Report: Massive, warrantless raids on peace protesters in Minneapolis, ahead of RNC.

Glenn Greenwald at reports that protesters in Minneapolis, where the Republican National Convention will soon begin, have been subjected to massive, pre-emptive police raids. Those arrested include members of Food not Bombs, and a group calling itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee," and a group that uses video to protect civil liberties by documenting police activity at first amendment events. Snip:
[They have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning -- one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided. Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a "hippie house," where 5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in those houses, that they were filled with "peaceful kids" who are politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly. Posted below is the video of the scene, including various interviews, which convey a very clear sense of what is actually going on here.

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 of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as "Do you have Terminator ready?" as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention, and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more emboldened than ever to do so.

Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis. Glenn's post includes videos. One of them is embedded here, below, "from the house that had just been raided."

Glenn's Salon item also points to blog posts from the targeted protest groups, including this one from I-Witness. This group previously "videotaped police behavior at the 2004 GOP Convention in New York and helped get charges dismissed against hundreds of protesters who were arrested." The post excerpted below was published while the police raid was happening today:
The house where I-Witness Video is staying in St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house. The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a dozen police are wielding firearms, including one St. Paul officer with a long gun, which someone told me is an M-16. We are suffering a preemptive video arrest. For those that don't know, I-Witness Video was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests, at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which contradicted sworn statements which were fabricated by police officers. It seems that the house arrest we are now under and the possible threat of the seizure of our computers and video cameras is a result of the 2004 success.
(via Ned Sublette)


  1. I think everyone in MPLS with a video camera should head over there and . . . witness.

    * * *

    So, why doesn’t the GOP just make a giant Potemkin city for their conventions? Just pick one of those outlet malls on the interstate, add a convention center and a few hotels. It can all be private property so Blackwater can be hired as a police force, and first amendment rights wouldn’t apply.

  2. Takuan, the police aren’t trying to force them to use violence. They’re trying to intimidate them into surrendering basic rights like peaceable assembly, and bearing truthful witness to events.

    Going after a group like I-Witness isn’t done to maintain public order. Neutralizing I-Witness is a necessary precondition for the police to use false arrests and illegal strongarm tactics on protesters later on.

    The Republicans are terrified of public free speech. Just look at their invention of cramped, sequestered, irrelevant “free speech zones.” What a fraud! This whole country used to be a free speech zone.

  3. The message of these “raids” is simple intimidation.
    Tell me, with a straight-face, how “hippie” non-violent protest groups like “Food Not Bombs” need to be treated like violent criminals?

    This doesn’t make the RNC one bit safer, but then, that’s not really the point anyway, is it?

  4. What a difference a couple of decades can make…

    In Russia, you can always find a party…
    In America, party can always find you!

  5. “Protest zones” are a way to disguise the fact that the police, the city government, and the Republican Party are illegally and unconstitutionally denying people their right to peaceful protest. It’s bllsht.

  6. Protest zones started early this decade in the U.S. Lbrls dn’t sm t mnd. Thy lk cntrlld nvrnmnt. Thy’r s brng! Th hp s tht th bg lbrl mrch cn b cnvncd t hlp dfnd th blckds. Dnn wht’ll hppn f t gts pstpnd fr Gstv.

  7. I love how some amendments (read: 2nd) are WAAAAYYY more important that others. Because, you know, strict letter of the constitution matters only in amendments we feel like listening to.

  8. Please keep following this story, as I doubt that we’ll see anything about it in the main stream media. Thank you.

  9. maybe the incarcerated can be shipped to west texas with the remainder of the ninth ward in a few days. that’s where all the profitable prisons are. i’m sure TPTB feel this show of force is justified, minneapolis is so close to canada, and if THEY see our weakness…well, the BEST case scenario would be another burnt whitehouse. i shudder to think!

  10. Gee, surprise effing surprise.

    I often wonder why we dont just divide the country up. The half that wants the oppressive, controlling goverment that dictates who you can love, who you can marry and closely monitors everything you say or do can have one half. Everyone else can have the other.

  11. once more this week i am disgustipated at the actions of our ‘boys in blue’. can’t wait for the convention when they can REALLY crack some heads. and MOKEY#10, go get yourself a life. sounds like you could use a real one. it’s just that you seem a bit “off”. i’ll even loan you the cash!

  12. The best unfiltered citizen video of this stuff is being put out over on The Uptake ( ). They are based in Saint Paul. If you want the straight story on what is happening with interviews. That is the place.

  13. I think the use of the intimidating line is most curious… Was the police officer asking the raidees if Terminator was ready or was the officer asking fellow officers? The name sounds like something that would be given to a small-scale EM-pulse weapon, or maybe a portable drive crusher.

    I would favor short-range broadcast equipment, so that the receivers could have the recording equipment safely contained in backpacks on other streets or inside buildings, but I would expect that would raise quite a scare once discovered. I christen the system Mockingbird, or perhaps it should be named… Connor.

    (I was trying to find an article about one of the New York PBS station’s channel space being used for an experimental bi-directional video monitoring during the 2004 RNC, but I can’t find anything more than I believe the station was WLIW, but I could have been mistaken.)

  14. @Xeni #6:

    Frankly, it’s sounding a lot like those “protest zones” in Beijing at the Olympics.

    Also reminds me of how when one corporation decides to limit its services, other corporations feel free to restrict theirs as well.

  15. I hate to say reading this and everything else on BoingBoing which should cause me some sort of outrage, doesn’t anymore Im becoming acclimatized to it, call it outrage exhaustion (and I am not even in the US) but lets face it did ANYONE expect any different. Fight the good fight, but this isn’t an isolated thing, unless we have another “Kent State” no one will really care because something else will have everyones ire, people are turning on the TV for something vapid and less depressing… the current government has done what was thought to be impossible, committed enough constitutional atrocities that they get away with almost ANYTHING because the majority of the people against it are too tired and burned out to actually give a shit anymore.

  16. The warrant for the raid at the house being used by Food Not Bombs was primarily concerned with explosives, etc. Gotta love the dystopian, gallows-grade irony.

  17. I found it amusing that drudgereport was linking the article about the ABC reporter being arrested, saying the Dems were cracking down on people at the convention… Of course, not a mention of this on that neocon shill’s site.

  18. “Takuan, the police aren’t trying to force them to use violence. They’re trying to intimidate them into surrendering basic rights like peaceable assembly, and bearing truthful witness to events.”

    Since NYC, I’ve been developing an alternative theory. Intimidation is a secondary goal. I believe these police forces are using a far simpler tactic: Make illegal arrests to clear out “troublemakers” so that they aren’t even on the streets during the RNCs, and then let them figt it out in the courts afterwards.

    I’m starting to think also that someone in the RNC is working with local law enforcement.

    The only thing I can’t figure out is exactly how the local polic get motivated to cooperate, given the subsequent legal expenses. Does the RNC say to them, “If you want the RNC back in this town then you’ll make sure there’s no trouble, and use these methods…”

    It’s the ultimate thug-like behavior, and individual cops who participate in these raids should be outed by name on the Internet.

  19. The only thing I can’t figure out is exactly how the local polic get motivated to cooperate, given the subsequent legal expenses.

    It’s all about money. Local businesses apply pressure to elected officials who turn the cops on “troublemakers” all to make the RNC (and to be fair the DNC) organizers happy. Cities vie for these conventions and the millions they bring in.

    It’s a complete waste of money, manpower and time of course, but it gives convention organizers assurances of security and total image control.

    I would not be surprised if there was a direct flow of money from the major parties to local and state law enforcement to fund these kind of “sweeps”.

  20. The thing that worried me most about the DNC was that the riot police were not wearing any identification badges or numbers. The were completely anonymous and thus protected from any consequences of their actions. This has to be supported from the highest levels of the police force.

    Making police personally responsible for illegal actions is a very important form of retaliation. Outing them on the internet sounds like a damn fine start.

  21. WWJD- What Would Jefferson Do?

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

  22. Being mischievous – What the Democrats \ Protesters need to do is to register protest applications in the names of the Republican staff . Then let the police raid their own .

  23. OK, now everyone can’t say that republican president is like democratic president:

    The republicans make preventive defense/war to defend the status quo.

    The democrats are still violent but almost wait a small excuse to attack people…

    Anyway, I would like to point ot the fact that among developed countries, only in USA police raids private houses of innocent citizens in riot/anti terrorist gears…
    I think the police violence normalization process in USA is getting really strong and I don’t feel that Obama will ever be able to change a militarition process of USA pushed by the Bush family to an unbelivable level for a developed country…

  24. gss nd t chng my pnn bt gn cntrl. t lks w nd wll rmd nd rgnzd mlt t prtct rslvs frm th rvng bnds f TLW plc. This is beginning to look like Chile of past years. Isn’t this a nice vacation PR piece for Minnesota, come see the jack booted storm troopers do random intimidation and pillaging. Ah the land of the and home of the brave, NOT.

  25. Gosh America, you really need SWAT teams to intimidate a bunch of school kids and high-school graduates.? You’re frightened of terrorists and frightened of Venezuela and Russia, Now you are you frightened of your own children?

    The US police are turning into an extension of the armed forces, and they have no respect for people, foreigners or citizens.

    The US police are making illegal arrests to attempt to decapitate protests. Equal before the law? Perhaps McCain has an empty glass bottle.

  26. Dangelo, don’t say this is America. This is the work of specific police forces in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is almost certainly being done at the behest of the Republican National Committee.

    Responsibility is rooted in the particular.

  27. It’s the county sheriff, apparently. According to Firedoglake, he’s facing his own investigative Gustav and probably figures he can get in good with the feds.

    The RNC convention in 1992 in Houston was in the Astrodome, so it had a “free speech zone” in a parking lot across the boulevard (Kirby). It looked like a prefab internment camp, with high fences, portable spotlight towers and camera. Like something a a security trade fair.

    A quick Google (h/t to TalkLeft) shows that the GOP convention in Dallas had a security *exclusion* zone. They wanted it to be 1-1/2 mile but the local judge Barefoot Sanders said no way. In the end, the Dead Kennedys were close enough to serenade delegates leaving the venue.

  28. But didn’t the IOC say that the human right situation in China would improve due to the massive press coverage during the games?

  29. cops found:
    “Sharp objects to puncture the tires of Republican National Convention delegates’ buses. Buckets of urine to throw at police officers. Large-scale maps with routes targeted to be blocked.

    Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said Saturday these were among items seized in searches of anarchist leaders’ homes and a center used by the RNC Welcoming Committee, which describes itself as an anarchist/anti-authoritarian group and uses the motto “Crash the Convention!” on its Web site.

    Fletcher alleges plans are under way “to both shut down the Republican National Convention and actually harm the officers that are working this convention” and says what was found “is only a portion of what is out there.”

  30. nnyms wrt…

    ” gss nd t chng my pnn bt gn cntrl. t lks w nd wll rmd nd rgnzd mlt t prtct rslvs frm th rvng bnds f TLW plc.”

    Tht’s th pnt g t wth rspct t th ss. n fct, t’s th rsn gn wnrshp s n th cnstttn.

    Snc ths pc prtstrs wld jst pn thmslvs t mr plc brtlty, sggst w frm “Fly-n Mlt” tht wll lglly ptrl th rs rnd sch gthrngs wth grps f rmd cvlns (LRG grps). Lcl plc wll ndrstnd tht thy wll nt nly hv hst f lwsts, bt mjr gnbttl n thr hnds f thy try t brznly brk lws bt pcfl (nd n ths cs) prvt ssmbly.

    Ths s R cntry nd w nd t tk t bck. ftr wht th Rpblcns hv dn t t (nd t th rst f th wrld) vr th lst 8 yrs, nyn wh wll brk p pcfl prtstrs nds t b rgrdd s trtr nd dlt wth by whtvr mns r ncssry.

  31. It’s also a game police are playing called “how uch can we get away with”?

    Police are not concerned or interested in constitutional rights. They’re interested in defining safety for the state, and enforcing it. The constitution is a hindrance against them, an the more they can get away with violating it, the easier it is for them to do their job without that annoying interference.

    With large scale events like party conventions, police get to trot out new civil rights violations, and see what they can get judges to agree to. If they don’t get what they want’, it’s not like they get in any serious trouble. Lawsuits are paid for out of the city’s pockets.

    The citizens of Minneapolis are funding police experiments in how many civil rights violations local judges will sign off on.

  32. It’s about time that progressive re-examine tactics and strategies.

    I admire Indiemedia and all the protestors in Minni and beyond.

    But esp. given the history of violence embedded in the US police state and how a frontal attack serves to reinforce the opposition, ie, the police state, I’m wondering: isn’t it time for creative new strategies?

    I hope the protests this week move beyond the traditional left model. As someone who remembers the ’92 flames in my hometown, the protests in LA for our convention, the our last decade of history (esp. when Hollyweird co-opted the “Indie” film movement), we need some humility and creativity.

    My heart is will all those protesting in Minni and it’s sad how far down this country has gone.

  33. RR Safety:

    By quoting that I assume you don’t get it.

    Intentions are not illegal: Illegal activity is illegal. (For the matter, is it illegal to possess a bucket of urine? Hell, is it illegal to throw a bucket of urine?)

    In any event, what you appear to be advocating is arresting anyone who is contemplating breaking the law. If that’s the case, then anyone can be arrested anywhere, at any time.

    And remember, these cops broke up many different groups. You would appear to also advocate, “Because someone else who also doesn’t like the republicans is contemplating breaking the law, then the police should be able to arrest me.”

  34. For a factual headline edit:
    The convention is being held in Saint Paul.
    The raids were being conducted in Saint Paul.
    The police force involved was the Saint Paul Police department.

    Saint Paul is that city in Minnesota that’s indicated with a Star on the map…

    That said, I still think the raids are pretty baseless and frightening. I haven’t yet heard a convincing reason for why the warrants were granted. If there’s a document somewhere that the anarchists had a caltrop dropping at 8:45, urine throwing at the corner of Kellogg and W 7th at 9:00, and a Bow and Arrow assault at 9:10 as they retreated to the ‘headquarters’, I can see that as justifiable cause for the warrant. More likely, it’s just the cooling down tactics of “hold a raid, get people shaken up, hold a few people without an actual arrest until Wednesday (after the convention has started), and then decide that there was really nothing wrong going on.”

    Otherwise, I fear for the fact that nearly every person within the state of Minnesota could be arrested for “having materials that could be used to make molotov cocktails”, or worse.

    Makes me wonder what would have happened if any of the protesters had carried a gun- would the whole warrant have been dropped because now we’re talking about REAL rights? Kind of don’t think that’d happen.

    The list of items confiscated was comical. After the news outlets listed the 5 gallon buckets of urine and caltrops, they talked about “An army helmet”. Yes, one surplus army helmet. Thank goodness for the diligence of the squad.

    Finally, I still get a laugh at the fact that the media keeps talking about the raids being carried out at the residences of “Anarchist leaders”.

  35. @#38, rrsafety

    I’d modify your statement to read “cops CLAIM TO HAVE found:”
    And – even if true – buckets of urine and caltrops (pointy things to puncture tires) warrant full SWAT assaults on several sites and restriction of first amendment rights?

    One of the sites (Iglehart) where several journalists were staying was surrounded for hours because they hadn’t bothered to get a warrant, so the people were detained at the site until they could get a warrant together. They eventually got a warrant but for the wrong address, the adjoining duplex unit – so they came in, went through the undivided attic, and searched the journalists.

    I’m tempted to go spend the week in the Twin Cities standing up for my country.

  36. @3, I agree completely re: the free speech zone point.

    this is fundamental and the fact that the whole MSM treated the DNC convention as a “story” with the feud, warring clans, Kennedy then clinton reunion w/ built up to the climax, I mean, sh-t, aren’t there some substantive issues facing our country?

    My only question is: is the American project that reached its primal moment in the mid-19th century, inexorably beyond repair? Talia’s (#14) idea of dividing up the country, whether in jest or not, does raise the question of: how far gone is the American project? I mean we’re 20th (or something close) in the world in digital infrastructure; our prison systems nation-wide are imploding; our MSM is clearly beyond repair and under-going the disruption-implosion process; many of the top private universities even have “free speech zone” and if not, spit out patents and inventions befitting any corporation….

    So university/education system corrupted; MSM beyond repair; civil protest under bigbrother/high security surveillance; habeas corpus ruptured and a never-ending war.

    Who wants to move abroad with me?

  37. It seems that at the Iglehart site (per ) that the people on site were prevented from leaving while the police got their search warrant, and then held handcuffed while they executed the search warrant.

    Is this legal? Is it constitutional? Not rhetorical questions, I’m really curious, under what legal basis can any arm of the government confine someone to a space without a warrant or witnessing some illegal activity? And, with a property search warrant, is there a legal basis for handcuffing individuals at the site?

    Maybe I’m just being naive here, but this stinks like last week’s tuna casserole to me.

  38. You are all overlooking the obvious. These were hippie houses. That means the probably smoke POT, well known as the most addictive, violence inducing drug in the history of mankind. All users regularly engage in ultra- violence and all profits from it’s sale go directly to terrorist groups. OBVIOUSLY we need to shut down such groups by any means necessary, warrant or no.

    Seriously though, they started a raid involving 20 cops and then, after the raid began, were waiting on a warrant? WTF is this, Bad Boys?

  39. My husband and I have been staying in for the most part this weekend in Minneapolis. A bunch of people have arranged to be out of town this weekend, and for good reason. We’re too poor to be anywhere else.

    Helicopters have been ubiquitous. It seriously harshes my mellow.

  40. gotta admire that omerta though, that Blue Wall of solidarity. Note how here there is a conspicuous absence of real police openly condemning the trampling of the rule of law and basic rights. More important they not be seen by their fellows as “traitors” to their uniform – better they be traitors to their country.

  41. What really kills me: I had to deal with the police recently when I witnessed a two year old get mugged. I was really grateful for them, then. Then the MPD goes and pulls this shit, and it just burns my fuckin’ hide.

  42. I see:

    “Bob Fletcher is the sheriff of Ramsey County. Bob Fletcher is a Republican from the formerly lily-white St. Paul suburb of Maplewood, which has for decades had an uneasy relationship with its southern neighbor. Bob Fletcher is also on the verge of losing his job, as a long-standing FBI corruption probe that has already taken out two of his buddies is drawing its net around him; he may well feel that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by using extralegal methods to please his RNC pals. “

  43. Another good source of news about this is the Minnesota Independent, aka MnIndy. Lots of informative stories there.

    Also, just to reinforce what Styrofoam said: this is not just about Minneapolis, and it’s not just about the Minneapolis Police Department. The MPD was involved, yes, but there are other “law enforcement” agencies involved here. And remember, St. Paul is not a part of Minneapolis; it’s not even a suburb. Twin Cities, right?

  44. Ho-ho, seems I have a brother I didn’t know about. Bark! Bark!

    In any event, another problem doesn’t seem to have been discussed: they’re going to scrape those computers that have been seized. I hope that everyone targeted changes all their passwords and revokes all their public keys as soon as possible. And I expect that every correspondent of these people will go on a list somewhere.

  45. Well, at least without warrents they’ll have a hard time making anything actually stick, legally. Not to mention opening themselves up to a class-action lawsuit the size of the grand canyon.

  46. @Teresa (#35) I’m sorry but this is America. There is no penalty for government officials breaking the law. It has been 4 years since the RNC in NYC, and no one has been punished for the illegal arrests and detention of protesters and innocent bystanders. Habeas corpus was suspended for a convention! The Dems say impeachment is off the table, and we’ve seen no serious punishment for Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, illegal wiretapping, false intelligence on Iraq, or torture at black sites.

    If we’re going to pretend we’re a constitutional republic, someone should pay for these offenses, but I don’t see it happening. We hung people after WWII from Japan and Germany for such crimes, and those were states where dissent meant torture and death. What’s our excuse?

    I think it’s telling at the big political blogs such as Daily Kos don’t consider this an important story.

  47. @35 TERESA

    “Dangelo, don’t say this is America. This is the work of specific police forces”

    I’m not so sure I agree with that statement. I understand the argument, but I think ANY US city would have reacted the same under pressure from the GOP (with the exception of SF, but then how likely is it that the GOP would ever hold a large event there?), and where does one draw the line at what constitutes “America”? During the cold war I never once thought that “Russians” were evil, and yet there was no denying that the “Soviet Union” was evil, so what is America, the protesters or the police?

    I think it’s part of the larger pattern of totalitarianism creeping into the modern world as a whole, and the USA is falling victim to it like Russia and China. In the US I see: state propaganda disguised as news, limitless unwarranted wiretapping, local police forces equipped with riot gear (who constantly test the limits of what they can get away with, and usually with little punishment after the fact), non-lethal weapons for dispersing crowds, and enforcement of nationalistic iconography (lapel pins, singing “God Bless America” at ball games, flags everywhere). This is the same in every city.

    On a recent episode of “60 Minutes” they profiled the new non-lethal heat ray the army was testing. The most telling segment was when they tested it out on troops posing as protesters. What did it say on the signs the faux-protestors were carrying? “WORLD PEACE.”

    Imagine a world where nobody is allowed to protest peacefully.

    (“The scoops are coming. Clear the area. I repeat: the scoops are coming.”)

    I can’t tell from this vantage point whether I’m being paranoid or prescient. But I DO know this happened at the last RNC (in that liberal hotbed of NYC, no less), and it was publicised, and yet here it is again, so can you blame me for thinking it’ll happen at the next RNC too? Hell, even the DNC in Boston in 2004 had a “free speech zone.”

    My only advice? Nearly all of us have digital cameras with movie capability. If you are in the area go there en masse and document it, or else welcome a far grimmer future.

  48. maybe the gun nuts are right, perhaps more than video cameras everyone should buy an assault rifle and a box of nylon tipped bullets.

  49. I live in St. Paul and when I went out my back door to the alley behind my house yesterday I met 4 unmarked SUV’s of sub machine gun armed police. This heavily armed police force is being used for any and every disturbance in the city currently not just to terrorize protester groups. I’m fairly sure it had to do with an eviction down the street from me. The police force is here so they are using it for whatever they want.

    Oh and I was trying to move out and they had blocked me in.

  50. #14

    The problem with dividing the country is that these people who we are complaining about… they’re our neighbors.

    I agree it would be nice, let those bastards rot in their police state full of polluted filth and fight each other for money until they all die.

    But go look again at the 2000, 2004 presidential election maps by county, esp 2004. It’s so purple. It would mean literally that half the country would have to move.

    Fun idea, very impractical.

    Hmm OTOH maybe we could just give them Texas :-P

  51. I think it is now very clear.

    It is VITAL to our continued existance as a FREE nation that every able bodied and peaceable dissident ARM him or herself with as capable of a weapon as he may obtain.

    Martial law and the police state are upon us!

  52. Svn gnst Thbs sd…

    “t s VTL t r cntnd xstnc s FR ntn tht vry bl bdd nd pcbl dssdnt RM hm r hrslf wth s cpbl f wpn s h my btn.”

    gh. s tht whr w r?

    Ys t s.

    nd sy ths cwrdly nmls wld hv dvlpd vry dffrnt strtgy f thy knw tht ths “pc-nks” wr rmd t th tth (nd hd plnty f lwyr $$$ t bt).

    n fct, ‘d bt thy’d sy t wsn’t wrth t.

    Ths s prcsly why th fndng fthrs pt gn wnrshp n th cnstttn nd why, ftr 9/11 (nd th “Ptrt ct”), hv bcm hll f lt mr sympthtc t th “gn nts”.

  53. And I say these cowardly animals would have developed a very different strategy if they knew that these “peace-niks” were armed to the teeth…

    Oh, they’d have a different strategy all right. They’d probably start with shooting, and ask questions of the survivors. In Gitmo.

  54. Did anyone protest the DNC? I don’t particularly care about politics. I’m just asking. Of course, “conservative” and “protest group” going together is like two negatively-charged magnets trying to stick together.

    Could you imagine a huge bunch of suit-clad, middle-aged businessmen holding picket signs and yelling at Democrats as they stream in and out of the DNC building? Hah, but I digress.

  55. This country is gone. Proactive supression of free speech, yay us. Wonder if Iceland is hard to immigrate to?….

  56. Yes, Iceland is hard to move to. You have to learn Icelandic. Probably easier than saying you don’t like Bush though…

  57. Boing Boing, I think you need to change your tag line from “A Directory of Wonderful Things” to “A Directory of Some Scary Shit”. I mean just look at today’s headlines on your blog for instance:

    Gustav: Online resources are up, Blackwater gears up, Twitter blows up.
    Millimeter wave scan machine at Denver Airport
    Federal court blocks beef exporter from testing for mad cow disease
    Who scrubbed Wikipedia’s entry for Sarah Palin just before nom announcement?
    New Orleans mayor: “We really don’t have the resources to rescue you after this.”
    Report: Massive, warrantless raids on peace protesters in Minneapolis, ahead of RNC.
    Credit-card companies killed Mythbusters segment on RFID vulnerabilities
    India’s underground CAPTCHA-breaking economy
    Dumbest salvo yet in the war on terror, courtesy of the London police

    All those account for about half of the posts.

  58. Hey there,

    I’m writing this from the I-Witness Video office in the Twin Cities. I was one of very few folks who made it out of the house before the raid yesterday.

    THANK YOU to Xeni and the rest of the BB crew, and everyone who’s reading this and reposting this. Coverage of this raid by the mainstream press is buried right now – in part out of habit, in part because of the justifiable reason of Hurricane Gustav. However, as exposers of police misconduct, we NEED exposure of raids on us to remain effective; attacks on videographers during protests are distressingly common (see the I-Witness blog at for some of their stories).

    Know that we are undeterred in our goal of recording evidence of police misconduct in the days ahead. You can keep up with news about us on our website (above); for up-to-the-minute news on RNC arrests, subscribe to

  59. Happy 40th birthday to the 1968 Democratic convention (Aug. 26-29) in Chicago, scene of the famous police/protester riots, after which the Chicago 8 (later separated into 7 + Bobby Seale) were tried (like our St. Paul contemporaries) for “conspiring to incite a riot.”

  60. why do people despair? Maybe because the judiciary is as corrupt as the police and everyone know these criminal thugs in uniform would walk even if hauled up on charges. When is the last time a cop did some hard time for this kind of crap?

  61. I can’t believe all the posts I am seeing here calling for arming yourselves. You are falling for the intimidation hook line and sinker. As soon as you start stockpiling weapons and ammo, you fit the profile and they know exactly what to do with you. Do you think for a second that your 2nd amendment will protect you in a time of national crisis? Think again: In the aftermath of Katrina, when martial law was imposed, the national guard went door to door confiscating everyone’s weapons. That’s right, those who did not evacuate had any means of protecting their property from looters removed by force. We cannot fight this fire with fire. Civil disobedience and peaceful protest are the only weapons we have.

    We do need to organize and get out in the streets. We need to make our voices heard (especially when the mainstream media has shown itself to be the pacifier of the people, enablers of cover-up, telling people what they want to hear instead of the ugly truth) but above all, we need to keep our cool and use our intelligence and creativity instead of flying off the handle and reaching for a weapon. When you stoop to their level, you become more fodder for the machine. The Hindus have a great saying: You cannot hate anyone into loving. If we want compassion, we must give compassion. We must use our anger as a motivator for action, but it must be non-violent action or we’ve already lost the struggle.

  62. Congressman Ron Paul is going to have a counter-convention around the same time as the RNC. I wonder if they will be utilizing these raids to scare those supporters away.

  63. Jst s vrybdy hr knws whr stnd:

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    nd dn’t d t lk th stpd Plstnns. Thy blw p bss fll f cvlns nstd f blwng p th Znst fntcs rnnng srl. Th rgnl dfntn f trrrsm frm th Ppl’s Wll n Rss mphszd blwng p th rlrs, nt cvlns.

    Y cn’t wn nlss y kll yr nms – nd y hv t knw wh nd whr yr nms r t d tht. Blwng p rndm ppl s nthng t th prps.

    Cps r cwrds. Kll ngh f thm, thy’ll frk nd qt thr jbs n drvs. t tk 600 f th mrns t tk dwn th sx ppl n th SL – nd ths clwns wr ncmptnt lsrs.

  64. Someone is afraid of these kids.

    That’s sort of funny in its own way.

    But real tyranny is never funny.

    And this is very real tyranny.

  65. gss tht ths blggr grs wth th tctcs sd by Dnvr plc nd th DNC whn thy hd BC’s prdcr rrstd fr flmng DNC mny whrs frm PBLC sdwlk. h, bt ths rpblcns r s hrrbl.

    1. Good Will Hunter,

      Those who do not learn from the thread are condemned to have their vowels removed from it. If you’re new to BB, you might want to do a little verification before you shove your foot in your mouth.

  66. #92: To add to that list, another great idea might be to NOT USE YOUR ACTUAL NAME OR HANDLE when writing things like that. If you’re going to write “revolutionary” tracts like that, you’d do well not to link it to your entire bio.


  67. From the Kare 11 article:

    “Some of what was seized included knives, axes, bomb-making materials and anti-war literature”

    Wow! The other stuff I can almost understand, but anti-war literature? That seems a little extreme, don’t you think?

    As a Minneapolis resident, I am interested to see where all of this takes us as the convention begins.

  68. Well, if this kind of behavior is not the mark of a police state, I don’t know what is. Apparently some people can’t recognize a police state even if it hit them in the head.

  69. @81
    and what is more wonderful than free speech and timely warnings?

    Back rubs and martinis, bub. That’s what. AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.

    No kidding! Still, it would’ve been better if it was a bunch of businessmen flinging molotovs.

    1. It’s official.

      The US Republican party’s convention has been scaled back as nearly 2m people flee Hurricane Gustav, which is now nearing New Orleans.

      BBC article

  70. I am quite willing to accept a back rub and a good martini (if only anyone knew how anymore)along with some timely warnings given in free speechy manner (with extra Crisco). What a pass we have come to, I’ll bet kids these days don’t even know what a Mazola party is.

  71. I saw an early report, deriving from an oral source, that Microsoft Xboxes and Xbox games were on the list of stuff police were seeking in one of the search warrants.

    Shades of the imaginary “Xbox Universal” in Little Brother.

    1. Do the search warrant documents confirm that Xboxes were on the warrant?

    2. Did they seize any?

    3. Are Xbox games useful in any criminal activity? (And has the Ramsey County sheriff read Cory’s novel?)

  72. Snds lk thy rdd sm srs nrchsts. t’s shm tht ppl rn’t stsfd t “fght t t n th plls” nd fl thy mst bypss th plls t physclly ttck ppl thy dn’t gr wth.

    ls, bt bt th BC rprtr rrstd t th DNC fr flmng Dmcrts tlkng t thr mny srcs? Rprtrs bng rrstd n pblc strt wrrs m mr thn nrchsts wth wpns cchs bng rrstd.

  73. @MDHATTER:

    Someone is afraid of these kids. That’s sort of funny in its own way.

    Afraid of the kids … afraid of the ideas they represent.

    George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.
    Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.
    George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.
    Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.
    George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.
    Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.
    George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s what’s it’s all about, all right. But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things.

  74. ARMSRACE@106: “It’s a shame that people aren’t satisfied to “fight it out in the polls” and feel they must bypass the polls to physically attack people they don’t agree with.”

    It’s a shame you are buying the police side of the story. Did you watch the video featured here? Did you read above where the buckets of “urine” were found to be nothing but recycling and a lack of a toilet? If, as the article you linked describes, the police really had operatives inside these “anarchist organizations” (an oxymoron if there ever was one) don’t you think they could have showed a valid warrant before detaining people for hours or descending upon innocent kids’ households and cuffing them on the ground for interrogation for nearly an hour? I’m sure just about every houshold in America could be found to have something in it that “could be used to cause a disturbance.”

    From your linked article: “…it’s important to keep in mind that when a group of people get together to commit a crime, that agreement can be a crime in itself, and riot is one of those crimes. When you conspire to do that, it’s an agreement beforehand to do it, the agreement itself is criminal…” By that definition, the people suggesting violence here in this thread have committed such a crime. Thoughtcrime is surely not far to follow.

  75. I’m sure just about every houshold in America could be found to have something in it that “could be used to cause a disturbance.”

    And maps. They had maps! That’s pretty damn … ummm damning!

    Held for 96 hours on suspicion of possession of a bucket of piss.

    Well, in better news, Cherthoff is back in New Awlins. We can all rest easy.

  76. Nice quote tekna.

    but really – Food Not Bombs? I mean, they can barely cook and they smell like patchouli. What, are they going to throw LENTILS or something?

  77. @MDHATTER:

    but really – Food Not Bombs? I mean, they can barely cook and they smell like patchouli. What, are they going to throw LENTILS or something?

    Yeah really. Watch out! Some of those Ramen noodles might not be cooked all the way!

  78. Thank you for posting this.

    Let me put in a good word for Food Not Bombs. I know some of those people in Cambridge, MA and they do good things.

  79. “knives, axes, and bomb-making materials”– hmmmm. . . millions of Americans have knives, axes and all the common household chemicals that could be used to make a bomb (hell– a tank full of gasoline is a “bomb-making material” according to comrade Molotov). I’m willing to bet they found no more knives than in any household, one fire ax, and some Coleman fuel for a camp-stove. But when it’s the cops vs. the public, who’s the judge gonna believe? Who are the general public going to believe when they’ve been portrayed as anarchists in the news?

  80. “Casualties:
    At the end of the day of the bombing, twenty people were confirmed dead, including six children, with over a hundred injured.[47] The toll eventually reached 168 confirmed dead, not including an unmatched leg that might be from a possible, unidentified 169th victim.[48] Of these, 163 were killed in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, one person in the Athenian Building, one woman in a parking lot across the street, a man and woman in the Oklahoma Water Resources building, and a rescue worker struck in the head by debris. The victims ranged in age from three months to seventy-three, not including unborn children of three pregnant women. Of the dead, 99 worked for the federal government; the other 69 did not.[49][50] Nineteen of the victims were children, including fifteen who were in the America’s Kids Day Care Center.[51] The bodies of all 168 victims were identified at a temporary morgue set up at the scene.[52] Twenty-four people, including sixteen specialists, used full-body X-rays, dental examinations, fingerprinting, blood tests, and DNA testing to identify the bodies.[53][52] The bomb injured 853 people with the majority of the injuries ranging from abrasions to severe burns and bone fractures.[54]”

    fighting back against brutal, corrupt “police” engaged in illegal activity has NOTHING TO DO WITH KILLING CHILDREN.

  81. @#118 & #119 – G gt yrslvs dctnry, r bttr yt n ncyclpd. f y mst, y cn s tht Wkpd thng n th ‘ntrtbs’.

    Lk p ‘Ttl Wr’.

    Thr hv nt bn ny ‘nncnts’ fr lmst n hndrd yrs.

  82. DORK@121: “There have not been any ‘innocents’ for almost one hundred years.”

    Where do you get off making a statement like that? I suppose you believe that everyone that died on 9-11 deserved it as well.

  83. Wow. I got consonanted. Twice. And I didn’t even curse or anything.

    Although I understand the sensitive nature of what a lot of us are saying in this thread, I’d like to protest just a little bit.

    The idea I advocated was perfectly legal and, indeed, precisely in line with the letter and intent of the constitution.

    Is suggesting that we exert our legal rights such a dangerous idea? Maybe instead of consonanting me Boingboing might want to consider publishing any contact law enforcement agencies have about what’s posted in this thread.

  84. Keeper,

    I realize that you were responding to another commenter, but the commenter to whom you responded was trying to hijack the thread. The moderation policy is explicit on this point.

  85. The problem is that the only people doing anything about this are ‘communal groups of 15-20 college students’. Where are all of you? Not the teenage blog-trawlers among you, but the very large segment of BoingBoing who have money, an education, and a great deal of intelligence? Decentralized, popular action is wonderful. Not using the wealth- and gun-backed, top-down-directed methods of the enemy keeps us from turning into yet another version of them. However, even decentralized and spontaneous action needs to have significant material and cognitive resources behind it in order to work.

    Police will have a hard time spotting ultra-small cameras concealed beneath clothing, or metal-detecting ceramic or fiberglass. Full AV content on those raids would be everywhere if those hippie homes had private surveillance-oriented security systems set up.

    The government/corporations/mass media/party establishment/M-IC confluence of evils has enormous amounts of money, planning, infrastructure, and personnel behind it. You don’t win against that if you relegate yourself to the same low-resources, marginalized counterculture backwater as every other always-failing never-dead movement.

    DO SOMETHING. Some are trying, but not enough. There needs to be money, know-how, and adaptation of tactics flowing into this if we actually want to turn the tide against the DHS, TSA, RNC, and all the other TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms) of Doom.

    Instead of coming to BoingBoing to get your daily dose of outrage, whining – articulately whining, but still whining – and then going back to your office as doctor, lawyer, or professor, commit to using the no doubt highly impressive resume of wealth and brains here to change what you see.

  86. HERETIC@128: Until you buy me a tiny video camera, I am doing all I can, personally. Since when did speaking out get construed as constantly whining? Sorry to say, you are sounding a bit like a certain Republican presidential nominee broken record. Whining is a matter of tone. The moderators here are pretty good at pointing it out when it happens. Exercising your free speech should not be underestimated in its power to affect change on a society.

    I agree that action should back up the words, and that is why I attend protests, vote, sign petitions, write my senators and congressional reps, participate in civil disobedience and create art and music that helps to promote the changes I’d like to see happen in the world, etc. Telling others to “DO SOMETHING” is essentially whining about the whiners.

  87. Chalk up one more warrantless raid in Minneapolis. On August 30 Minneapolis’ finest raided and impounded a busa permaculture demonstration bus–that’s home to a family of three [permaculture teachers], their chickens and dogs.

    Feeling safer yet?

    If Food Not Bombs sent law enforcement into a tizzy for having a few buckets of recyclable greywater on hand (anyone incapable of telling the difference between pee and sinkwater, or lying about it, should be placed on a city sanitation crew), I can only imagine what’s going to go through the minds of the cops who have to open those vermiculture bins and find… earthworms! and organic tea leaves! or organic coffee grounds! and gnats.

    I feel forewarned if not exactly safer that I’ve read about the warrantless raids (thanks boingboing!), and that heads-up about avoiding those vegan potlucks. (sigh) Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’ve got to start that bag of lentils soaking…

  88. Nice link, J9C (the 2nd one. The first could not be resolved for me.) The main problem with paid informants is that they are paid for producing results. These “results” are all too often fabricated, with just enough info to keep interest piqued so as to continue a stream of revenue for the informant, while often being exaggerated or outright false. Once the cops arrive in full force (no pun intended), they are determined not to walk away with egg on their face, and so they do what they can to justify their actions after the fact with whatever they can work with. The media these days goes along with it because it makes good copy and reinforces that the cops are just doing their duty against a few lone “nutjobs” or “anarchists.” No need to worry folks. Just cracking down on those smelly hippies and their crazy ways which challenge your wasteful and unconscientious way of life. You can go back to the safe comfortable lie you’ve been living. Please remember to buy the products of our sponsors.

    John Lennon and Yoko Ono were clandestinely spied upon while meeting with members of the “New Left” (an FBI coined phrase) for a number of years, while planning essentially peaceful protests and civil disobedience to stop war (not just Vietnam) and make people aware of the atrocities being performed in our name. Things like the fact that they said from the outset that they would not be a part of any violent or aggressive acts were outright ignored by the FBI, for reasons still undisclosed, because even now, most of the files on John and Yoko from the late 60’s – mid 70’s remain redacted. (Please read the book Gimmie Some Truth, The John Lennon FBI Files by Jon Weiner for the full story on this and the files themselves, from what was pulled by the ACLU via the Freedom of Information Act.)

    Entrapment seems to have been tossed out of the post 911 law enforcement dictionary now that they are using infiltrators to actively incite violence in what would have otherwise been peaceful protest. They are doing their best to discredit us to justify their state-sponsored errorism. This is why it is so important to keep cool these days. Keep a level head and try not to give in to paranoia and the culture of fear, no matter what they do. I truly believe we shall overcome one day, but it may indeed get very dark before the dawn. Channels of open information and discussion like BB are even more crucial to that end in these troubled times. Thanks BB, and thanks to you for reading and keeping yourself informed!

  89. Dunno why that the permiculture bus link messed up. I should’ve remembered the first rule for making links: use the URL in the hypertext. Sorry folks! Phikus, thanks for reporting in. Let’s see if I can get this one to work…

    I was a witness to some serious entrapment weirdness during the Reagan regime in St. Louis (a town not known for massive quantities of love or justice), so yeah, I do get it about fabrication of evidence.

    Somehow (even now, maybe naively) I still do not believe that all cops are bad. Here’s hoping that law enforcement will get and stay connected to their humanity and conscience…

  90. People are a little too quick to construct a motive when the police make a mistake.

    In situations where there are going to be a lot of protests and everyone knows it, cops get edgy and tend to make some bad calls trying to “err on the side of safety”. This usually ends in civil rights violations but it doesn’t mean that the police are somehow knowingly acting as part of a fascist agenda or anything remotely like that.

    They want to overstep the bounds they should probably have stayed within, usually just because they’re being overzealous about trying to prevent things they think might become problems.

    That doesn’t mean that the police have a political agenda. It just means they’re human and making mistakes under pressure because they want to avoid problems and they’re a little nervous about large crowds of unhappy people, knowing how easily a few little slip-ups among peaceful protests can wind up pissing the crowd off enough to start a riot.

    Be outraged, by all means, but don’t be foolish enough to jump on the badnwagon and cry “omg fascist agenda!” These things don’t happen because they’re trying to sieze power and crush people’s little movements. It happens because they’re people and people make lots of mistakes.

    This isn’t addressed to everyone, just the people who are falling prey to the “us vs. them” view of citizen/police relations. Cops are a good thing to have, and most of them like you and like democracy and want to help you when they can. We just need to make sure they behave and try to prevent them making mistakes. Even the best cop can become a threat to public well-being and freedom if they’re pushed too hard. The thing we really need to worry about is making it as easy as possible for them not to be pushed too hard and making as many safeguards as possible against them making mistakes.

  91. my entire family is police officers, i am the first male to bypass this occupation. Police Officers are just like any other group, with both amazing people and really pathetic people and everything in between making up the populous.
    What everyone needs to remember is that these officers are trained and expected to always expect the worst! Why? because these folks see the worst of humanity and are forced to deal with it…daily.
    Some take that expectation to another level and flex their authority in situations, but others are only doing their job and hoping to get home safe to their families.

    anyway i guess the point i’m trying to make is that just because an officer puts you in handcuffs for his safety doesn’t mean anything devious or some agenda. it’s simply for his safety.

    It’s almost as if this thread is acting like officers should just assume that these groups and individuals are good and wholesome and no threat at all. That isn’t real. it isn’t safe.

  92. XXIX. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.[1

  93. being put in handcuffs does not mean you are guilty of anything. you ARE presumed innocent. always. But at the same time the warrants are for explosives’s simply a safety issue for officers. its a fucked up world. this is the consequence.

    i do hope the searches were done legally and not truly a GOP ordered harrassment. but I see protests at things like G8 and really can’t blame a city for trying to protect itself sometimes.

    fine line.

  94. being shackled is not a “fine line”. If someone is innocent, their person is as sacrosanct as the policeman’s or anyone else’s. Handcuffing without direct evidence of crime is kidnapping and assault. Police have wangled themselves some outrageous illegal privilege over the years and that is a large part of the reason they reap contempt today. Citizens are not inmates, cops are not jailers.

  95. over 19,000 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty while serving this great nation. sorry if handcuffing someone during the course of an investigation to prevent them from harming officers is insulting to you. it saves lives. “direct evidence” is a body sometimes. and if handcuffing people while investigating helps prevent an officer not going home to their families, how can that be wrong.

  96. how many have been killed by police? Is a war the idea? Nope, no free pass for police. It’s a voluntary job, it’s a paid job and the system is heavily loaded in police favour. While police may have a right to go home every day, it does not come at the cost of everyone else’s liberty. Wouldn’t it be really safe if everyone was locked down at all times if not at work or home? I’ve met far too many police that think that way. Society does not exist for police convenience.

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