Republicans provided St. Paul police with a monetary incentive to illegally detain individuals who were opposed to the Republican National Convention. The incentive was: payment of unlimited legal fees resulting from illegal arrests, and a cache $10 million to go towards lawsuits.

This ‘deal’ surely emboldened the ‘peace’ officers and essentially provided them with a free pass to brutalize citizens and squash dissent.

The story of police aggression against non-violent activists simply exercising their First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly, association, expression, and speech, is not entirely surprising. This country has seen it all before. However, what was seemingly a new occurrence (except in the case of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal) was the states hard-core aggression against journalists. The streets outside the RNC viewed the literal and figurative assault on our press; some of whom are honest and independent enough to retain their title as the Fourth Estate.

Freedom of the press is a respected ideal in most of the free world. Apparently, no longer in America; and especially not in St. Paul.

Even prior to Monday, September 1st, 2008, the first day of the RNC, so-called, “pre-emptive” raids were preformed on members of the video collective I-Witness Video, Food Not Bombs, and other peaceful organizations.

I-Witness Video was instrumental in defending citizens rights against the New York Police Department during 2004’s RNC. 1.800 people were arrested and 400 of those charges were dropped, acquitted, or minimized due to the fact that when sworn police affidavits were compared to I-Witness Video’s tapes of the incidents, it was discovered that the ‘peace’ officers where outrightly lieing. [Of course, aside from Democracy Now and the Huffington Post, these stories were nowhere to be found. The ‘liberal media’ (what a f@*&ing joke!)]

It has been reported that the NYPD worked closely with the St. Paul PD during last week’s RNC.

And those crazy, subversive Food Not Bombs kids! Feeding homeless people vegan entrees?! What are they thinking in this day and age?

It appears the police were perfectly legitimate in their use of these ‘pre-emptive’ raids. Especially in the necessity of breaking down an attic door and entering with guns drawn. The AR-15 was icing on the cake. Has anyone seen the movie, “Minority Report”? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Though that ideology was never true if you were/are a young minority male accused of some crime, or a victim of rape; it was a nice mass delusion to abide by.

During the latter part of last Monday, Democracy Now! journalists were arrested for covering police action in the streets of St. Paul: Jackson between 7th and 9th to be exact. After her two producers were attacked by the police, the host of the independent news show, Amy Goodman raced to the site from the convention floor. Her crime was asking to speak with a commanding officer. The cop answered by violently twisting her arm around her back and handcuffing her. (Video may be seen by going to: www.democracynow.org and clicking on “Past Shows”, it is September 2nd, 2008.) An additional important tidbit to mull over is the fact that no police officers were wearing any kind of identification. No name tags, no badges.

What is going on in this country? In the interest of being a realist, America has never promoted the same type of angelic morality it espouses; but at least it used to put up a facade. Currently, thanks to the US PATRIOT Act, its citizens have no civil liberties. And the government is not playing around.

Civil disobedience is a right. It seems now, that right has been taken away. In addition to our right to privacy, association, assembly. You name it. Basically the US PATRIOT Act claims that trying to undermine official government policy is an act of terrorism. A word that gets thrown around way to much by this administration to be taken seriously.

And lets not forget about the young 20 somethings being held in St. Paul, facing charges of terrorism, facing 7 and 1/2 years in prison. More about the RNC 8 later.

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