Saturday, August 30, 2008

Police Conduct Massive Raids, Arrests, Property Seizures at RNC; Demos to Go On

Let me be perfectly clear here--all of us here are planning nonviolent protests against an administration which is responsible for immense violence, bombs that have destroyed whole countries, and hundreds of thousands of deaths. This is the America that eight years of the Bush administration have brought us, a place where dissent is no longer tolerated, where pre-emptive strikes have become the strategy of choice for those who hold power, where any group can be accused of `bombmaking' or `terrorism' on no evidence whatsoever in order to deter dissent. Please stand with us. Because it could be your home they are raiding, next. Call the Mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Tell them you are outraged by these attacks on dissent. Urge them to let Poor People encamp and to let dissent be heard. FLOOD THE MAYORS' OFFICES ASAP St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman 651-266-8510 * Lydia Howell Saturday Aug 30th, 2008 6:31 PM
Anti-RNC Activists respond to police raids by Lydia Howell Aug. 30, 2008 3pm Minneapolis, MN
Ramsey County Sheriffs Department didn't stop with their raid and shut down of anarchist protest group, RNC-Welcoming Committee's St. Paul convergence center on Friday, August 29. From around 9am to noon, on Saturday morning they crossed the river to hit at least three homes in south Minneapolis. Activists are calling for the peace and justice community to come to a press conference at 4pm today (Saturday) at the RNC-WC Convergence Center, in St. Paul, to condemn the raids. Word went out via the Internet and cell phone messages and about 150 activists gathered at Powderhorn Park to share eye witness accounts of the raids and plan the activist community responses. Eyewitnesses described being made to lie on the floor for hours and that police had a broad search warrant that netted no weapons at all. However, police seized lap top computers, a big laminated St. Paul map, and political literature. A St. Paul building inspector on the scene closed the building Friday night. After St. Paul City Council-member, Dave Thune expressed objections, the center at 627 Smith Avenue South, at Wyoming, is being allowed to reopen Saturday afternoon. Four RNC-WC members were arrested and are being held without bail on various "conspiracy" charges. Civil liberties advocates note that such a charge is termed "the prosecutor's friend", as "conspiracy" often amounts to little more than allegations with no concrete evidence. At the Powderhorn Park gathering, news of the south Minneapolis raids continued to come in. The raided homes were: Food Not Bombs home, at 23rd Avenue; the Harriet House on 35th Avenue; a home on 17th Avenue, where three arrests were made, including one with no bail for "probable cause". The search warrant for the raids included such items as: puppets, nails,, screws, electronic equipment fromm cell phones to I-pods, vegetable oil, and "gray water". A building inspector at the house on 1734-17th Avenue South was said to have ordered the home boarded closed. Minneapolis City Council-members, Elizabeth Glidden and Cam Gordon were being contacted about the raids on homes in their wards. Longtime activist and south Minneapolis resident Dave Bicking said he observed "Police were taking mattress pads and other items out of the garage" of one of the raided houses. Another activist said she returned home Friday evening from the St. Paul raid to find her garage broken into. Since expensive athletic equipment remained untouched, while file boxes were strewn about, she felt law enforcement were responsible. Undercover law enforcement had been at the activists health center and legal assistance space, but, by noon had left. Ramsey County Sheriffs issued a press statement, that National Lawyers Guild member Jordan Kushner, read to the gathering, which included allegations not substantiated by any specifics, such as calling the RNC-WC "a criminal enterprise intent on criminal acts before and after the Republican National Convention". "We now know how St. Paul intends to respond to the people exercising our rights of free speech--with an abuse of power, "said one spokeswoman to the crowd of mostly young people at Powderhorn. "But, we also have our power to act and we call on the community to stand with us and condemn these actions. We will not be stopped by these raids. We will be in the streets on Monday." The press conference will be at 4pm, Saturday, Aug. 30 at the RNC-WC Convergence Center at 627 Smith Avenue South in St. Paul. RNC protesters Legal Help Hotline number is: 651.356.8635. Housing of out-of-town activists remains needed. If you can help: Housing Number, 612.419.7809. In order to expedite housing arrangements,we are hoping to shift from the housing board to this number. If you have housing to offer, please email wc_orientation [at] Lydia Howell is producer/host of Catalyst on KFAI Radio and an independent Minneapolis journalist.

A look back at some of Huell's favorite Videologs. We'll re-visit Fosselmans Ice-cream, Michael Rubel's Castle in Glendora, and the wonderful Ventura Yard Lady.
Hi *TLL*,

Do you get California's Gold show on tv? Huell is funny...

I just special ordered that particular video from KCET. Can you guess who the wonderful Ventura Art Lady is?
I have been finding a lot of material about her through general research. Will have something about her in the upcoming issue of my art zine. As you know, "the Yard" is no longer there, and the house is up for sale. One day, I hope to find out why that happened. Her yard sculpture should have been protected as a a heritage site. One would think that the city of Ventura, with all of those artists and creative people living there, would have helped with the effort to bring that about preservation. I would bet the farm that such an effort did take place. The reasons for the failure are probably in the local archives. As soon as I get all of the secondary material found and sorted, I will have to organize a visit to Ventura.
Beatrice Wyatt's front yard in Ventura is a gallery of sorts. Now part of her front yard is in a gallery.
At the Ventura College art show that opened last week in conjunction with Black History Month, Wyatt, 88, created a representation of her ornate yard.

(LA Times, Feb. 12, '91)
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