Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wrapped in the Flag

So law enforcement officials in the Twin Cities are raiding homes occupied by people there to protest at the RNC. These are not raids where the police knock on the door and serve a warrant; they're dressed in black (with masks), toting automatic weapons, kicking in doors, "detaining" the people inside (that means making them lay on the floor, handcuffed, in case you're a little weak on the whole euphemism thing), and conducting searches for which they refuse to show warrants until the end of the search. In one case, they "detained" someone for asking to see a warrant.

It also develops that Minnesota law (not yet constitutionally tested, apparently, and rarely if ever used, allows for the detention of criminal suspects without charges for up to 36 hours (not including weekends and holidays). This could keep some detainees in custody until Wednesday afternoon.

Further, Minneapolis housing officials swooped down on one of the raided properties to board it up, 5 hours after the raid (the homeowner is still in custody). The violation tenaciously cited by those officials? A broken back door that the police had kicked in. Just for spice, Minneapolis charges homeowners $6,000 when it boards up their houses for code violations.

(Trusted and beloved local Minions correspondent Swamahari is invited, nay, beseeched to report in the comments.)

It'd be one thing if we could hold the Republicans responsible for this. But they're not the only ones complicit in the creation of the police state.

This is some sick shit. We're all the terrorists, as far as the government is concerned.


Sasha said...

I watched the daily CSPAN person on Washington Journal -- I forget who was on this morning -- interview the police chief. When asked what they folks being sought were suspected of doing, he responded with a list of things that mainly surrounded the notion of planning to toss excrement. The thing that I found most striking about this was that he was totally matter-of-fact about it, as if everyone in the universe would understand that folks who considered throwing a bit of shit surely must be locked up. There was apparently no thought of due process.

It was scary as shit.

Sasha said...

Also. I would humbly like to correct your last sentence. While it may be true, the only evidence we have to date is that "We're all the terrorists, as far as the Republicans are concerned."

Landru said...

If certain Democrats hadn't voted for FISA, I'd accept correction. As it is? Not so much.

whispers said...

As I understand it, the police had seized some buckets of urine, apparently from a building that was having plumbing issues.

Since the coppers are brilliant at deduction, they decided that there must have been some kind of play to lob the offending waste products at somebody.

Personally, I think the entire exercise has been conducted to justify all the money that was spent infiltrating various protest groups. That's how the police work: the measures of success are how many arrests you get and how many convictions. So if you appear to have wasted millions of dollars infiltrating a bunch of freak hippie pacifist groups, that will not stand. You've got to arrest them anyway.

The next generation of police staters will have the sense to have their own undercover people incite riots. "By any means necessary" and all that crap.

Swami said...

They are anarchists, Landru, not terrorists. And my favorite anti-anarchist moment is the one Whispers mentioned, when police found and arrested a nest of anarchists in Minneapolis who had assembled a bunch of Evil Plans and assorted Nasty Stuff to throw at cops, including – my personal favorite – buckets of collected human urine. They’re a giddy bunch, the anarchists. And now the police are having trouble getting their paperwork sent to court in a speedy manner, so it looks like everyone detained will have to wait the full 36 hours before being charged. Even if they are minors and didn't actually do anything chargeable. Laws is laws.

Of course this occured while everyone who’s anyone had to head down to New Orleans for the diluvian death watch. Who knows what will happen if the Prez ever does show up.

So everything is pretty laid back, all things considered. Last night the delegates who were connected all went to private functions (to benefit hurricane victims of course) and the less-connected all went shopping at Mall of America in Bloomington. This morning Jon Stewart had breakfast at Mickey’s Diner. That’s all I know.

My husband's bank is about 3 and a half blocks outside the credentials-only area, which he is avoiding like the plague. His only connection to the Republican excitement so far occurred some weeks ago when he was power walking over lunch (as he usually does) and a sweet young thing tried to give him a boxed lunch because she thought he was with a group she was servicing. Who says republicans are not ready and willing to feed the hungry?

And for what it's worth - some of the self proclaimed anarchists actually are trying to provoke a '68 Chicago style police riot. They have said so on camera.

(But isn't the Xcel Center cool? And the Science Museum right across the street is hosting a special Star Wars exhibit. But it's closed to the public until after the convention. Stupid convention. Why couldn't we have gotten Obama?)