You figure this would be going on in South Africa, or Russia, not in St Paul

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Chaohinon, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Thanks to the miracle of cellular technology, I was able to talk to a homeowner while his home was surrounded by police conducting an RNC-related raid.

    I reached Mike Whelan, a waiter and army veteran, by phone at his duplex at 951 Iglehart Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Whelan invited independent observers from the group LegalWatch stay in one half of his side-by-side duplex while they monitor RNC protests.

    Whelan describes himself as a supporter of the RNC demonstrations, but says he is not affiliated with any particular group. "I want to build a country that's based on good social values," he said.

    When I spoke to him, Whelan was waiting in one half of the duplex with his roommates, Dan and Julian. The three were afraid to go outside because the police were still there. Whelan said he thought that the police were inside the opposite side of the duplex, where the legal observers were staying. "I think they are detaining people," he added.
    Whelan, who sounded remarkably calm for a guy whose flower garden had just been trampled by police brandishing automatic weapons, said he'd just gotten home from a morning of garage sale shopping when the commotion started. That would have been about one o'clock local time.

    He described what happened:
    "About an hour and a half ago 20 to 30 heavily armed police officers surrounded the house," Whelan said. "One of my roommates said 'I want to see a warrant' and she was immediately detained."

    "Are they still outside?" I asked.

    "Oh, yes, they're still outside," Whelan replied cheerfully, "The streets are blocked off."
    "How you did figure out there was a raid going on?" I asked.

    "It sounded like people were falling down on my porch," he said, "Cops were running up both sides of the house onto the porch.

    Whelan says his roommate, Erin Stalmaker, went out to talk to talk to the police. She asked the officers why they were there. The officers asked why people were running away from them. Erin reportedly told the officers that their drawn automatic weapons probably had something to do with it. She was detained after asking to see a warrant.

    "Are you scared," I asked.

    "No, I'm a veteran," he said, "I was in the army. I was a military police officer. I wouldn't have done this."

    Whelan said it was especially perplexing that the police would target his home.

    "There's nothing here," he said, "These are the "checking" people. They're not even going to be in the demonstration. Some are lawyers."

    Whelan was watching a large crowd of legal observers gathering across the street, many wearing red or green hats. The police officers he could identify were from St. Paul, but he thought there might be other forces on the scene as well. The officers were wearing black uniforms. Their vehicles were "non-descript" vans, not police cruisers. TV cameras were also on the scene. Whelan couldn't be sure because a tree was blocking his view, but he thought City Council member Melvin Carter had arrived. Whelan called him when the raid started. (Talk about constituent service.)

    "You figure this would be going on in South Africa, or Russia, not in St Paul," Whelan said, marveling at the incongruity of it all,"St. Paul is nice."
  2. this isn't a republican or democrat issue. The days of free speech and public demonstration are long gone (unless you do so in the properly designated free speech and demonstration areas).
    All Americans no matter where you stand politically should be extremely concerned by stuff like this.

  3. Welcome to
    The Peoples Republic of The United States of America


  4. Don't you mean, " Welcome to the 4th Reich?"

    Blackwater has arrived, The first amendment is now dead. You knew Bush would have to kill it too, right? Right!

    The Bush Legacy- An America where everyone has the right to SHUT UP!
  5. Hmmm, this really is messed up.

  6. The RNC Free-speech zone is in Nevada this year!

  7. I've been to many protests where people were detained for no reason at all. You'd have to be blind not to realize that America is fascist and the people have no power at all anymore.

    It's time for another revolution because somewhere along the way we just replaced the British with another authoritarian imperialist regime.
  8. Protesting does nothing in the first place. Especially to someone like Bush who doesn't care what public opinion is but carries his agenda out anyways. Even bush haters have to agree with that whether you agree with the principle or not.

    Their have been plenty of anti-war protests throughout the years just like in vietnam, just like the civil war. No one has amended the constitution to my knowledge.
  9. Yeah it doesn't do anything. So why do it:confused_2::rolleyes:.

    Yeah this is really unfortunate. From what I can tell they are calling these "pre emptive raids" on groups and people are being detained on "probable cause holds" which allows them to be held for 36 hours without charges being placed. Some of the groups targeted include: Food Not Bombs, the RNC Welcoming Committee, I-Witness Video, and Communities United Against Police Brutality. There are reports as well that police are seizing video and documents from people being detained.
  10. The Church of Scientology would disagree.

  11. Really? Honestly I haven't heard how its affected them.

    I was in Berlin and saw one of their protests they had police escorts and the whole 9 yards.
  12. If not for constant protests and legal challenges, I'd not have access to medical marijuana right now.
  13. The 5:00 news in Minnesota today was full of information about the "anarchists" who broke loose from various protest groups today and "smashed whatever they could", including the window of a police car. No mention of these ridiculous "pre-emptive raids" though. Interesting. Not at all surprising, but interesting just the same.
  14. When in the history of news media has the fourth estate ever viewed protestors positively?
  15. Im going there tomorrow, should be interesting.

  16. Greenwald's good
  17. I would say the Anonymous protests have been some of the most productive protests of our generation.

    They've educated many about the dangers of Scientology, helped many members escape, and kept others from joining.

    Insiders have reported about how afraid the "higher-ups" are of Anonymous and their tactics. The leaders go into panic mode everytime there's a protest and hire mass security/private investigators and refuse to allow any members to leave the building or even look outside.

    The "Church" attempts to combat them with desperate attempts such as denouncing them as terrorists and even alien invader forces.

    A personal friend of mine was harrassed and reported to Homeland Security just because he was at one of the protests. Obviously they had nothing on him, but it's an example of how much these non-violent protests are getting to them.

    Many well known Scientology protesters have turned up dead (usually regarded as "apparent suicides"), or have been blackmailed leading to losing their jobs, or even being sent to jail. Thus, protesters have to remain Anonymous to protect their identities from revenge from the church.

    My friend got identified but he was lucky they couldn't dig up any dirt on him so they just tried to pass him off as a terrorist. He was also lucky that the local media and our university protected him from further prosecution.

    And the most obvious evidence of the protests success is the decreasingly poor image of the Church to the point where it is the butt end of jokes in American culture now. Though unfortunately they still havent had their tax exempt status revoked. For being the organization behind the biggest infiltration of the FBI in American history, the government sure likes to support them for some reason.

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