Today, Monday October 13, 2008, join the national call in day to St. Paul officials to demand that all charges against Republican National Convention protesters be dropped!
During the RNC in early September, St. Paul was a police state replete 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 of people and confiscating people's belongings.
Throughout the RNC, the police 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 need to hear from you!
Eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee are currently charged with Conspiracy to Commit Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism, a 2nd degree felony that carries the possibility of several years in prison.
These people among many others facing misdemeanors were arrested for exercising their free speech. We cannot let free speech become a crime! You must question your government and demand accountability.
You can help out these folks by calling St. Paul officials and demanding all charges be dropped or you can donate your dollars to cover legal costs. Be a part of the solution!
1. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
(651) 266-8510, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coleman did nothing to prevent the militarization of St. Paul and the numerous violations of peoples' 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 Minnesota version of the Patriot 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.
3. 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, site of the RNC. Call Choi to defend our right to protest without permits and demand that all charges be dropped!
4. Friends of the RNC8, Donate.
5. Cold Snap Legal Collective, Donate.
6. National Lawyers Guild, Donate.
7. United for Peace & Justice, Donate.
8. A reminder of what a police state looks like, Ground Noise and Static.