Palin Is NOT An Issue – GOP Storm Troopers Are
Forget all the nonsense about pregnancies and vetting ethics. A glaring offense happened in St Paul … In the run-up to the Republican convention, Minnesota police launched a series of preemptive raids to intimidate protesters and quash dissent.
… a series of house raids over a 24-hour period the weekend before the Republican National Convention, St. Paul police surrounded the private home with weapons drawn, detaining people in the backyard, while journalists, activists and neighbors — including several children — looked on.
Their crime? None whatsoever. No one was trespassing or engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
Instead, members of I-Witness Video, a New York-based media watchdog group that records police activity in order to protect civil liberties, were holding an organizing meeting at 949 Iglehart, the home of St. Paul resident Mike Whalen, when armed police officers arrived in the early afternoon and ordered their surrender.
Among them was Eileen Clancy, founder of I-Witness Video, as well as a producer with Democracy Now!
DN! host Amy Goodman and her staff had just arrived at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport when they received word that producer Elizabeth Press was in the house and being threatened with arrest.
An urgent alert had been sent by Clancy:
This is Eileen Clancy, one of the founders of I-Witness Video, a NYC-based video collective that’s in St. Paul to document the policing of the protests around this week’s Republican National Convention.
The house where I-Witness Video is staying in St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house. The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a dozen police are wielding firearms, including one St. Paul officer with a long gun, which someone told me is an M-16.
We are suffering a preemptive video arrest. For those that don’t know, I-Witness Video was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests, at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which contradicted sworn statements which were fabricated by police officers. It seems that the house arrest we are now under and the possible threat of the seizure of our computers and video cameras is a result of the 2004 success….
Glenn Greenwald: ” — it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that “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.”
So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from anyone. And it’s not difficult to see why. As the recent “overhaul” of the 30-year-old FISA law illustrated — preceded by the endless expansion of surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then the War on Terror — we’ve essentially decided that we want our Government to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and media class and, therefore, from the citizenry.
We have here a shameless procedure endorsed by an American Political Party, THE GRAND OLD PARTY, that spouts in no uncertain terms that it is PATRIOTIC and PROUD TO BE AMERICAN! What the hell do they think an American is? An American is a person who is protected by a BILL OF RIGHTS that was earned and written in the blood of DISSENTERS and ACTIVISTS against the King of England. They were radical activists who were angry that their rights as “citizens of the Crown” were watered down,they were being taxed unfairly and treated brutally. These rebels fought and died to provide you and me with rights. These rights have been stripped away by Criminals in the Grand Old Party! How dare these criminals order and engage in a “pre-emptive raid” on journalists and activists that want to question and make our politicians accountable. Activists being treated like criminals is what all totalitarian dictators do. Making their party look good by showing “unity” based on detaining the opposition is Guantanamo mentality. I am sure that the trusting right wingers truly believe that what is happening is perfectly logical and prefer not to learn the details. That would spoil the little glory they have left after Gustav so rudely interrupted their fun and games. I find it sad, but amazing, that the unwillingness to question the misbehavior of their leaders runs throughout their philosophy. I see the Republican Party today (it was not always so) as willing co-conspirators in an effort to homogenize the thought pattern of this nation. A nation of robots is what the USSR became and NAZI Germany became before that We see robot nations around the world today, dissenters who cannot be “Re-educated” just dissappear and the robots remain to smile at the world … The Bill of Rights is the foundation of the United States of America! Has everyone forgotten? How many of these rights have we lost already?
Although ratification made the Bill of Rights effective in 1791, three of the original thirteen states — Connecticut, Georgia, and Massachusetts — did not “ratify” the first ten amendments until 1939, when they were urged to do so in a celebration of the 150th anniversary of their passage by Congress.
- Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
- THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
- RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
- ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
- First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
- Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
- The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
- Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel
- In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
- In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
- Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
- Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
- The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
- Tenth Amendment – Powers of states and people.
- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.