Friday, July 25, 2008


The agenda for the regular meeting of the full Minneapolis City Council Friday morning included a discussion about policing and public protest.

It wasn't to be a quiet discussion.

Activists preparing for the upcoming Republican Convention disrupted the council meeting and it ground to a halt.

Police detained one member of the coalition of activists who were protesting a Minneapolis City Council resolution which removes restrictions on the use of force against protesters during the expected convention demonstrations.

Just before 9:45 a.m., Jude Ortiz, a leader of Coldsnap Legal Collective, was escorted out of the chambers shortly after he confronted Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Twin Cities Independent Media reports that at a Minneapolis City Council committee meeting July 16, a back-room deal by council members resulted in the unanimous passing of a resolution stripping away important protections for free speech and against police brutality.

Denied a public hearing of their own, a broad coalition of Twin Cities-based activists held its own public hearing at a 9am rally outside City Hall on Friday morning before the City Council meeting at 9:30.

It was after the public gathering that residents entered the City Council chamber at the beginning of their meeting and served each city council member with a statement of reprobation.

At that point Ortiz attempted to read a statement according to others activists and was taken away by police.

Coldsnap Legal Collective describes itself as a "new legal collective formed in the Twin Cities to share knowledge, raise awareness, and develop a network of legal support and solidarity for the upcoming RNC and beyond. We are an autonomous collective whose purpose is to work in solidarity with other groups or individuals in order to EDUCATE, EMPOWER, and SUPPORT the radical community."

Protests and marches are planned for every day the convention is in operation.

A local anti-war group Wednesday outlined plans for a "militant" protest outside the Xcel Energy Center on Sept. 4, the last day of the Republican National Convention.

The group — the third to announce plans for a large demonstration — has a permit for Sept. 4, but it's planning on doing more than the permit allows, possibly including civil disobedience.

"We don't have any plans for violence," Katrina Plotz, a member of the group, said when pressed on her use of the word "militant." "We want to protest in a way that's more spirited, more creative."

The group has a permit to demonstrate until 5 p.m., but organizers said they want to begin their march from the state Capitol about then and rally around the Xcel Center into the evening. She said the group will try to persuade the city to alter the hours on its permit but will take to the streets regardless, acknowledging that some members could be arrested.

"Day One is for bringing the family," said
Anti-War Committee member Misty Rowan. "Day Four is for those who are more committed and willing to take a risk."

For more see OD article "CHICAGO '68 AND THE '08 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION" somewhere below.

The following is from KSAX in Minneapolis.

Protesters derail Mpls. Council meeting

A Minneapolis City Council meeting, addressing police rights during the Republican National Convention, was interrupted by protesters Thursday.

As Minneapolis Fire Chief Alex Jackson was about to take the floor, a man walked up to the podium and started speaking, as other protesters began shouting and waving signs.

The protesters were opposed to the council’s decision to repeal certain rules governing how police should handle protesters during the RNC.

A police officer escorted the protesters into the hallway, where they continued their message.

The city council was set to reconsider their decision on the police rules during Friday’s meeting.

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