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Today is the 1 year Anniversary of the RNC arrest
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8542
Location: Third Coast
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I got a laugh out of your "location" Jared. I guess this is what it's come to.
Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:08 pm
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5456
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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i think it's a valid point that in circles like this forum the fact that people were there with intent to riot is down played, or completely explained away by "agent provocateurs". weaksauce.

looks like white washing to me.

you can mention rioters without supporting the police reaction.

it important to see the whole picture when you're understanding a situation.

edit: i would like to add though that what jared did is really impressive and honorable.


Last edited by crash on Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:48 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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The notes at the end of the Conspiracy To Riot blog are impressive:
- 800+ people arrested
- Over 200 fought their charges and had them dropped before they ever went to trial.
- Another 450+ had their cases dismissed without stepping foot in a courthouse.
- 10 cases that have gone all the way to trial so far.
- Of these, every RNC defendant charged with less than a felony has won.
- Those charged with felonies have either beaten their cases or successfully fought for significantly lower charges.
- The state withdrew its 16 ridiculous charges of “terrorism” under the Minnesota PATRIOT Act.

This is an incredibly low arrest to conviction ratio. On numbers alone, the police here either intentionally abused the slowness of the judicial process to silence people who were legally protesting, or were grossly neglectful of their responsibility to collect the of evidence necessary to prosecute true criminals for their crimes. Either way, it's serious police misconduct, and I was glad to read that a civil suit about this is ongoing. These stats leave me feeling like Jared hit the nail on the head when he wrote that he and the other protesters "were up against a premeditated and coordinated operation of surveillance and suppression."

I found and posted about something related to this during the convention itself -- online city records from a St. Paul suburb (Woodbury, I think) that had loaned police officers to the RNC to police their convention, and in their justification for agreeing to the loan, specifically noting the money that the RNC had set aside up front to pay for legal defense of police, settlements for false arrest, etc. The RNC expected, and budgeted for, up to $10 million dollars worth of misconduct by the law enforcement officials they hired to police their convention. Sounds like they got their money's worth.

This wasn't about preserving the peace, it was about using force to create a false image of the city and its reaction to the convention for the sake of national TV cameras. They set out to hide the appearance of dissent by forcibly removing dissenters from the streets during a window of high media attention, knowing full well that those dissenters would be ignored by the media once the convention had left town. They rolled into the Twin Cities and put on their prime time pageant of false consensus, and they used our police force, our jails, and our court system to pull it off.

A lot of the same people behind this sham were, less than two years later, the ones attacking Obama for not being aggressive enough in his condemnation of what appears to have been a state cover-up of election fraud in Iran. A lot of the same people behind this sham were the same ones who spent the spring encouraging people to participate in those embarrassing tea party protests, and spent the second half of this summer encouraging people to scream and shout in town hall meetings about health care reform.

Birchers, Birthers, deathers. They went from using police-state tactics to suppress activist protest over their power, to sending their own people out in sad, pale, "I want my country back!" imitations of real activism. They are the enemies of free and healthy discourse. They are the enemies of reason. They are the enemies of peace.

A civil suit over the misconduct of police and prosecutors in Minnesota during last year's RNC convention might seem like a small thing, throwing rocks at a group of people who lost the election anyway, but it's much more important than that. It's about entering into the legal record evidence of their tactics, in their attacks on the Bill of Rights, and their contempt for the very idea of a free and just nation. Challenging those tactics into a courtroom is one of the surest ways we have of inoculating ourselves against their poison in the future.

In 2005, Jared started a thread to talk about a civil settlement he was offered after his illegal detainment following the 2004 RNC protests. I wrote, then:
Mark in Minnesota wrote:
The people who ordered your arrest knew that what they were doing was illegal. They ordered it anyway to silence speech that they didn't want heard. This isn't just about your time and what you were put through following your arrest, it's about a moment that came and went and was taken from you. First RNC Presidential convention since the September 11th bombings, held in New York City. Protests of that particular convention were the public's best and most visible opportunity to demonstrate their lack of confidence in national Republican leadership.

Your arrest had a physical, human factor which you described well, but the circumstances surrounding your arrest were more important than that. Your arrest was part of an organized attempt to sanitize a moment of national importance for the television cameras; your loss of rights was their cost of doing business, and of keeping an entire city on message -- their message.

How many votes in 2004 did they buy with the $2501 they're offering to you today?

How many more votes might they stand to lose in 2006 and 2008 if this goes to a jury trial?


I didn't go far enough in my response then. It wasn't just about who wins or loses votes. It was about the fact that they co-opted public officials and civil servants to do their dirty work. We need to put those people in a courtroom, under oath, and find out how the RNC induced them to do that, two Presidential elections in a row.

How many more times does this have to happen before somebody starts looking at prosecuting GOP officials as a criminal conspiracy under RICO statutes?
Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:57 pm
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Travadone



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 2977
Location: LI(f)E SUCKS (The Album)
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my mom is a tiny chick and is still bigger thaN jared.

smh.
Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:56 pm
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TurnpikeGates



Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 517
Location: Bay Area
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:
hella words


Amen.
Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:19 pm
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3720
Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:
The notes at the end of the Conspiracy To Riot blog are impressive:
- 800+ people arrested
- Over 200 fought their charges and had them dropped before they ever went to trial.
- Another 450+ had their cases dismissed without stepping foot in a courthouse.
- 10 cases that have gone all the way to trial so far.
- Of these, every RNC defendant charged with less than a felony has won.
- Those charged with felonies have either beaten their cases or successfully fought for significantly lower charges.
- The state withdrew its 16 ridiculous charges of “terrorism” under the Minnesota PATRIOT Act.

This is an incredibly low arrest to conviction ratio. On numbers alone, the police here either intentionally abused the slowness of the judicial process to silence people who were legally protesting, or were grossly neglectful of their responsibility to collect the of evidence necessary to prosecute true criminals for their crimes. Either way, it's serious police misconduct, and I was glad to read that a civil suit about this is ongoing. These stats leave me feeling like Jared hit the nail on the head when he wrote that he and the other protesters "were up against a premeditated and coordinated operation of surveillance and suppression."

I found and posted about something related to this during the convention itself -- online city records from a St. Paul suburb (Woodbury, I think) that had loaned police officers to the RNC to police their convention, and in their justification for agreeing to the loan, specifically noting the money that the RNC had set aside up front to pay for legal defense of police, settlements for false arrest, etc. The RNC expected, and budgeted for, up to $10 million dollars worth of misconduct by the law enforcement officials they hired to police their convention. Sounds like they got their money's worth.

This wasn't about preserving the peace, it was about using force to create a false image of the city and its reaction to the convention for the sake of national TV cameras. They set out to hide the appearance of dissent by forcibly removing dissenters from the streets during a window of high media attention, knowing full well that those dissenters would be ignored by the media once the convention had left town. They rolled into the Twin Cities and put on their prime time pageant of false consensus, and they used our police force, our jails, and our court system to pull it off.

A lot of the same people behind this sham were, less than two years later, the ones attacking Obama for not being aggressive enough in his condemnation of what appears to have been a state cover-up of election fraud in Iran. A lot of the same people behind this sham were the same ones who spent the spring encouraging people to participate in those embarrassing tea party protests, and spent the second half of this summer encouraging people to scream and shout in town hall meetings about health care reform.

Birchers, Birthers, deathers. They went from using police-state tactics to suppress activist protest over their power, to sending their own people out in sad, pale, "I want my country back!" imitations of real activism. They are the enemies of free and healthy discourse. They are the enemies of reason. They are the enemies of peace.

A civil suit over the misconduct of police and prosecutors in Minnesota during last year's RNC convention might seem like a small thing, throwing rocks at a group of people who lost the election anyway, but it's much more important than that. It's about entering into the legal record evidence of their tactics, in their attacks on the Bill of Rights, and their contempt for the very idea of a free and just nation. Challenging those tactics into a courtroom is one of the surest ways we have of inoculating ourselves against their poison in the future.

In 2005, Jared started a thread to talk about a civil settlement he was offered after his illegal detainment following the 2004 RNC protests. I wrote, then:
Mark in Minnesota wrote:
The people who ordered your arrest knew that what they were doing was illegal. They ordered it anyway to silence speech that they didn't want heard. This isn't just about your time and what you were put through following your arrest, it's about a moment that came and went and was taken from you. First RNC Presidential convention since the September 11th bombings, held in New York City. Protests of that particular convention were the public's best and most visible opportunity to demonstrate their lack of confidence in national Republican leadership.

Your arrest had a physical, human factor which you described well, but the circumstances surrounding your arrest were more important than that. Your arrest was part of an organized attempt to sanitize a moment of national importance for the television cameras; your loss of rights was their cost of doing business, and of keeping an entire city on message -- their message.

How many votes in 2004 did they buy with the $2501 they're offering to you today?

How many more votes might they stand to lose in 2006 and 2008 if this goes to a jury trial?


I didn't go far enough in my response then. It wasn't just about who wins or loses votes. It was about the fact that they co-opted public officials and civil servants to do their dirty work. We need to put those people in a courtroom, under oath, and find out how the RNC induced them to do that, two Presidential elections in a row.

How many more times does this have to happen before somebody starts looking at prosecuting GOP officials as a criminal conspiracy under RICO statutes?


Thank you Mark. Jesus, I really appreciate the time, sentiment, and thought that went into that. Obviously, I'm a bit biased, but damn. Your post nails it.


*Trav. Your mom is a little on the short side, but c'mon man, she doesn't like to be called "tiny" and you KNOW that. Sometimes we talk about your lack of respect at night... I do my best to comfort her.
Post Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:02 am
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Jared Paul



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3720
Location: www.PrayersForAtheists.org
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This time today- exactly a year ago, I had been on the phone for 2 hours straight trying to figure out where the fuck my wallet, phone, and ID were located/locked up at... with no cooperation or help from any authorities: we found out later that they kept EVERYONE'S id's, cash, and phones as part of the "strategy" to keep people off the street till after the week of the Convention had ended. AWESOME. Here goes...


*RNC Blog Part 2: Ramsey County Jail
(From www.ConspiracyToRiot.com)

Processing took a long, long time. They barked orders and made us stand with our noses to the wall as we waited. Wrist ties were cut and they proceeded to move us around from room to room for hours. Pockets of 20 or so people were stuffed into small, filthy holding cells with no bathrooms. While sitting around talking with folks, I discovered that most of the people taken from the park were being charged with Felony Riot. Utterly ridiculous. Many people were scared. Scared at the implications of what having a Felony on one’s record could mean and scared at being in the County Jail for an indefinite amount of time.

I reached out with my mind and tried to imagine how many people were currently locked up in this dark fortress. I saw it all stretch out before me like an unbeatable video game; so many different levels, boards, and stages. An ugly hive teeming with all manner of prowling bad guys, bosses, and under bosses. Maybe the County Sheriff was a fire breathing dragon somewhere high above at the last level. Maybe if you made it there you got a chance to explain your way out of everything and wound up eating an apology dinner with the Mayor of St. Paul. But the realness of what was happening was as stark as the gunmetal in the holster of every henchman stalking these gloomy halls. There were no cheat codes or passwords out of this dreadful place.

After being finger printed for the first time I was made to sign a property waiver, at which point I discovered there was no record of my wallet, ID, cell phone, or bank cards in my ‘property’ at all. The officers had been refusing to answer any questions since the park, but I refused to be easily brushed off on this one. “Officer, I’m here writing an article for a paper in a State over a thousand miles a way. If you lost my wallet, my ID, my phone, and all my money, then what am I supposed to do? I won’t even be allowed to buy an airline ticket, let alone get on a plane. I need to know where my stuff is.” The officer looked like he had a split second’s worth of remorse, but it disappeared just as fast as it came. He said there was no way to know where my stuff was or if they even had it. The best I could do was track down the Police Station of my arresting officer when I got out.

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.”

I was in the cell long enough to make friends with some of the other people who’d been on the bus with me from the park. We began singing and telling stories to pass the time and to keep our morale up. The eldest of our bunch, a photographer from an unnamed paper, sang a beautiful Irish labor song. I performed a poem of mine called ‘Dig’ with an intro from the anti-war traditional ‘Down By The Riverside.’ People applauded and stomped on the floor. Shortly after a cop came in and screamed at us for singing. He cursed at us and said that our “racket” was preventing them from doing their jobs, and if they couldn’t process us then we’d be stuck in this cell for a long time.” People were respectful to him, but he seemed shocked that nobody was scared or apologizing. He left in a huff and slammed the door behind him.

I honestly cannot say how many more rooms they moved us to after that. Maybe as many as 10 or 11. It’s a defense department tactic known as “Frequent Flyer.” The idea is that if prisoners are constantly moved around that it will lead to confusion and hopelessness. You move them from one place to another, allow them to think they’ve gotten to where they’re going for the night, get comfortable with the people they are currently being held with, and then just as they start to relax you move them again. It makes prisoners become disillusioned, dispirited, mentally exhausted, and easily pliable. We had been in custody for hours and whether the Ramsey County “frequent flyer” treatment was part of the plan or not, I noticed it take a toll on the people around me. After hours of this treatment, an angry officer with a clipboard stepped into our holding cell and began calling names. But we had questions…

“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.”

I tried really hard not to show it but my stomach sank. I think everyone’s did. I didn’t really believe general population with violent offenders would be part of the plan but I knew they could do anything they wanted with us. We were, after all, being charged with Felony-Riot. What got to me the most is the way he spoke so surely about us being in for “a long time.” How long would it be… two days? Till the end of the Convention? Longer? Would I make my scheduled performance in Syracuse on Sunday night? This began to concern me more than the RNC article I would now be unable to write.
When my name was called I was led down a hall lined with shower stalls that didn’t have any actual shower faucet heads. There were grimy yellow walls with a moldy, rancid meat smell that filled both nostrils and brought me near to gagging. An armed guard led me to one of the stalls and said, “Strip, then put your clothes in that crate.” Excuse me? “TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES AND PUT THEM IN THE CRATE.” Everything in me wanted to refuse. I was innocent. I hadn’t done anything and they had no right to keep me there. Blood rushed into my face as I looked the huge man up and down. I saw that he was tired and very irritated. Not abusive like the other officer, just worn out and at the end of his rope.

I was more angry than scared but I knew it would be dangerous to tap into that kind of venom. This is how the Law tricks innocent people into more trouble than they were swindled into in the first place. I switched my focus. “Remember everything and then write it all down,” I thought. “When you get out, win this case, prove your innocence, and then report on how justice was trampled here in St. Paul.” Trying to remain calm I took a deep breath and removed my clothes.

“Turn around, face the wall. Lift up the bottoms of your feet, one at a time. Good. Bend over and touch your toes, spread your ass cheeks; left, right. Good. Stand up, turn around. Lift up your sack, move it to the left, the right. Separate the shaft, from your sack; left, right. Good. Now wait here and don’t move.”

He shut the shower curtain and left with my clothes. Naked as a newborn, I waited amongst the meat smell until he returned with another crate. “Now put on the uniform and wait till I come back.” The uniform was a bright orange jumpsuit and it reminded me of images I’ve seen from Guantanamo. I thought of all the innocent people that have been held in that place for years without a lawyer, without rights, and I felt ashamed for what little I’ve done to get them out of the illegal shackles my tax dollars paid for. I also thought of all the innocent people in American jails that I’ve done so little for. Then I thought about the implications of putting that suit on myself. It seemed, to a certain degree, that the simple act of stepping into it was a giving over, a rendering, an acceptance of defeat, or an admission that a crime had been committed. I mean, how many hours walking around in G-Bay orange does it take before you you start thinking of yourself a criminal on one level or another?

It was late and I was incredibly tired. I had to remind myself that the Victory would be in making my way through this snake pit without them getting the best of me, following it up with a successful legal battle once I was released. My arms and legs (seemingly on their own orders) went slowly, methodically putting on the suit. Mismatched orange socks in scummy, thousand-time worn County flip flops click clacked along the dull floors as we were finally placed in cells where we could sleep. Two guys to a cell about the size of a walk-in closet. Stainless steel lidless toilet, two mattress-less bunks, and one sliver of a window made of frosted glass. I’m not sure why they have a tiny window that no one can see in or out of, but lets chalk it up to some kind of metaphor I haven’t deciphered yet.

Before shutting us in for the rest of the night, the guards informed us that we were on 23 hour lock down. This means that we’d only be allowed to come out of our cells and onto the main floor area for two 30-minute blocks per day until our release. We would have to remain in our cells for every second of the other 23 hours. In addition to that, nobody would be allowed to use the phone until “later.” I thought this was just another intimidation technique, like, they have to give us our phone call right? Once again I had terribly underestimated the Ramsey County Jail’s ability and willingness to do absolutely whatever it wanted to with its captives.

We were given a tooth brush, paste, soap and two paper-thin sheets for bedding. My roommate and I brushed our teeth and then collapsed into bed. We wouldn’t have been taken to an actual prison cell like this if we were seeing a judge in the morning and we both knew it. It felt like a semi-permanent placement but we were too tired to care. I opened my eyes in the morning not quite sure of where I was. A quick look around confirmed that yesterday had not been a dream. A maddening claustrophobia washed over me but spirits improved mid-morning when I was allowed to speak with an attorney.

The ACLU had taken all my info when I called them from the park and thanks to some small miracles they were able to locate me. The attorney explained details about my case and took down whatever family members’ phone numbers I could remember, as well as the email address of a good friend. I was nearly shaking with happiness just to be outside of the cell. I found myself trying to stretch out our meeting like a school kid trying to buy time in the Nurse’s office, knowing full well that the next class period was waiting as soon as the bell rang.

We were allowed to make phone calls at this point but only collect calls and even those seemed to hang up randomly. Sometimes it would hang up right in the middle of a call and then block you from calling the number you had just dialed saying “The person you just called has not yet set up a customer account with Ramsey County phone services. You must wait 30 minutes before calling again.” Being that we were only let out for 30 minutes at a time it was very difficult to contact people or get anything done.

The ACLU attorney gave me the phone number of a trustworthy Bail Bondsman’s office nearby. However, I couldn’t be bailed or bonded out because I hadn’t been arraigned yet. By law, Ramsey County could hold me for up to 48 hours without bringing me before a Judge. It was awful just knowing that they could hold me until Wednesday night without even getting bail set. Our session ended with the attorney giving me his card (the only non-County property I was allowed to keep with me.) He was very supportive and I felt a thousand times less alone knowing that he’d contact my family and start working everything out.

Later that day, during my final 30 minute break from the cell, the attorney phoned me and said he’d gotten in touch with my sister as well as Sean Daley. They were both working to find out everything they could and making plans to get me out ASAP. I spoke with them both for 45 seconds each before the phone cut out. My sister’s voice was the strongest thing I’d heard in years. It filled me with hope, like she was right there on the side of me. She explained to me that Sean had spoken with the lawyer first and then he called her explaining how everything would be worked out and that I would be fine. I thanked Sean for that before our connection was cut. I walked away feeling recharged.

The ball was rolling on the outside, but inside Ramsey Jail it was a decidedly mixed bag. Some folks were handling the situation really well and others were not. There was a guy who had the flu, which got worse over the course of the night. His cell was drafty and they wouldn’t give him more than the standard thread bare County sheets or medical attention. Another guy was in a cell all by himself and starting to get shaky about it. Under other circumstances it may have been better to have the space all to one’s self given the size of the rooms, but we were on 23 hour a day lock down and his cell assignment ended up resembling solitary confinement.

The correctional officers referred to our hall as “the pod,” and the 1st floor corner of our pod was one room stuffed with people. Apparently they had filled the other 20 or so rooms with two inmates each (except for the 1 guy in semi-solitary) and all the extra people had been put in that one corner cell. During one of the breaks I was able to peek into the room. It looked like a Yoga class in Hell. 16 or so beds stacked side by side. Had it been allowed, I would have swaped my room with one of those people to relieve them of their sardine-like quarters, but as it turned out I was destined for general population.


*Full story posted at www.ConspiracyToRiot.com - For more info:
-Free Documentary "Terrorizing Dissent:" http://www.terrorizingdissent.org/
-Community RNC Support Structure: http://rnc08arrestees.wordpress.com/
-Friends of the RNC 8: http://rnc8.org/
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Post Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:02 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8542
Location: Third Coast
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Jesus, Jared. You describe the jail experience so accurately it gives my chills. My own time in the country was under very different circumstances, true, but it still haunts me. Thank God you were able to contact the ACLU and get things moving fairly quickly. Good lookin out by your sister and Slug, as well.
Post Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:39 am
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