Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fwd: CRACKDOWN BEGINS Food Not Bombs homes and offices raided. Volunteers arrested.

Expand Messages
  • John Johnson
    ... John Johnson Change-Links Progressive Newspaper change-links@change-links.org http://change-links.org Subscribe to our list server. Email
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      >
      >Subject: CRACKDOWN BEGINS Food Not Bombs homes
      >and offices raided. Volunteers arrested.
      >Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 19:04:10 -0600
      >To: feedback@...
      >X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.624)
      >X-ELNK-Trace:
      >ce89c22454d701ff34ab5472a7467e3a4d2b10475b571120a60c7a67ca53fb299963004466968f1b150883e088895fd9350badd9bab72f9c350badd9bab72f9c
      >X-Originating-IP: 67.41.9.61
      >
      >
      >
      >FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
      >August, 31, 2008
      >
      >
      >CONTACT:
      >Keith McHenry - co-founder of the Food Not Bombs movement
      >Food Not Bombs
      >P.O. Box 424, Arroyo Seco, NM 87514 USA
      >575-776-3880 cell 575-770-3377
      >menu@...
      >
      >
      >CRACKDOWN BEGINS Food Not Bombs homes and offices raided. Volunteers
      >arrested.
      >
      >Crackdown Begins: Food Not Bombs House Among Saturday Raids Ahead of
      >RNC. Food Not Bombs volunteer arrested in Denver and Berkeley office
      >raided on Wednesday.
      >
      >As the all volunteer movement Food Not Bombs prepares to respond to
      >Hurricane Gustav the police and FBI raid several Food Not Bombs houses
      >in Minneapolis and a office in Berkeley where police seized 13
      >computers.
      >
      >Zachary Patrick Grey, a University of Massachusetts student from
      >Marion, Mass., was arrested at 1:40 p.m. Monday after a foot chase,
      >according to a Denver County Court complaint. According to CBS 3 of
      >Springfield, Mass., Grey belongs to a group called Pioneer Valley Food
      >Not Bombs. The alleged feces was glass jar of coffee with soy milk.
      >
      >Several of those who were arrested are being represented by Bruce
      >Nestor, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers'
      >Guild. Nestor said that last night's raid involved a meeting of a group
      >calling itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee", and that this morning's
      >raids appeared to target members of "Food Not Bombs," which he
      >described as an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group. There was
      >not a single act of violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor
      >said. Instead, the raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and
      >clearly designed to frighten people contemplating taking part in any
      >unauthorized protests. Nestor indicated that only 2 or 3 of the 50
      >individuals who were handcuffed this morning at the 2 houses were
      >actually arrested and charged with a crime, and the crime they were
      >charged with is "conspiracy to commit riot." Four of those under arrest
      >include Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Garrett Fitzgerald,Nathanael
      >Secor. Emails asking the public to call St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
      >651-266-8510 and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak (612) 673-2100 have been
      >sent out to call for their freedom. Efforts to get have the 13
      >computers returned in Berkeley are also underway. The authorities have
      >claimed activists have been planning to use urine and feces at both
      >conventions.
      >
      >
      >Food Not Bombs provides free vegetarian meals every week in hundreds of
      >cities all over the world. Food Not Bombs volunteers provided free
      >meals to the rescue workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11, to
      >the protesters at the Orange Revolution in Kiev, Ukraine and fed
      >survivors in nearly 20 communities in the gulf region of the United
      >States in the months after Katrina. From Iceland to Chile, Nigeria, New
      >Zealand, Israel and beyond thousands of Food Not Bombs volunteers will
      >be sharing vegetarian meals, working for peace, planting gardens,
      >fixing up bikes for poor children and responding to hurricanes and
      >earthquakes.
      >
      >###
      >
      >
      >Police: Protester arrested for dropping bottle of feces
      >By Kirk Mitchell - The Denver Post
      >http://www.denverpost.com/previous2/home/ci_10317143
      > Zachary Patrick Grey, a University of Massachusetts student from
      >Marion, Mass., was arrested at 1:40 p.m. Monday after a foot chase,
      >according to a Denver County Court complaint. According to CBS 3 of
      >Springfield, Mass., Grey belongs to a group called Pioneer Valley Food
      >Not Bombs.
      >The alleged feces was coffee with soy milk.
      >
      >Basis for UCPD Raid Remains Unclear
      >By Ashley Trott - Daily Cal Staff Writer
      >http://www.dailycal.org/article/102390/ basis_for_ucpd_raid_remains_unclear
      >
      >UC Berkeley police, guns drawn, raided an empty Long Haul Infoshop
      >Wednesday morning, seizing 13 computers and other gear in a search for
      >the source of threatening e-mails.
      >
      >Crackdown Begins: Food Not Bombs House Among Saturday Raids Ahead of RNC
      >
      >By Paul Schmelzer, Minnesota Independent. Posted August 30, 2008.
      >
      >The police assault on civil liberties takes an early start ahead of the
      >RNC.
      >Tools
      >
      >
      >http://www.alternet.org/rights/97027/crackdown_begins:
      >_food_not_bombs_house_among_saturday_raids_ahead_of_rnc/
      >
      >
      >Minnesota Indy RNC reporter Jeff Severns Guntzel is at the Minneapolis
      >Food Not Bombs house, which was raided by police this morning. Facts
      >are still coming in, but Guntzel says that at 8 a.m. neighbors near the
      >home, located at 2301 23rd Avenue South, reported hearing a loud bang
      >followed by yelling. A single police squad car was parked out front.
      >When Guntzel arrived he saw eight or nine officers enter the house in
      >what he says is a joint operation between officers of the Ramsey County
      >Sheriff's Department, the Minneapolis Police Depatment, and the FBI.
      >According to one witness who was in the house at the time of the raid,
      >the action is related to last night's raid on the RNC Welcoming
      >Committee's "convergence space." Several other spaces have been raided
      >this morning.
      >
      >Around 9:20, two Minneapolis Police Property & Evidence trucks pulled
      >up. Present were a Hennepin County Sheriffs' crime lab truck, a Ramsey
      >County Sheriffs' squad and an MPD squad, plus at least four unmarked
      >cars parked facing the wrong direction in traffic. Police tape is
      >marking off the yard.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Police conduct raids in preparation for RNC
      >by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
      >Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio
      >August 30, 2008
      >http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/08/30/rnc_raids/
      >
      >Authorities have searched several homes in Minneapolis and one in St.
      >Paul Saturday ahead of the opening of the Republican National
      >Convention.
      >
      >St. Paul, Minn. — Police said the raids were the result of a long-term
      >investigation into a group of more than 30 anarchists that call
      >themselves the RNC Welcoming Committee. They said there were other
      >groups, including Food Not Bombs, that were affiliated with the group,
      >but those groups were not targets of the raids.
      >
      >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.
      >"We're not just imagining an attack on the transportation plan. Now we
      >can see that its real."
      >- Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher
      >
      >Authorities said that the RNC Welcoming Committee had been planning and
      >training to block delegates from getting to the convention in downtown
      >St. Paul, to attack police lines and even break into the Xcel Energy
      >Center, where the convention is scheduled to open Monday morning.
      >
      >Demonstrators have allegedly been gathering from dozens of cities
      >around the country, preparing to converge on St. Paul for the
      >convention.
      >
      >People at the scenes of the raids said police arrived unannounced and
      >detained dozens of people for identification and questioning.
      >
      >Most, like Thomas Greiling, were quickly released. Greiling lives at a
      >home searched on 23rd Ave. in Minneapolis. He said it was the second
      >time police had questioned him in 24 hours.
      >
      >He'd been at a gathering in St. Paul raided Friday night, and Greiling
      >said there was no reason for authorities to come to his home, too.
      >Larger view
      >Police show a search warrant to Sarah Coffey
      >
      >"It's just a pain in the ass, cause there's nothing going on here
      >that's illegal. I'm not worried about it, it's just, it's just
      >annoying," said Greiling.
      >
      >A few blocks away, Dave Bicking says his daughter, Monica, was one of
      >the five people arrested in the raids. He said he thought police were
      >trying to discourage people from legitimate expression outside the
      >convention in St. Paul, rather than fight crime.
      >
      >"You know they're intimidating people from even coming to the
      >demonstrations, so they're intimidating everybody, not just, you know,
      >the anarchists or the whatever," Bicking said. "They're intimidating
      >everybody when this news gets out from coming downtown to engage in
      >even legally and permitted marches and the whole thing."
      >Larger view
      >A "caltrop" device, meant to puncture tires.
      >
      >But Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher showed off a wide array of what
      >he said were makeshift weapons and devices meant to disable buses,
      >block traffic and provoke violence.
      >
      >There were piles of high security bike locks, tire spikes made from
      >bent sheet metal, a bow and arrow, slingshots, ropes, baseball bats,
      >piles of literature and a giant color-coded relief map of downtown St.
      >Paul.
      >
      >Fletcher lifted up one of three plastic pails partially filled with
      >urine that he said anarchists had planned to pour into bags and
      >balloons to throw at police in coming days.
      >
      >"Our job is to take every dangerous item out of their hands, so they
      >can't utilize them. We have extensive investigative work, complete with
      >a number of confidential reliable sources that have worked inside this
      >area, this anarchist area," said Fletcher. "We know these items were
      >going to be used, because we had sources that were working inside this
      >organization."
      >Larger view
      >Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher
      >
      >The raids, though, sparked widespread legal debate. Geneva Finn, with
      >the National Lawyer's Guild, was outside a home in Minneapolis cordoned
      >off by police. She said legal challenges to the raids are already in
      >the works.
      >
      >"It looks like the Minneapolis police are going to attempt and shut
      >down this house on code violations, like they shut down the convergence
      >space in St. Paul," said Finn. "We are going to attempt to prevent
      >that. We're going to attempt to reopen the convergence site. You don't
      >get to just remove people from their houses and board them up, because
      >the police don't like what you're doing inside there."
      >
      >But other legal experts called the effort good police work.
      >Larger view
      >Raid results
      >
      >Notre Dame law professor Robert Blakey helped write federal criminal
      >conspiracy law, and he says police are under no obligation to see if
      >someone intends to act on plans to commit a crime, including civil
      >disturbance.
      >
      >"When you conspire to do that, it's an agreement beforehand to do it,
      >the agreement itself is criminal. It's often what they get drug dealers
      >for; it's often what they get organized crime figures for--conspiracy,
      >a separate and independent crime," explained Blakey.
      >
      >Authorities said there may be more actions as the Republican National
      >Convention proceeds.
      >
      >
      >Glenn Greenwald
      >Saturday Aug. 30, 2008 12:44 EDT
      >Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis
      >
      >[updated below (with video) - Update II - Update III - Update IV]
      >http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/30/police_raids/ index.html
      >
      >Protesters here in Minneapolis 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.
      >
      >Several of those who were arrested are being represented by Bruce
      >Nestor, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers'
      >Guild. Nestor said that last night's raid involved a meeting of a group
      >calling itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee", and that this morning's
      >raids appeared to target members of "Food Not Bombs," which he
      >described as an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group. There was
      >not a single act of violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor
      >said. Instead, the raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and
      >clearly designed to frighten people contemplating taking part in any
      >unauthorized protests.
      >
      >Nestor indicated that only 2 or 3 of the 50 individuals who were
      >handcuffed this morning at the 2 houses were actually arrested and
      >charged with a crime, and the crime they were charged with is
      >"conspiracy to commit riot." Nestor, who has practiced law in Minnesota
      >for many years, said that he had never before heard of that statute
      >being used for anything, and that its parameters are so self-evidently
      >vague, designed to allow pre-emeptive arrests of those who are
      >peacefully protesting, that it is almost certainly unconstitutional,
      >though because it had never been invoked (until now), its
      >constitutionality had not been tested.
      >
      >There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities
      >here to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those
      >who are planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the
      >site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on
      >behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that
      >funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing
      >anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive
      >preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order
      >altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams
      >and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than
      >planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who
      >have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of
      >the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.
      >
      >UPDATE: Here is the first of the videos, from the house that had just
      >been raided:
      >
      >
      >
      >Jane Hamsher has more here, and The Minnesota Independent has a report
      >on another one of the raided houses, here.
      >
      >UPDATE II: Here is the video we took from the second house as the raid
      >was occurring. We were barred from entering but spoke with neighbors
      >outside as well as with Bruce Nestor, the President of the Minnesota
      >Lawyer's Guild, regarding these raids:
      >
      >
      >
      >Over at FDL, Lindsay Beyerstein spoke with the property owner whose
      >house -- the fourth one we now know of -- was being raided while the
      >raid was in progress, and Lindsay has details here ("About an hour and
      >a half ago 20 to 30 heavily armed police officers surrounded the house.
      >One of my roommates said 'I want to see a warrant' and she was
      >immediately detained"). Meanwhile, Indy Media of Twin Cities -- an
      >association of independent journalists in the area -- just told me that
      >several of their journalists have been detained while trying to cover
      >these raids. Their site, with ongoing updates, is here.
      >
      >The Uptake also has several reports of the various raids, including
      >video of the raid at the property whose owner Bernstein spoke with as
      >the raid occurred. That video includes an interview with a lawyer from
      >the National Lawyer's Guild who was detained and put in handcufffs,
      >explaining that the surrounded house is one where various journalists
      >are staying. Additionally, a photojournalist with Democracy Now was
      >detained at that house as well. So, both journalists and lawyers -- in
      >addition to protesters -- have been detained and arrested even though
      >not a single violent or criminal act has occurred.
      >
      >UPDATE III: FDL has the transcript of part of my discussion about these
      >raids with the National Lawyer Guild's Minnesota President -- here.
      >
      >The Uptake has this amazing video interview with the Democracy Now
      >producer who was detained today. As the DN producer explains, she was
      >present at a meeting of a group called "I-Witness" -- which videotaped
      >police behavior at the 2004 GOP Convention in New York and helped get
      >charges dismissed against hundreds of protesters who were arrested. The
      >police surrounded the St. Paul house where they were meeting even
      >though they had no warrant, told them that anyone who exited the house
      >would be arrested, and then -- even though they finally, after several
      >hours, obtained a warrant only for the house next door -- basically
      >broke into the house, pointed weapons at everyone inside, handcuffed
      >them, searched the house, and then left. Here is a blog post from one
      >of the members of I-Witness asking for help during the time when they
      >were forced to stay inside the house (see the second post -- it reads
      >like a note from a hostage crying out for help). This is truly
      >repugnant, extreme police behavior designed to intimidate protesters,
      >police critics and others, and it ought to infuriate anyone and
      >everyone who cares about basic liberties.
      >
      >UPDATE IV: More here, including on the Federal Government's role in
      >these raids.
      >
      >------------------------------------------------------------------------
      >-------------------------------------------------------------
      >Hurricane Gustav Relief
      >
      >You can help Food Not Bombs feed the survivors of Gustav
      >http://www.foodnotbombs.net/gustav.html
      >
      >You can help Food Not Bombs feed the survivors of Katrina
      >http://www.foodnotbombs.net/katrina.html
      >
      >Food Not Bombs feed the survivors of Katrina (Free Speech TV)
      >http://sourcecode.freespeech.org/sc206NewOrleansAN
      >
      >Keith McHenry
      >co-founder of the Food Not Bombs movement
      >P.O. Box 424
      >Arroyo Seco, NM 87514 USA
      >505-776-3880
      >1-800-884-1136
      >keith@...
      >www.foodnotbombs.net

      John Johnson
      Change-Links Progressive Newspaper
      change-links@...
      http://change-links.org
      Subscribe to our list server. Email change-links-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      (818) 782-1412
      Cell (818) 681-7448.

      ===




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.