s skippy the bush kangaroo: pardon us, but we'll take a nanny state any day

skippy the bush kangaroo



Sunday, August 31, 2008

pardon us, but we'll take a nanny state any day

police in minneapolis have conducted "pre-emptive" raids on hippies in the twin cities in advance of the gop conventin. startrib:

five people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to police and elected officials familiar with the raids.

in a statement saturday morning, ramsey county sheriff bob fletcher said the st. paul raid targeted the rnc welcoming committee, a group he described as "a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described anarchists...intent on committing criminal acts before and during the republican national convention."…

but the raids drew immediate condemnation from activists and st. paul city councilman dave thune, whose district includes the former theater at 627 smith avenue south, which was rented by activists as a gathering space.

"this is not the way to start things off," thune said saturday morning. "this is sending the wrong message. regardless of how you feel about these people...they had a right to be there."
the vast majority of people harrassed and detained (and handcuffed) by the police were later released w/o charges. and it seems that sheriff fletcher may have over-stepped his jurisdiction:

thune was especially critical of fletcher for taking action within st. paul city limits.

"i'm really ticked off...the city is perfectly capable of taking care of things," thune said. "if they had found anything that could have been used to commit a crime they would have arrested somebody."...

those arrested could be held through the weekend, [lawyers' guild representative bruce] nestor said. a judge will review their case within 48 hours. nestor said the conspiracy to commit a riot charges are vague.

"this is a charge that police use for preventive detention," he said. "it requires that no actual criminal act be committed and borders on criminalizing political advocacy."...

thune estimates that about 100 people were in the theater and detained. he said deputies knocked down the door using a police battering ram and then deputies went in with guns drawn, forcing people to the ground.

the group says they are now accused of a fire code violation and the theater was boarded shut on orders of fletcher. this last action also upset thune, who said the sheriff had no authority to order city staff to keep people out of a building.
jane hamsher and cliff shechter of fdl were there at the scene of one of the raids. lindsay beyerstein was at another.
posted by skippy at 10:27 AM |

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