September 26, 2008
The Republican National Convention
gave us the opportunity to take our anti-war message directly to the policy
makers and the nation, without leaving Minnesota!
The Anti-War Committee participated actively in the Coalition to March on the
RNC and Stop the War, and we are proud of the demonstration of 30,000 people
that marched from the State Capitol to the Xcel Center
on September 1st. We also organized the “No Peace for the War
Makers” demonstration on September 4th. Our September 4th
demonstration accomplished our goal of challenging John McCain’s nomination as
Republican candidate for president. Television stations, radio stations
and newspapers across the country covered the story of anti-war protesters who took
to the streets to counter John McCain’s message.
thousand people joined the
protest on September 4th, and a thousand marched with us, despite the
City of St. Paul’s refusal to allow protesters into downtown St. Paul.
Coleman and Police Chief Harrington did not want an anti-war message to
Xcel Center on the last day of the
convention. Ignoring police intimidation aimed at ending our
demonstration, we finished our
rally at the State Capitol and marched toward the Xcel Center
with a clear anti-war message. We wanted to march to the public
viewing area across the street from the convention. It was supposed to be open
to protesters, no permit required, until 11 pm, but lines of riot police
blocked our march from going there. We did not back down and we
refused to be silent. Hundreds joined sit-ins at 2 different
intersections and later a large group continued marching. Despite brutal police attempts to silence our
voices and disperse our protest, anti-war demonstrators kept the streets for
over 3 hours and sent a loud and clear message of solidarity to the people of Iraq!
At this demonstration, three hundred
and ninety six people were arrested for protesting the war in Iraq, charged
with “presence at an unlawful assembly.” The police repression was
outrageous. One protester was shot at close range with a rubber bullet-like
projectile. Anti-War Committee members were beaten up and arrested for
leading chants on bullhorns. Some people were arrested while protesting
on the sidewalk. One woman was pepper sprayed repeatedly in the face, then hit
with a police bicycle, while she held a peace sign high and shouted “I love
you.” Over a hundred people were arrested while trying to disperse after
having teargas and concussion grenades shot at them.
Despite these abuses, the Anti-War
Committee will not be silenced! We will continue to organize and demand
an end to the war on Iraq.
We will defend and organize legal support for the three hundred and ninety six
people arrested at our demonstration, and stand in solidarity with all the RNC
protester arrestees. We can do this even better with your support! Please
send a donation of or donate online $25 or more to continue our work in this
crucial period. If you require a tax deduction, please include a
message with your payment. We appreciate your support and hope to see
you at the Iraq Peace Action Demonstration on October 11th at 1:00 PM at the
intersection of Hiawatha & Lake Street in Minneapolis.
The Anti-War Committee
P.S. You are always welcome
at our meetings. We meet on Thursdays at
7pm at 1313 5th Street
SE in Minneapolis
in room 112c. Thanks for your support.