Civil liberties should not be grist for “liberal vs. conservative” labels


RNC 8 press conference remarks on October 8: Our political system is broken. Both the legislative and the executive branches of government have been thoroughly corrupted by vested interests fueled by corporate money. In our system of “checks and balances”, that leaves only the judicial branch.

However, as I found out last month, even the courts have turned a deaf ear to protests against the on-going wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Ramsey County assistant prosecutor and the Ramsey County judge told 8 defendants on trial for protest at the Republican National Convention that “International Law, Treaties, the US Constitution, and the MN State Constitution” were irrelevant to our charge of trespass at the RNC.

When I told our judge that three other judges in Hennepin County allowed me to not only freely testify but also to submit the text of International Law and Treaties to the jury, his response was, “Well, I’m not as liberal as those judges over in Hennepin County!”

Human rights and civil liberties should not be grist for “liberal vs. conservative” labels. When our US Constitution states that “Treaties signed by our government shall be the supreme law of the land” yet our court system won’t allow that “supreme law” to be cited in court, the whole system is exposed as a fraud.

Where are the checks and balances to stop these wars?

The real conspiracy is the conspiracy to continue an unpopular war which continues adding to the loss of life and the emptying of our treasury. If anything, these young people have had the courage to say no to this madness.

I stand here with the RNC 8, this generation’s “Chicago 8” – young people who call for these wars to end, for these corrupted systems to be exposed, calling on the judicial system to reign in the excesses of governmental repression under the guise of “national security”. Our national security comes only with justice and equality – not selective prosecutions of people working and planning for change.