Republican National Convention 2008
Media workers and activists are being scooped off the streets of in St.Paul, Minneapolis. More than 300 people have been arrested and detained.
8 organizers from the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group of activists facilitating actions around the RNC, have been arrested and face felony charges of "Conspiracy to Riot and Furtherance Terrorism". If found guilty they will face up to 7 1/2 years in prison. The 8 activists were among others arrested when Ramsey county police surrounded a house with M16 rifles and riot gear and proceeded to search and arrest the citizens. The search warrant indicated that they were looking for "bomb making material" such as card board, plastic bottles and twine. Police took laptops, cameras, notepads and other personal belongings.
This is the first such charge ever to be made in Minnesota. Police learned about activities by admittedly spying and infiltrating the group over the past year with an undercover cop and informants posing as a member of the group.
Here is a Copy of Affidavit Used in RNC-WC Raids
The New York City based media group I-Witness has been under watch and harassment of Ramsey county riot cops. Their rented house has been searched twice, their workers have been detained. Police also surrounded their workspace on a bogus claim that hostages were barricaded inside their building. I-Witness acts as a media watchdog for police misconduct towards citizens.
You can watch video of the first preemptive raid here
Philadelphia based Associated Press photographer, Matt Rourke, and three Democracy Now! producers, Nicole Salazar, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, and Amy Goodman are among the many media workers taken off the streets while peacefully doing their job.
You can contact the following offices and demand the immediate release of media workers. Demand that the county attorney's office not press charges against media workers.
Demand that felony charges be dropped for members of the RNC Welcoming Committee.
Chris Coleman, St. Paul Mayor: 651.266.8510
or Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535
Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0)
Ramsey County Sheriff: 651.487.5149
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner 651-266-3222