The week of September 1-5 brought many passionate activists from near and far to St. Paul to speak about the policy issues they care deeply about. Here are some of their messages.
Twin-City-area attorneys Marianne and John volunteered with the ACLU as ‘Liberty Guards’ to distribute “Know Your Rights” pamphlets for protesters at the Sept. 1 rally and march and to keep an eye out for civil rights abuses. At 1 p.m. at the Capitol they reported “So far everything is calm.” Anticipating the problems that did occur, the ACLU and National Lawyers Guild had collaborated to train and station legal observers throughout the cities during the week-long protests.
Marianne and John, volunteer Liberty Guards. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)
Dave Morris, of Plymouth, a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement who works in sales, had a one-man protest going at the Sept. 1 rally prior to the March on the RNC.
Saying he’d drawn plenty of media interest with his sign, Morris took the opportunity to get news workers’ opinions of the official 9/11 story during the rally. Morris said an executive at ABC News told him: “All the news execs know it was an inside job.”
The 9/11 Truth Movement pushes for greater investigations into who was behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
Dave Morris, 9/11 Truther. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)
Terry Berg, Grand Rapids, came with two busloads of peace activists from Grand Rapids, Bemidji, Cass Lake, Ball Club, Hibbing, Coleraine and Duluth to the Sept. 1 rally and march at the Capitol. Efforts to end the war became more personal and urgent for Berg when her nephew, Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Lourey (son of former state senator Becky Lourey), was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2005. Berg wore a photo button in memory of her nephew.
Terry Berg, Grand Rapids. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)
Peacemakers from Grand Rapids, Bemidji, Cass Lake, Ball Club, Hibbing, Coleraine and Duluth came in two buses to the Sept. 1 rally and march at the Capitol. Members represented many groups including Peace Circle, Veterans for Peace, and the DFL Progressive Caucus.
Peacemakers from northern Minnesota. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)
“I didn’t believe a word that came out of the president’s mouth,” said Wes Davey, a retired Army master sergeant from St. Paul and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Davey was sent to Iraq in 2003 and retired in 2005. On Sept. 1, as he has on other days, Davey appeared in uniform to speak about the nation’s rush to war. “I was disappointed with the war before it started,” he said.
Standing out in his uniform, Army master sergeant Wes Davey (ret.), third from right, posed with others opposed to the war at the Sept. 1 rally and March Against the RNC. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)
Mineral Wells, Texas, resident Vincent Campos, a Republican delegate and organizer for Ron Paul, came for the Ron Paul counter-convention at Target Center that drew an estimated 12,000. “That’s one-and-a-half times more than were at the RNC,” said Campos.
Vincent Campos, Mineral Wells, Texas, came to the Ripple Effect event at the Capitol Sept. 4 decked out in Ron Paul gear. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)
Ernest Mailhot, Minneapolis, a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate representing the Socialist Workers Party, distributed literature and answered questions about his party platform at the Sept. 4 Ripple Effect event at the Capitol Sept. 4.
In the current political climate there’s growing tolerance, if not outright interest, in exploring socialism, said Mailhot. “Today we get virtually no hostile comments. People are curious. It’s a different atmosphere,” he said.
“In our view, Democrats and Republicans are offering the same thing – a defense of the system itself,” said Mailhot. “Nothing’s being offered to help with the crisis economy. There’s more war. It’s like watching a slow moving train wreck.”
Socialist Workers candidate for the U.S. Senate Ernest Mailhot holds literature he made available Sept. 4 during the Ripple Effect event at the Capitol. (Photo by Kathlyn Stone)