Skip to comments.Buckets of urine, slingshots, anti-bus weapons seized in raid on anti-RNC protesters
Posted on 08/31/2008 4:00:52 AM PDT by atomic conspiracy
Ramsey County sheriff's deputies found weapons and devices to disable buses - among other items - in searches in the Twin Cities last night and today.
Authorities said the items came from "key members of the RNC Welcoming Committee," a self-described anarchist group.
Five people have been arrested and four properties have been searched, according to the sheriff's office.
At 8 a.m. today, the sheriff's office executed search warrants at three Minneapolis homes - 2301 23rd Ave. S., 3500 Harriet Ave. and 3240 17th Ave. S. The FBI, Minneapolis police and the Hennepin County sheriff's office assisted them.
"The 'Welcoming Committee' is a criminal enterprise made up of 35 anarchists who are intent on committing criminal actsbefore and during the Republican National Convention," said Sheriff Bob Fletcher in a statement. "These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers. They have recruited assistance in their criminal conspiracy from other anarchists groups throughout the country. Through their plans and actions they have exhibited a blatant disregard for the law and the safety of others."
The statement said the items found in the searches included:
Materials to create "sleeping dragons" (PVC pipe, chicken wire, duct tape), which is when protesters lock themselves together Large amounts of urine, including three to five gallon buckets of urine Wrist rockets (high-powered slingshots) A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives a gas mask and filter Empty glass bottles Rags Flammable liquids Homemade caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads) Metal pipes Axes Bolt cutters Sledge hammers Rapelling equipment Kryptonite locks Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields Material for protective padding An Army helmet. The five people being held at the Hennepin County jail are under arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to riot, conspiracy to commit civil disorder and conspiracy to damage property.
Arrested at the 17th Avenue home were Monica Rachel Bicking, 23, Erin Chase Trimmer, 23, and Garrett Scott Fitzgerald, 25, Nestor said.
Nathanel David Secor, 26,was arrested at the 23rd Avenue South home.
Erik Charles Oseland, 21, was arrested an undisclosed location, the sheriff's office said.
"Conspiracy to riot was the charge used against the Chicago Eight in 1968 as part of a politically motivated prosecution," said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. "It is a charge that is essentially used for preventive detention."
A St. Paul building leased by The RNC Welcoming Committee, Where A Search Warrant Was Executed Friday Night, Is being turned back over to the property owner, the mayor's office said this afternoon.
An inspector from the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections secured the former theater on the city's West Side after fire code violations were found during the search, said Bob Hume, Mayor Chris Coleman's spokesman. The violations included a boarded-up fire exit and "sleeping pads everywhere," Hume said.
The building was secured, pending notification of the property owner, which has happened, Hume said.
No one was arrested after Friday night's search, but five arrests were made today.
People planning to protest at the Republican National Convention and St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune are calling the actions a preemptive strike before the RNC, which starts Monday.
St. Paul's mayor said this afternoon that free speech rights are separate from criminal behavior.
"We have worked very, very hard to make sure we've protected people's right to exercise free speech," Coleman said. "To pick up a protest sign, that's fine. If you're here to pick up a brick or some other instrument there's a problem."
Thune said he called city officials seeking an explanation for why the building, which appeared to be up to code and had a valid lease, was being boarded up at the request of the Ramsey County sheriff's office. Thune said Saturday afternoon that the building has been reopened.
"I don't know what happened with the boarding, but they've corrected it, and I'm grateful to our folks at DSI (Department of Safety and Inspections) for seeing the mistake."
Thune has been concerned about the conduct of authorities in the last 24 hours regarding activists.
"This is all about free speech," Thune said. "It's what my father fought in the war for. To me, this smacks of preemptive strike against free speech."
Friday's warrant was executed at 627 Smith Ave. in St. Paul about 9:15 p.m. The building is a former theater that the RNC Welcoming Committee is renting. The sheriff's office said St. Paul police assisted in the search.
Members of various protest groups targeted in last night's raid held a press conference today to express their anger and frustration.
The raid was an effort to "derail RNC protest organizing efforts and to intimidate and terrorize individuals and groups converging in the Twin Cities to exercise what are supposed to be their basic civil rights," RNC Welcoming Committee member Tony Jones read from a statement.
"We will not be intimidated," Jones exclaimed.
The group is demanding re-entry into the convergence space and a guarantee against future raids, the return of all property seized and an end to the "harassment and surveillance."
After reading the statement, Jones refused to answer media questions, saying RNC Welcoming Committee members won't talk until they've had a chance to meet with each other.
There will be another press conference this afternoon at the former Smith Theater, the site of last night's raid. Representatives of other protest groups, such as the Poor People's Economic Rights Campaign, spoke out against local police at the press conference.
Cheri Honkala, who's participated in other RNC protests, such as in New York in 2004, compared the St. Paul raid to "terrorism."
"We, just like the Republicans, have the right to free speech," Honkala said. One speaker, who said she does not belong to any protest group, but lives in St. Paul and has been helping visiting protesters, said the raid on the convergence center was unprompted and that the people there had done nothing wrong.
"The place they raided last night, they were showing documentary movies to twenty-somethings in a clean, alcohol free zone after dinner," Nanette Echols said.
"Today is the biggest day that people are arriving, and we have no place to welcome them," she said, choking up.
Who We Are/Points of Unity
The RNC Welcoming Committee is an anarchist/anti-authoritarian organizing body formed to prepare for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. The RNC-WC, composed primarily of Twin Cities-based anarchists and anti-authoritarians, will function as an informational clearinghouse and organize a spokescouncil for RNC resistance. We will coordinate logistics (food, housing, transportation), and engage in education and outreach.
Without falling prey to the centralized, hierarchical tendencies that have dominated such convergences in the past, we hope that the RNC-WC will maintain a unified, anti-authoritarian presence at the 2008 RNC. Our numbers are huge, and its time that our actions reflected that.
Following are our points of unity. We invite all individuals and groups committed to these ideas to participate in the Welcoming Committee.
Those who work with the RNC Welcoming Committee must agree to:
1. A rejection of Capitalism, Imperialism, and the State;
2. Resist the commodification of our shared and living Earth;
3. Organize on the principles of decentralization, autonomy, sustainability, and mutual aid;
4. Work to end all relationships of domination and subjugation, including but not limited to those rooted in patriarchy, race, class, and homophobia;
5. Oppose the police and prison-industrial complex, and maintain solidarity with all targets of state repression;
6. Directly confront systems of oppression, and respect the need for a diversity of tactics.
Amateurs may be easily dealt with on some levels. However, it is their inexperience that can sometimes cause professionals to err in addressing their threat, thinking they’re dealing with someone much more on their level. They are the very definition of unexpected and unpredictable.
Domestic terrorists, and they should be treated as such.
Good discussion - rethinking the debate.
Especially true of serial sociopathic murderers - all amateurs who manage to elude the professionals for years.
And this threat is from a GROUP of psychotics - not just one twisted thrill-killer. No level of comfort there;)
thanks for the insight Gaffer
LOL!! They had everything but alcohol! Just a bunch of Boy Scouts on a campout, right??!!
Oh, they will be. Coddled, given a platform, free legal counsel, lots of press, and candlelight vigils.
“They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house.”
Yup, no mention of anything else..
Red Diaper babies.
Oh, nothing here - just the tools needed to disable a bus and then bomb it with Molotov cocktails and/or pipe bombs. Just kids getting into mischief.
I don't know if you're mocking this or what, but maybe you missed this part...
The statement said the items found in the searches included:These 'wannabes' intended on causing serious - deadly - bodily harm.
- Wrist rockets (high-powered slingshots)
- Sledge hammers
- A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives
- Flammable liquids, Empty glass bottles & Rags
And Wrist Rockets aren't 'Dennis The Menace Sling-shots'. They're for Hunting and will kill. The ammo for them is 1/4" to 1/2 dia ball bearings. Plus I doubt they were going to roast marshmallows with the Molotov Cocktails they planned on making.
As such these maggots should be treated as if they were an AQ Terrorist Cell. I'd ship em all of to GITMO for a Military Tribunal.
I saw that. The writer didn’t mention it, and none of the DUmmies bothered to find out. I guess it’s easier to run around screaming we live in a fascist police state under dictator George Bush. They also used this video of a bus pulled over by the police:
They only love it if judges make a decision in their favor or legislate liberal ideas from the bench.
look at January 27, 2008. Do you think the Judge will take this into consideration?/s
>St. Paul’s mayor said this afternoon that free speech rights are separate from criminal behavior.
“We have worked very, very hard to make sure we’ve protected people’s right to exercise free speech,” Coleman said. “To pick up a protest sign, that’s fine. If you’re here to pick up a brick or some other instrument there’s a problem.”
Thune has been concerned about the conduct of authorities in the last 24 hours regarding activists.
“This is all about free speech,” Thune said. “It’s what my father fought in the war for. To me, this smacks of preemptive strike against free speech.”<
Let me guess, this Thune cretin is a Democrat.
Some really classy people, these are.
“To me, this smacks of preemptive strike against free speech”
What a lying sack of crap. Since when are weapons a form of free speech?
Also, a lot of the reports documenting the raids neglect to mention another weapon found at one of the houses (I saw a photo taken of one of the rooms which contained an arsenal or their stockpiled weapons): A compound bow with a full set of arrows.
They were going there fully planning on trying to kill people.
With any luck, the judge will throw the book at these psychos, so the only “Actions” they will be participating in for the next few years will be pumping out Minnesota license plates in a state penitentiary.