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Feds Directed Preemptive Raids On RNC Protesters
National Lawyers Guild seeks judicial review

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
Mon
day, Sept 1, 2008

StumbleUpon

Raids carried out on what police described as "the headquarters of an anarchist/anti-authoritarian group" ahead of the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, were directed by the Federal Government it has been revealed.

Salon Columnist Greg Greenwald highlights the Federal involvement in a scathing article denouncing the raids as an all out attack on free speech and the right to protest.

Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that "the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Photographs (see above) taken by a Professor at the University of Minnesota who lives in the neighborhood where one of the homes was raided yesterday, have also confirmed the federal involvement in the raids.

Greenwald adds:

Today's Star Tribune added that the raids were specifically "aided by informants planted in protest groups." Back in May, Marcy Wheeler presciently noted that the Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force -- an inter-agency group of federal, state and local law enforcement led by the FBI -- was actively recruiting Minneapolis residents to serve as plants, to infiltrate "vegan groups" and other left-wing activist groups and report back to the Task Force about what they were doing. There seems to be little doubt that it was this domestic spying by the Federal Government that led to the excessive and truly despicable home assaults by the police yesterday.

According to reports, six activists were arrested when the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department stormed a rented meeting place of the self penned "RNC Welcoming Committee" in St. Paul on Friday night.

(Article continues below)

Up to 30 police officers entered the building with semi automatic weapons, leading to the detention and photographing of at least 50 people in total.

Video has also emerged from the scene over the weekend revealing that journalists were also detained.

The dissidents and protesters had committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever and have not been charged with any offences, prompting concerns over the police-state like tactics.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher later issued a press release which labeled the those detained “criminal anarchists” and suggested that "materials for bombs" and "hazardous materials" had been found in the building, including “assorted edged weapons”, “wrist rockets”, “large amounts of urine” and many others.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman defended the actions of the county sheriff’s department as necessary to keep other protesters of the RNC safe.

“We are making sure that people here to legitimately protest have the right to do that, but people engaging in criminal activity are not going to be able to do that,” Coleman said.

The Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is seeking a judicial review into the arrests of the activists during Friday night's raid, the Minnesota Independent reported.

A portion of a statement from the NLG reads:

Three of the arrestees are life-long residents of Minnesota. Two previously worked in early childhood education and passed background checks to obtain that employment. All have extensive ties to Minnesota, including employment and family members. One is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. None of the six arrestees have ever been convicted of a felony or crime of violence. One person arrested on Saturday morning, August 30th, was previously detained on Friday night at the St. Paul convergence center where he was photographed and identified. Despite being labeled a “key member” of a “criminal enterprise” and a planner of a “criminal conspiracy,” he was released on Friday night even though Sheriff Fletcher had conducted a months long investigation, using informants, and presumably identified the “key leaders” who he claims were organizing riots and civil disorder.

An NLG spokesperson told reporters that police are actively attempting to prevent the demonstrators from exercising their right to protest given that no charges or official complaints have been filed.

“If they have evidence of a criminal act, then they should charge them,” Bruce Nestor said. “And if they can charge [my client, Monica Bicking] with a complaint, then we will go defend that in court. But right now they are just holding them. You can’t just hold [Bicking] to prevent her from exercising her free speech.”

Meanwhile thousands of other demonstrators have gathered in St. Paul, Minn. to protest the RNC on its opening day despite events being severely limited due to Hurricane Gustav.

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