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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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examiner.com covers Jared Paul's arrest story  Reply with quote  

http://www.examiner.com/x-3032-Denver-Progressive-Examiner~y2009m2d25-Conspiracy-to-riot-the-unjust-arrest-of-Jared-Paul


On September 1, 2008 Jared Paul was arrested during the first day of the Republican National Convention on charges of “Felony Riot”. The well-known activist and musician Sage Francis along with Jared Paul have been doing all they can to get the word out about how Paul was arrested for no reason at all except that he was sitting in the park. They had this to say from their website conspiracytoriot.com:

“On September 1st, 2008 Jared Paul (along with many others) was enjoying the music being performed at the ‘Take Back Labor Day’ Festival in St. Paul when hundreds of Riot Police surrounded the park and arrested everyone on sight. Jared was charged with Felony-Riot and taken to Ramsey County Jail, where he would stay for next 3 days. During that time he was twice forced to strip naked before an armed guard, refused medical attention, physically threatened by correctional officers, and held on 23 hour a day cell confinement. Jared’s charge would later be reduced to a Gross-Misdemeanor, and then brought to Ramsey County Jail where he would not be released until the final day of the Convention”.

“Mass arrests continued for each following day of the convention, and by the end of the week over 800 people had been taken into custody by various RNC security forces. This includes more than 40 major news reporters, photographers, and staffers, and well over a hundred independent journalists, free-lance writers, and various other non-corporate media outlets from around the country. This was an extremely well organized, premeditated attempt to keep citizens off the street, detain them for as long as legally possible, and block any media presence from documenting the excessive force, blatant misconduct, and seemingly mandated use of clearly unconstitutional tactics employed all week long. This was a coordinated effort on behalf of several government agencies and it was executed with brutal efficiency”.

Jared Paul is very well-known and respected for his music, activism and performance poetry. He remembered everything that happened when he was arrested and incarcerated and released his experiences on his blog conspiracytoriot.com. Jared Paul wrote about the beginning of the whole ordeal as they were trying to attend a nearby concert.

“None of us knew the area but there was a large bridge in the distance and we could see people walking across. On the way toward it we came across pockets of disgruntled fans saying that the bridge was being blocked by cops and no one could get across. We kept walking in hopes of getting a concrete answer or finding another way around, but the pattern continued and more and more rejected would be show-goers (as well as protesters), were coming toward us. Suddenly, my eyes fixed on what they were all walking away from: an enormous line of storm trooper looking riot police and what looked like National Guardsmen, in full army gear, had blocked the entire width of the road and were advancing steadily toward us like one long plow blade. There were hundreds of them, some with gas masks, some on bikes, and many holding new age weapons I had never seen before”.

“Heading quickly in the opposite direction we began to hear frightened voices shouting the same thing in front of us, ‘We’re trapped, we’re trapped… They’re not letting anybody out!’ People looked visibly shaken. I’d seen a similar scenario at the RNC in 2004 when the NYPD got the order from up on High to just scoop up whole crowds of people and fence them in with thick orange construction site webbing, like one big butterfly net, before spiriting them off to pre-arranged warehouse facilities; protesters, shoppers, journalists, senior citizens, legal observers, and anyone in the path of their directive. I didn’t think St. Paul would be employing those same abuses on the first day of this Convention, and certainly not so far away from any march or actual event. I wasn’t sure if they had locked everyone in the park yet or not but I knew that they could if they wanted to, and that if this was turning into that type of situation then we had very little time to evacuate before the clamp down”.

“More riot police arrived 5-10 minutes later, advancing vertically into the street running parallel to the park and the river. We were now penned in by men in black; facing us down from the road as well as the south and north ends of the park. The river behind us had five coast guard boats with machine guns on the hull. Armed guards semi-circled the park from the water. People were terrified. It looked as though they could open fire on us at any moment”.

As people were getting hauled off they were lined up behind trucks and having their pictures taken. At this time Jared Paul became aware that they were being charged with “Felony-Riot”. As he and the 200 other people were getting taken away in buses for trying to hear a concert they all started singing the national anthem as they were on their caravan to prison.

Jared wrote this in his blog, “The crowd building outside of the police perimeter gave us a resounding ovation and we rode out like patriots; unapologetic, unbowed, and unbroken. Singing for strength, and taking heart in the sound of each others voices, like the kidnapped, shackled, and wrongfully imprisoned have always done since the beginning of time”.

“About 20 of us were now crammed into a small room with two large windows. Looking out we saw the cops bring in a huge, terrifying looking man; black boots, mean scowl. He had to be at least 250 pounds with tattoos and a shaved head. They put him in the room adjacent to ours. He immediately stuck his nose up to the glass pane of his door and began to stare directly at us. He started mouthing threats like ‘You’re dead meat’ and ‘I’m going to kill you.’ This frightened some of the people in our cell at first, but a closer inspection showed that the room holding the psycho was in fact not a holding cell at all. It was a questioning room with a desk and a cabinet. Shortly after, another cop brought in some papers and we saw that our psycho was actually an off duty cop brought in to scare us (many of whom had little or no previous jail experience.) Later the same guy was spotted laughing with the other on-duty officers behind one of the processing desks. And these are the people we are paying to ‘keep us safe’”.

The following conversation is between Jared Paul and an officer while in jail:

“’Officer, do you know what time it is? Do you know where we’re going?’
‘I don’t care what time it is, and you’re not gonna like where you’re goin’.’
‘Do you know when we can use the phone or what time court is tomorrow?’
‘You ain’t going to see no judge tomorrow. You boys are gonna be in here for a long time…’
‘Come on, man. Can’t you just tell us?’
‘I can tell you that if you don’t shut your mouth I’ll do my best to make sure you wind up on the third floor with the rapists and murderers far away from all your little protest friends’”.

The police made him strip naked and put his clothes in a crate, he was humiliatingly examined from head to toe. Jared explained how the shower room smelled like rotting meat. While incarcerated the ACLU helped Jared Paul immensely he managed to call them when he was surrounded by the police in the park. When he finally received his one phone call he got a hold of the ACLU and they found him an attorney.

Paul explained how the lawyer got a hold of his sister as well as Sean Daley from the hip-hop group Atmosphere. Jared Paul’s prosecutor wanted bail set to $4000 but his lawyer managed to get it down to $2000. Sean Daley paid the bail and Jared still wasn’t able to be released for a grueling long time. Jared had this to say about the increasing number of riot police during public events:

“We all know that weapons companies have more lobbyists in Washington than anyone us wants to believe. So now we’ve got lobbyists pushing for legislative changes that require the use of riot police in more and more situations, multiple different Defense Department programs needing to create problems in order to justify their bloated budgets, and an Administration bending all of its will toward convincing America that there are terrorists around every corner. Put it all together and it means there’s a strong chance we all be seeing many more lines of heavily armored officers on our streets for a long time to come”.

Jared Paul was finally released and his next mission was to find his friend Rheanna who was also arrested while sitting in the park listening to music. Jared wrote, “I would later find out that Rheanna and four other young women had been driven to one of the sketchiest streets in town riddled with dive bars, porn stores, and pawn shops then dropped off without even enough money to use a pay phone”.

Shortly after the incident Sage Francis released a song called “Conspiracy to Riot” protesting the incident that Jared Paul and many others had been victims of. Jared won his case after much dispute this is the most recent statement from conspiracytoriot.com, “On Feb 9th, at 12:43 pm, our attorney informed us that the dismissal requests he filed to MN’s Ramsey Court were received and the case has been dismissed without prejudice due to insufficient evidence. ALL CHARGES DROPPED”.
Post Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:30 pm
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