. [includes rush transcript]
With “preemptive policing” all the rage in Washington, the whistleblowing website Wikileaks has done it again, exposing how repressive trends in the U.S. had real world consequences for democracy during September’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul, Minnesota.
On November 15, the global whistleblowers published a leaked planning document “Special Event Planning: 2008 Republican National Convention,” a dense schematic used by repressors who targeted activists, journalists and concerned citizens during the far-right conclave.
Labeled “Limited Distribution/For Official Use Only,” Wikileaks believes that the dossier is “potentially legally significant due to upcoming legal cases over the mass arrests at the convention.”
Compiled by Terri Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) the Branch Director for Response, Recovery and Mitigation at the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency (HSEM), the 31-page file offers a veritable bird’s-eye view onto the close coordination amongst federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Pentagon’s U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) during a so-called National Special Security Event (NSSE).
The enabling authority for squelching dissent during NSSEs is partially derived from the 2006 National Security Presidential Directive-46/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-15 (NSPD-46/HSPD-15), a top secret dictate from President Bush.
Eight Members of RNC Activist Group Lodged with Terrorism Charges
Ramsey County prosecutors have formally charged eight members of a prominent activist group with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. The eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee are believed to be the first persons ever charged under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal PATRIOT Act. The activists face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison. We speak with the father of one of those charged and the president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
I-Witness Video Collective Forced Out of Living Space After Second Raid by St. Paul Police in Five Days
Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of video makers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention. On Saturday, police raided a home where members of the I-Witness Video collective were staying. Members of the group were detained for over two hours. The building’s landlord forced the group to move out yesterday after police armed with batons and a battering ram entered their living space for a second time.
In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.
Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence.
“These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the Defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience, he said.”