A new book, Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism: The Collective Autobiography of the RNC 8, has just been released. It tells the story of 8 men and women who were preemptively arrested prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention in response to their political organizing, charged with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism under the Minnesota PATRIOT Act.
Many AWC members worked with the authors to organize diverse protests around the RNC in St. Paul. Like us, theirs is a case of criminalizing dissent. Like us, they were infiltrated by spies in the months leading up to the RNC. And like us, they relied on a broad base of supporters to defend them against state repression.
We stood behind them when they faced trumped up state terrorism charges. Now that we have become the targets of a federal terrorism investigation, they have joined the campaign in our defense. Not only did they gather outside our homes to support us while the raids were in progress last September, now they have generously offered to donate the proceeds from their book to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, through the end of this year.
We encourage you to buy their book!
There will be live music by the Blackbirds and dances taught and called by Mike Whalen. Last January we had a grand old time at our first céili on Grand Avenue–now we’re doing it again! If you live outside St. Paul, come visit for a reason other than court–to unwind, relax and dance the fall chill off! Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.
Proceeds benefit anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago who were recently raided and subpoenaed by the FBI, as well as the IWW General Defense Committee.
Suggested Donation $5-15.
Subject: Important Update on the RNC 8 Case: New Hearing Tuesday 10/19 at 9am
Dear supporters near and far,
It is with strong and mixed emotions that we bring important news: there appears to be a major change in the cases of the four remaining RNC 8 defendants–Garrett, Max, Nathanael and Rob. The four have tentatively reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, likely avoiding trial. The agreement, if it goes according to plan, significantly reduces the charge, calls for favorable sentencing, and is non-cooperating.
We wish to thank you for being there for the 8 and for us all along. You raised funds, raised consciousness of the fight against criminalization of dissent, and raised the next generation of rebels and revolutionaries to keep the struggle going. You were there at the jail vigil and the very first hearings; you were there in the kitchen and the dining room at our community meals; you were there at our rallies and actions. You were there at meetings, you were there at fundraisers, and you were there in the courtroom, through thick and thin.
Now, please be there in the courtroom for what we expect to be one final time:
Check our updates or the monitors in room 131 for the courtroom number. Please stay afterwards for a press conference and address immediately upon conclusion of the hearing.
We understand this news may well be surprising. Many of us feel the same and much, much more, but above all, we personally support all the defendants in their difficult decision and will continue to support them through whatever hurdles remain. We will release more information, analysis and logistical updates to you all after details are confirmed on Tuesday. We ask that, until then, speculation or rumor be kept to a minimum.
Again, thank you for your continued support and struggle.
the RNC 8 Defense Committee
On Tuesday, December 2nd, Susan Gaertner is holding a ritzy fundraiser for her 2010 DFL campaign for governor. It also happens to be her birthday. As the lead prosecutor for the 18 felony cases which stem from the RNC, including the cases of the RNC 8 (rnc8.org) and Dave Mahoney (helpdavemahoney.blogspot.com), let’s remind her of the political repercussions of trying these phony cases! If Susan Gaertner wants to continue carrying out this prosecution, we’ll ruin her campaign for governor.
And most importantly, we’re still here and still fighting, even after many of us experienced intense state repression in such a firsthand way at the RNC. Let’s continue having fun and keep our spirits high, while not forgetting what brought us here in the first place. We’ve been keeping solidarity going in the courts–lets carry it into the streets again and shake off the legal system’s icy grip on our community and the winter cold outta our booties!
A rally and dance party has been planned outside her fundraiser, starting at 4:30 on Tuesday, December 2nd. If you want the charges dropped for the 18 folks facing felonies, make it known to Susan and all her potential supporters that her political endeavors will never succeed with her prosecution of RNC arrestees on her record.
Come to the gates of the Minneapolis Club at the corner of 2nd Ave and 8th St in downtown Minneapolis at 4:30PM, TUESDAY DECEMBER 2 dressed warmly and ready to get down. Bring signs, noisemakers, and your loudest and dancing-est friends!
(And stay tuned for more actions to put the pressure on Gaertner to drop the charges!)
Organized by CRASS
Sisters and brothers,
On election night, president-elect Barack Obama called on the people of this country to stay active, to be a part of bringing change, not just to the White House, but to the world. We’ve got to take the energy from this historic election, and focus it on the issues many of us had in mind as we cast our ballots on Tuesday.
The anti-war movement has spent all eight years of the Bush presidency in the streets – opposing the so-called war on terror, and the war and occupation of Iraq, which have together claimed more than a million human lives. In September, we marched by the tens of thousands in St. Paul, confronting the Republican Convention with a strong anti-war message. Yesterday, millions went to the ballot boxes, to take another stand against the war-mongering policies that defined the McCain/Palin campaign for the White House.
So, let’s claim this victory: McCain was defeated, and Barack Obama has been elected the first African American president in U.S. history. This is something many of us thought we would never see. The election of Barack Obama represents a blow to racism. Amazingly, this is just three years after racism turned the storm of Hurricane Katrina into a disaster that killed thousands, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
This election also gives a voice to the hopes of millions of voters, who want progressive change, peace in Iraq, and policies that address the needs of poor and working people here at home. Many in the anti-war movement voted for Barack Obama, but we can’t count on him to end the occupation of Iraq when he takes office.
The appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s Chief of Staff suggests a continuation of policies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Emanuel was an adviser to former president Clinton, and was responsible
for helping to orchestrate the 1993 Oslo accords. These accords paved the way for doubling Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, and increased Israeli aggression against Palestinians. We can only help bring about a just peace for Palestinians, by ending U.S. aid to Israel.
More than once, Obama has suggested escalating military operations in Afghanistan, or expanding to elsewhere in the region. The anti-war movement needs to be ready to oppose U.S. aggression where ever it is directed.
We also know the economy was the number one concern for most voters last week. This fall, the government approved a corporate bail out that will cost much more than the $569 billion spent on the war and occupation in
Iraq. For years, we have been saying, “Money for human needs, not for war.” While politicians are taking on the economic collapse, we need to call on them to spend money on human needs, not just bailing out corporate greed; to address the Iraq crisis, along the economic one.
The night Obama was elected, three states passed ballot initiatives to bann same-sex marriage, another banned adoption by unmarried couples (to prevent GLBT families from adopting), and another voted to end affirmative action. These are steps backwards, and the anti-war movement should be a part of rolling back these attacks.
At home and abroad, we all hope for much more than Obama ever promised; and his campaign never promised a complete withdrawal from Iraq, or peace for other nations. It is not enough to hope for change, we need to
demand it. Let’s continue marching in the streets until Iraqi people have the peace and justice that they’re fighting for. In this spirit, the Anti-War Committee asks for your continued work and support in the exciting times ahead!
* STAY IN THE STREETS: Join us for the 6th annual AWC-sponsored Human Rights Day protest, planned for Saturday, December 13 at 2pm at Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis. Oppose U.S. human rights abuses in Iraq, Palestine, Colombia, here at home and across the globe. We’ll have a quick outdoor rally, a march through the Powderhorn neighborhood, and end with a rally indoors.
* REUSE YOUR CAMPAIGN LAWN SIGNS: Please bring your used lawn signs to our offices on Thursday evenings. We will retrofit them into wonderful protest signs. You may not realize, the police arrested (and did not return) many of our signs on the last day of the RNC – we need fresh material (please limit your gifts to the corrugated plastic variety).
* ORGANIZE WITH THE A.W.C.: The Anti-War Committee always need help organizing protests and educational events. Join us at our weekly meetings (Thursdays at 7pm, 1313 5th St SE #112C, Minneapolis).
* FUND OUR IMPORTANT WORK: We always welcome your financial support. You can make a donation from our website or just mail it to our office (Anti-War Committee, 1313 5th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414).
the Anti-War Committee
During the RNC, St. Paul was a police state complete with steel fences, protest pens, military style checkpoints, and thousands of riot police. Before protests even began, police raided homes and activist gathering spaces, detaining hundreds and confiscating people’s belongings.
Throughout the RNC, they systematically violated the rights of thousands, violently attacked protesters, and arrested over 800 people. St. Paul city officials were complicit in enabling this scenario, and now they deserve to hear from you!
Please CALL and/or EMAIL the following people on MONDAY, OCT 13:
Please CALL and/or EMAIL the following people on MONDAY, OCT 13:
1. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
(651) 266-8510, email@example.com
Coleman did nothing to prevent the militarization of St. Paul and the numerous violations of people’s rights that occurred there. After the RNC, he called the actions of police “nothing short of heroic.” Call him to demand a real, independent investigation that holds police accountable!
2. Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
(651) 266-3222, RCA@co.ramsey.mn.us
Gaertner is responsible for prosecuting all felony cases, including the RNC 8 who are facing 7+ years on trumped up charges of “terrorism,” under the first ever use of the MN version of the Patiot Act. Gaertner plans to run for governor in 2010. Call her to demand an end to the repression of activists and an immediate dismissal of all charges.
St. Paul City Attorney John Choi
(651) 266-8710, Choi@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Choi is in charge of prosecuting all misdemeanor RNC-related cases. He referred to RNC protesters as “outsiders who wanted to create mayhem.” The vast majority of those arrested were Twin Cities residents who were protesting the agenda of the real criminals gathered in the Xcel Center. Call Choi to defend our right to protest without permits and demand that all charges be dropped!
For this kind of pressure campaign to be successful, we need A LOT OF PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE. Please take a few minutes out of your day to call and invite your friends to do the same.
For Immediate Release: September 25, 2008
Lawsuit seeks $250,000 in damages
for police violence against anti-war protester at RNC
Press Conference – Friday, September 26, 3pm
In front of City Hall, 15 Kellogg Ave, St. Paul
The first lawsuit resulting
from police violence at the Republican National Convention will be announced
at a press conference Sept. 26. Notice is being served on the cities
of Saint Paul, Bloomington and Minneapolis, along with Ramsey
County that lawyers representing Mick Kelly will seek $250,000 in damages.
Kelly was shot at close range and injured by police with a high velocity
marking projectile at a demonstration organized by the Anti-War Committee
on the fourth day of the RNC, Sept. 4.
Said Katrina Plotz of the Anti
War Committee, “Those responsible for attacking our protest against
the war on Iraq need to be held accountable. Nearly 400 people were
arrested. Riot police repeatedly met our demonstration with tear gas
and concussion grenades. We have every right to speak out against the
war. We demand all charges against anti-war protesters are dropped.
Those who stood in the way of our right to protest will now answer for
Mick Kelly was carrying the
lead banner in the march to the Xcel Center. Police blocked the march
route at 12th and Cedar. He was shot after police tore the banner
off the poles that was holding it aloft.
Kelly, who was among the organizers
of the massive anti-war march on the first day of the RNC, has another
lawsuit pending against the city of Saint Paul stemming from an incident
where he was arrested on June 5 for passing out leaflets promoting
an anti-war protest outside the Obama rally.
The lawsuit is being pursued
by attorneys Ted Dooley, Gena Berglund and Peter Nickitas, all members
of the National Lawyers Guild. Ted Dooley will be among the speakers
at the press conference.
Attorney Ted Dooley states,
“Saint Paul took on the trappings of a police state during the Republican
National Convention. This lawsuit is about obtaining a measure of justice
for those who had their rights trampled on.”
Potluck & Discussion: What should we do after the RNC?
Come and share food and experiences from the RNC protests. Discuss what are the next steps for the anti-war movement locally and nationally.