So. The weirdness has begun in the Twin Cities. We will be blogging about our days during the RNC convention. Last night at 9:15 the RNC Welcoming Committee's Convergence Space was raided by a dozen police with guns, detaining, photographing and questioning over 60 people with no arrests.
This morning three houses were raided- a Food Not Bombs house and two houses of activists. Four people were presented with warrants and arrested. The houses were searched for bomb-making materials.
From www.rhubarbarism.com: At each location so far, Ramsey County Sheriff deputies working with local police and fire, have seized computers and literature, as well as testing substances in a mobile lab. Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and FBI were also reportedly present at the raid on the 3500 block of Harriet Avenue.
Raids on activists' residences in Minneapolis started around 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. They involved houses on the 3200 block of 17th ave., the 3500 block of Harriet ave., and the 2300 block of 23rd ave.
The warrants gave police the right to search for "bomb-making" materials, which includes many commonplace household chemicals including soap flakes, paint, bleach, electronic devices like Mp3 players and communication devices, according to legal observers. The warrants for the Saturday raids also explicitly listed that police pursue "media in whatever form."
This afternoon another person-not a WC member, but ally was arrested while walking down the street. Of these 5 people, three are being held on conspiracy charges. Recently a house was raided on Iglehart St. in St. Paul, containing independent reporters. No arrests were made.
This afternoon a van was stopped in Minneapolis at gunpoint, handcuffed and detained. The van was followed from St. Paul in unmarked cars, was not searched, and there were no arrests.
A meeting was held in Powderhorn Park this morning to dispel rumors and update the community. A woman reported returning home after the Convergence Space raid to find her garage had been broken into, boxes opened, but nothing was missing.
The houses that were raided are facing the possibility of being boarded up due to code violations. Indymedia had a "routine fire inspection" come through this morning.
The Convergence Space has reopened, a press release was held at 4pm, and talks are continuing as planned at 7:30.
If you want to keep updated, follow these Twitter accts: RNC08, RNC08_bike, RNC08_legal, RNC08_police, RNC08_announce, RNC08_bridges, coldsnaplegal
A PDF for one of the search warrants can be found here:http://tinyurl.com/6dgos7
In another search warrant, "hollowed out puppets" were listed. ?!?!?
Maps and video of the raids are here: http://theuptake.org/
Also, two NLG lawyers were kicked out of a law enforcement press release today.
Well, it's now 6pm and that's the news. Rude Mechanical Orchestra is playing at a benefit for the IWW Starbucks Workers Union tonight...some fun diversion. More later.