EXCLUSIVE: Democrats Pre-Authorized Use of Force at RNC
by Michael Cavlan
The Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases.
Explosive News: Democrats’ Collaboration at Republican National Convention Exposed.
Secret meetings authorized excessive use of force.
We know the stories of police abuse, mass arrests, targeting journalists, street
medics, use of rubber bullets, plastic bullets, wooden baton rounds, mace, tear
gas, tasering and other differently lethal methods of crowd control in St Paul and
Minneapolis this week. What is not known is how the local Democratic Party and other
so called progressive elected officials collaborated with authorities in the past
weeks and months before the RNC Convention in St Paul, giving them legal authority
for their excesses and abuses of power.
This is your Independent Journalista’s on-the-ground account of what happened
and how local elected officials collaborated with the authorities and again abandoned
their Oath to Protect and Defend the Constitution from All Enemies, Foreign and
Domestic. This is the news that you will not hear from the corporate media, Air
America, the Nation magazine or other so called progressive, alternative media outlets.
This is true, muckraking journalism that honestly speaks truth to power, no matter
how uncomfortable it makes some folks.
Now, before we get to the facts surrounding how our elected officials betrayed us
and the Bill of Rights, a truth must be stated. No matter what the local City Councils
of St Paul and Minneapolis did, the authorities would have done what they did.
This story is not about that. It is instead about how the local government knowingly
collaborated with them, with no input from citizens and finally passed a Resolution
granting them legal authority to use rubber and plastic bullets, wooden baton rounds,
tasers and chemical weapons that were deployed against peaceful protesters, journalists
and street medics treating the victims of their brutality in a secret meeting with
no public allowed.
In the months before the Republicans came to town, there had been a flurry of activity.
Local activists were keeping a close eye on their local elected officials. Initially,
there had been a so called Free Speech Committee set up, supposedly to look at how
authorities could allow free speech during the RNC and keep order.
However, local activists immediately developed some serious concerns. We found out
that the Free Speech Committee did not allow any members of the public to add our
input. Only City Council members on the committee and lawyers were allowed to speak.
There was no free speech allowed at the misnamed Free Speech Committee.
Nonetheless, activists followed the Committee’s actions closely and were present
during each meeting. The City Council of Minneapolis is almost 100% Democratic.
In fact the only real opposition in Minneapolis is the Green Party which currently
has one Green on the City Council, Cam Gordon, who was a small light in a very dark
room. But, we were to discover, even that light was to be extinguished.
The so called Free Speech Committee would change the time and locations of its meetings,
in an obvious attempt of loosing the local activists who were closely following
their intents and actions. During this time, Councilman Gordon kept the local activist
community appraised of when and where these meetings were being held, including
last minute changes. There was much talk of using the Washington Model of crowd
control versus other Models. The Washington Model was touted as being a little less
There was also discussion on protest groups being required to register themselves
and even their members, to be “allowed” to protest. At these times, Cam
Gordon spoke eloquently on behalf of the community and in opposition to these repressive
measures. When he spoke, he drew cheers from the activists present. We also waved
our protest signs in agreement each time. We would also boo when the head of the
Committee, Paul Ostrow, would make an especially egregious remark. That was the
extent of public participation and free speech at the so called Free Speech Committee
This went on for moths at a time. Then suddenly we found out that the Free Speech
Committee had their last meeting, July 16th. The meeting itself was unannounced,
unlike the other meetings which at least had a pretense of openness and public inclusion.
At the next Minneapolis City Council meeting July 25th, the recommendation of the
misnamed Free Speech Committee was announced. The Free Speech Committee Resolution
passed unanimously, even by our one small light, Councilman Cam Gordon.
The Minneapolis Police were given “legal” authority to shut down any protest
or group of 25 people or greater. They were also authorized to use rubber bullets,
mace and the other array of non-lethal weapons on innocent, peaceful demonstrators,
practicing our First Amendment Rights. Also violated repeatedly was the Fourth Amendment
Right protecting us citizens against illegal search and seizure. Police violated
the laws of assault and battery and destruction of evidence of their crimes, as
evidenced by their targeting journalists. All talk of the Washington Model was removed.
As this Resolution was passed by the large Democratic majority Minneapolis City
Council july 25th, another protest broke out. Local activists presented each member
of the Minneapolis City Council, including Mayor RT Ryback with a Statement of Reprobation,
condemning them for this betrayal of our most precious right to Free Speech, Assembly
and Peaceful Petition of Our Government.
One of the main organizers, Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police
Brutality, presented the Statement of Reprobation to both Councilman Cam Gordon
and the head of the Free Speech Committee, Councilman Paul Ostrow. Another was handed
to Mayor RT Ryback.
During this presentation, a young man, Jude Ortiz with Coldsnap Legal Collective,
read aloud the charges against the Minneapolis City Council. When he did so, he
was bundled off the podium by Minneapolis Police and brought to the Hennepin County
Jail. He was later released uncharged.
All Minneapolis City Councils are taped and shown on local Public Access TV – all
except for this one, which has never seen the light of day. Clearly, the “progressive”
City Council had something to hide.
Since then, Michelle Gross was arrested twice, during peaceful protests that were
targeted by police.
Many of the examples of excess and police brutality and thuggery were practiced
by Minneapolis Police. But, all of these actions and betrayals were mirrored by
the 100% Democratic City Council of St Paul. Both Mayor RT Ryback and Mayor Chris
Coleman, who laud themselves as “progressive” held a Press Conference,
calling the RNC Convention a “success.”
Ironically, we now have a number of the very City Councilpersons who gave our rights
away, without a fight, now engaging in tough talk and rhetoric. This includes my
own Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden and Councilman Gary Schiff. Covering Your A**
with tough talk will not make up for your betrayal of the citizens of our country,
Council members and Mayors. Not even close.
I ask the question again. What do we do about it? I leave the answer up to you.