Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the side of the loonies

These self-described anarchists act as if politics is street theater, and the world they would like to live in is probably something from the fever of youth, but I can't interpret this story as anything other than heavy-handed police harassment:

St. Paul Police spokesman Tom Walsh said they were executing a search warrant.

"The cause for the search warrant is not public at this time," Walsh said.

As many as 30 police officers entered with guns drawn, according to witnesses in the building.

"The convergence center is simply a gathering place and is not used for illegal actions -- it is a place for workshops and trainings," a statement from the protest group said. "Tonight, we were watching films and sharing food."

"We are now accused of a simple fire code violation," the statement said.
I do count myself anti-authoritarian in the Constitutional sense. This raid is fruit of the police attitude set free by the scoundrels' PATRIOT Act and the Bushists' open contempt for the Constitution.

Update (8/31): See also "Hippie kids and god bless 'em", in which I apologize for calling them loonies.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Minnesota Public Radio also had a story about this (and a photo!):

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/08/30/fri_radi/

Anonymous said...

Godwin's Law is the only law the world needs.

lovable liberal said...

Thanks, anon 1. Since when could the police merely read the search warrant?

Anon 2, what are you talking about? I mean, I know what Godwin's Law is. How does it apply here? Is it keeping you from calling someone a Nazi?

Anonymous said...

Chicago 1968, and although the intensity of social upheaval is not as intense as 40 years ago, the message is the same. These are illegal tactics, the search warrant has to be based on suspected illegal activities (ie making bombs, distributing drugs). The search warrant must be made known to the legal counsel of those detained. If charges are brought against those detained then the property can be confiscated, if not then it must be returned.

Some one can have field day with the lawsuits unless I am missing something.

I was in Chicago in 1968 and quickly left as many of saw the potential of the slaughter. I don't think this is the case. This some local police force overstepping the law and opening the community to legal action.

Damn fools! I can appreciate the position of the individual police and the order they received but action of the force is plain stupidity and very sad.

lovable liberal said...

Yes, it's clear from the reports that this was not a decision made by the line cops.

Treesong said...

Here's a report from the Twin Cities Independent Media Center that includes more detail and a statement from event organizers:

http://twincities.indymedia.org/2008/aug/illegal-police-raid-anti-rnc-convergence-space-st-paul

In theory, they ought to have specific evidence and specific individuals/places in mind prior to requesting a search warrant or using such heavy-handed tactics. My guess is that their specific evidence is something along the lines of "Well, some of these people are anarchists, so therefore we must naturally assume that they all have bombmaking materials."

Interesting interpretation of the 4th Amendment, eh? I wonder when they will raid the houses and meeting places of defense contractors looking for bombmaking materials. (In case you don't know, at least three homes of activists have been preemptively raided too.)