By Marcel Stratton
September 15, 2008
St. Paul has suffered some extremely bad publicity shown in videos online. Protesters came by the thousands to make known the many crimes and abuses we all have lived under the past eight years. Most of the gathered groups had pledged themselves to remain peaceful by following rules to walk where directed, carry placards, make public speeches and do some singing and shouting. That was the plan, and it was followed.
But, somehow, there was property destruction, pre-emptive raids and confiscation of video cameras and amplifiers and detaining of peaceful visitors by black-booted, gun-toting SWAT teams composed of CIA, FBI and many Minnesota police (besides the local St. Paul forces) paid and brought in from other cities. It is reported that the Republican National Convention paid
$50 million for “security.”
Clearly identifiable “press” saw some of their members picked from the crowd and summarily “detained.” Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was one of those. Her experience was videotaped and is available on the Web. It is very frightening: the arrogance, brutal handling and the obvious awareness among the jack-booted cops of whom they had grabbed. Clearly the intent was to make an example of her.
Many Minnesotans were shocked, disgusted and ashamed at what has happened. News is beginning to come out that, for one, the protest groups had been infiltrated by CIA and FBI people who were passing information to RNC security. There are also very strong suspicions that those who smashed windows and unlawfully blocked street intersections – heavily disguised and masked – were added to the demonstrations by conservative thugs to cause “outrage” against the peaceful protesters.
It is strange that the news that people are permitted to read and hear makes no mention of those particular bands of vandals. Were they “detained”? Were they arrested and charged? Who are they? Someone should demand to know their identity.