Police Raid Protester Houses In Advance Of Republican Convention

Authorities acting under untested preventive riot statutes burst into the private residences in full riot gear, handcuffed residents and carted away computers. Bloggers Glen Greenwald and Jane Hamsher visited the homes during the raids.
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Police raided locations in Minnestoa this weekend, including the homes of activists in Minneapolis where protesters were organizing actions for the Republican National Convention set to commence today. Well-known bloggers Jane Hamsher and Glen Greenwald visited the homes, arriving after the raids at one and during the raids at another. Greenwald is posting on the events at Salon and has included video. Saturday night, Greenwald wrote:

There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.

Officers from the Ramsey County Sheriff's office reportedly raided a theater Friday night in St Paul and took concert attendees into custody. It was also reportedly the Ramsey Sheriffs who raided the Minneapolis private residences Saturday morning. Minneapolis is in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The National Lawyers Guild dispatched representatives to the scene. One representative reports that lawyers demanded to see warrants for the raids but that the Ramsey County Sheriffs office seemed to have none to show. Greenwald later wrote that the officers did have warrants but delayed in presenting them. "The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. [Residents] were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house."

The Uptake's Ken Avidor shot the footage above.


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