It’s been a long day for activists and citizen journalists as a series of police raids on the homes of anti-RNC activists has raised anxieties just 48 hours from the Republican National Convention. The following are late breaking bits and pieces:
“I’m disappointed, to say the least,” Schiff said. “Targeting political organizers in a pre-emptive strike is a tactic from the ’60s. This country is better than that.”
Thus far, six activists have been arrested and several hundred others detained at one point over the last 24 hours. The six that have been arrested were sent to Ramsey County Jail. Coldsnap Legal Collective is organizing vigils for those in jail.
Five raids have occurred over the last 24 hours, two in St. Paul and three in south Minneapolis. One of the raids reportedly involved police handcuffing a five-year-old child. In a raid on Inglehart Ave. in St. Paul, a number of journalists were detained, including Democracy Now’s contributing host to Amy Goodman (video).
Mary Turck of the Twin Cities Daily Planet has a first-hand account of the 12 squad cars from five police departments it took to pull over a “green” bus for a routine traffic violation. Overreaction? The Uptake has video.
Meanwhile, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, whose office has been behind Saturday’s raids, was in the news two days ago as aides to the sheriff were convicted of theft and conspiracy.
Two members of the RNC Welcoming Committee have sought sanctuary with the Twin Cities Friends Meeting, local Quakers, an historical Christian peace movement. “We’re seeking sanctuary to call attention to the illegal tactics — police violence, harassment and mass arrests — of the Ramsey County Sheriff, who has ordered the politically motivated arrests of dedicated community activists on false pretenses to make it more difficult for ordinary people to express their dissent,” said Andy Fahlstrom.
Sanctuary was granted. “There’s a very long tradition of Quakers giving protection to persecuted people. So I’m completely in favor of my Meeting giving sanctuary to those who are currently being persecuted by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office,” said Meeting member Charley Underwood.