Tuesday, September 02, 2008


An Associated Press photographer and a Democracy Now! TV and radio show host were among those arrested at an anti-war march on the first day of the Republican National Convention. Both were released hours later.

They were far from alone.

The Cold Snap Legal collective reports that there were many arrests of protesters on the first day of the Republican Convention. The cops say they arrested 286 people during Monday's events.

The Cold Snap Collective earlier today stated:
"Many people were cited and released on the streets, though scores of people have been brought to and held at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center. Some arrestees within the jail are currently engaging in non-cooperation strategies, including refusing to give their names and identifying information to the jail officials. The arrestees from the weekend raids continue to be held."

Thus far, 61 people have been released from jail, and more are expected to be released throughout the day. We have set up a round-the-clock jail vigil outside the Ramsey County jail, where we are greeting released arrestees and providing legal, medical, and material support. There are a handful of individuals within the jail who are being denied medical attention. Coldsnap is asking for people to call the jail at 651.266.9350 or the St. Paul Mayor’s office at 651.266.8510 and demand that all arrestees receive proper treatment and access to medical services. Additionally, we demand that all protesters are immediately released and that all charges are dropped."

Another statement, this one from the RNC Welcoming Committee this morning, reads in full:

"First, let us start by saying thank you."

Thank you to the 1000’s of people who courageously faced 10 ton buses, concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray, batons, charging horses, gas masks, rubber bullets, and all of the tools of repression and intimidation that were used yesterday to repress the public in this supposed democracy. Your direct actions stand in stark contrast to the conventioneers inside the Xcel Energy Center, passively dragging the party line and the rest of this world down with it."

We are inspired by the extraordinary people who stopped buses, blocked highway ramps, and breached concrete barriers to reclaim the streets and recapture the space of downtown St Paul. We are excited about what the next few days may bring, now that the illusion of business as usual has been shattered."

The actions taken yesterday prove that the tactics of intimidation, harassment, violent oppression, the snatching of specific individuals, and the profiling of activists will not stop committed people from taking to the streets for what they believe in and putting their bodies behind those convictions. These tactics were seen yesterday in the targeting of medical workers, journalists, legal observers, and the public. They are the same tactics used daily by police and governments around the world to terrorize and oppress those that they claim to serve."

Indeed, after a long hard day of losing control in the streets and having to resort to calling in the National Guard, Sheriff Bob Fletcher continues the raids on homes, public spaces, and our lives. It isn’t surprising that these tactics continue, especially now that Sheriff Fletcher and the mayor’s office are faced with the challenge of trying to spin 284 arrests and climbing, 130 of those people being charged with felonies, along with massive police and military brutality. In spite of the arrests of our friends, we are excited by the fact that the number of people willing to take to the streets and express their dissent is growing, and we proudly support the March for Our Lives happening in St Paul today."

The infrastructure that has been created for these actions with the help and support of the twin cities community has been amazing. 100’s of people in Minneapolis and St. Paul have opened their homes to 1000’s of protesters, Locals and newcomers have taken time off work and from their lives to cook meals, provide medical care, legal support, and transportation. We understand that it must be intimidating to see people organizing for themselves around the idea of mutual aid and solidarity, but in doing this we are actively creating the world we want to live in. This is work that we will continue to do for the rest of our lives."

See you in the streets,
The RNC Welcoming Committee"

Just about now (at 4PM) the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Committee, is scheduled to begin its march. Spokeswoman Cheri Honkala said the group would deviate from its permitted path to go by the county jail where some of those arrested Monday were still held.

The following is from

Press Release: Massive anti-war march successful despite police repression; Coalition expresses solidarity with other activists

Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2008
Contact: Jess Sundin 612.272.2209

Massive anti-war march successful despite police repression; Coalition expresses solidarity with other activists
Press Conference: Tuesday 9/2 @ 9am at Bushville, 400 Western Ave. N., St. Paul

A Press conference will be held jointly between the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, the RNC Welcoming Committee and the Poor People's Economic and Human Rights Campaign.

Yesterday, anti-war protesters rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, and marched to the Xcel Center, the site of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Protest organizers estimate 30,000 joined the rally and march.

Speakers from the national United for Peace and Justice, the ANSWER Coalition, and the Troops Out Now Coalition addressed the crowd in addition to several other speakers from organizations nationwide. Contingents of veterans, immigrants, low income people, union members, and students participated in the demonstration to oppose the Republican agenda and make the following demands: U.S. Out of Iraq Now; Money for Human Needs, not for War; and Peace, Justice and Equality for all.

Protesters condemned police raids of community kitchens, meeting spaces and protesters' homes. According to Jess Sundin, who spoke for the Coalition at Monday's protest, "We are here today, in the tens of thousands, because we refused to be scared away (by police repression). Because what we are marching for is too important to be silenced. Because this is the only way we can answer the Republican agenda, and demand an end to policies that wage war, deepen poverty, and fuel racism."

At the press conference, organizers will comment on the events from September 1, denounce police repression and brutality, and discuss plans for continuing protests planned for the week of the RNC

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