With the country focused on Gustav, a little reported string of events in Minneapolis should change the way  people view the GOP and the RNC. The promise of McCain’s America just took a turn for the worse, if you value Civil liberties and this country’s future.

Raids with SWAT teams where made on a central meeting location as well as protesters home’s with no criminal conduct alleged or cited. Why ? because they were going to hold a peaceful protest at the RNC. The GOP’s actions speak far louder than their words.

Consider this from: Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.

Read the entire article here.

Video Interviews of the incidents

Also read
Federal government involved in raids on protesters

A Democracy Now producer who was detained also.  In the video below the DN producer explains, she was present at a meeting of a group called “I-Witness”. “I-Witness” videotaped police behavior at “the 2004 GOP Convention in New York and helped get charges dismissed against hundreds of protesters who were arrested”. 

Watch video of the DN’s producer’s interview from The Uptake.

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