Democracy Now & Special from Starhawk – 2008-09-01 22:04:31
“In Germany first they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me-and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
— Pastor Martin Niemoller
Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now!
Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2008
Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107, email@example.com
ST. PAUL, MN-Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time.
Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her.
• Video of her arrest can be seen here:
Multiple police raids have been occurring against activists in St. Paul, Minnesota, in anticipation of the Republican National Convention. The RCN Welcoming Committee convergence space was raided. There are reports of buses of people being stopped and searched in the highway. I-witness members were arrested overnight. The place housing alternative media was also raided, searched while people were handcuffed in the backyard. To learn more, please visit:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SATURDAY, AUG 30, 8:10PM
CONTACT Andrew Willis Garcés firstname.lastname@example.org
ST.PAUL, MN (August 30, 2008) — Today two members of the RNC Welcoming Committee sought sanctuary from illegal disappearances carried out by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office at the Twin Cities Friends Meeting in St. Paul.
Andy Fahlstrom, 27, and Betsy Raasch-Gilman, 56, appealed to the meeting for sanctuary following the arrests of five other Welcoming Committee members on Saturday, August 30. Warrants for the “search” of two other members have been made public — others have been “searched” and then arrested and held without bail for “probable cause.” Many have been snatched on the street by plainclothes officers.
“In the past two days we have seen numerous instances of police harassment and arrest of Bushville campers on Harriett Island, independent journalists, and now the arrest on false pretenses of activists who have worked for over two years, in the open, to provide support for public dissent this week,” said Raasch-Gilman.
The mission of the RNC Welcoming Committee is to provide meeting space, medical and legal support, food, housing, and other forms of support to activists coming to the Convention to express their opposition to the policies of Bush/McCain. The Welcoming Committee itself is not planning any demonstrations.
“We’re seeking sanctuary to call attention to the illegal tactics — police violence, harassment and mass arrests — of the Ramsey County Sheriff, who has ordered the politically motivated arrests of dedicated community activists on false pretenses to make it more difficult for ordinary people to express their dissent,” said Fahlstrom.
“We’re calling on Mayor Coleman, Chief Harrington, and other St. Paul councilmembers to join Councilmember David Thune in denouncing and calling for an end to the illegal tactics of Sheriff Bob Fletcher, and to affirm that the important work of creating supportive environments for dissent by all people that is the mission of the Welcoming Committee continue.”
The two were offered support by members of the Meeting, which planned a special Meeting for Worship for Saturday night in response to today’s events.
“There’s a very long tradition of Quakers giving protection to persecuted people. So I’m completely in favor of my Meeting giving sanctuary to those who are currently being persecuted by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office,” said Meeting member Charley Underwood, 60. Ralph Hilgendorf, 75, said, “I’ve always viewed the sheriff and the local police as people who are here to protect us and our civil rights. Today’s events are unconscionable and inconceivable in a free society. ”
The two sanctuary seekers are available for phone interviews, as is a member of the Twin Cities Friends Meeting. Call Andrew Willis Garcés at email@example.com.
Permaculture Education Bus Seized by Twin Cities Police at RNC
Hey friends, we need your help! Our Earth Activist Training Sustainable Skills Bus has been seized without cause by the police. Below is an account from the Wilsons, who have been travelling in the bus for the last seven months doing trainings in permaculture and sustainability, including ways you can help.
My own accounts from the action can be found on www.starhawk.org and I’ll be posting daily as long as I can—or sign on to my own list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re on that list, my own account follows. Please support these folks who have been doing such good work for us all. Thanks!
POLICE SEIZE PERMIBUS
At approximately 6:25 pm on August 30, 2008 Minneapolis Police, Minnesota State Troopers, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police, and University of Minnesota Police pulled over the Earth Activist Training Permaculture Demonstration Bus (Permibus) by exit 237 on Interstate 94.
Initially the police told the people on the bus to exit. When the people on the bus asked if they were being detained, they were told that they were but police were unable to provide justification.
When asked why they pulled the bus over, they refused to answer. After repeated requests to explain why the bus had been stopped, Officer Honican of the Minneapolis Police explained that this was just a routine traffic stop though he did not explain the reason for the traffic stop. The police then told Stan Wilson, the driver and registered owner of the Permibus, that they were going to impound the bus in case they wanted to execute a search warrant later.
After more than an hour of being questioned by Stan and Delyla Wilson as to the legalities of their detainment and the impoundment of the Permibus, the police then informed Stan that the bus, which is legally registered as a passenger vehicle in the state of Montana, was being impounded for a commercial vehicle inspection.
Shortly afterward, Sergeant Paul Davis, a commercial vehicle inspector arrived on scene. Despite the polices insistence that the reason for impoundment was for a commercial vehicle inspection, the Permibus crew were not allowed to remove anything from the bus including computers, toiletries, and 17-year-old Megan Wilson’s shoes.
The police finally allowed the animals to be removed from the Permibus before it was towed, leaving the Permibus family standing beside their chickens and dogs, homeless on the highway.
The Permibus was relocating from the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis (where they had spent the day teaching Urban Permaculture) to a friend’s house in Saint Paul for a well-deserved break. The Permibus has been in the Minneapolis area since August 2nd when the crew appeared at the Midtown Farmers Market for a morning of Permaculture education including Permaculture 101, chicken care, seed-ball making for kids, and the Permi-puppet show.
During the past month, the Permibus has parked at several local businesses and, as a neighborly gesture of respect for local police, Mr. Wilson contacted the appropriate precincts just to let them know the Permibus was in the area and had permission from the business owners to be parked on their lot. Through this, as well as other casual discussions with Minneapolis and Saint Paul police officers, the Permibus crew found the local police to be interested and respectful.
However, on August 30th, all that changed when, for no apparent valid reason, the police pulled over and seized the Permibus.
After the incident Stan Wilson said, “If the combined law enforcement of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Ramsey County, and the State of Minnesota can pull over and impound a vehicle and home used to teach organic gardening and sustainability, one has to wonder what it is our government really fears. After all, we seek to teach people that the real meaning of homeland security is local food, fuel and energy production. For that we have had our lives stolen by government men with guns.”
As of now, after repeated requests to be present at any vehicle inspection, with a list of what they are inspecting for, as well as requests to be served any warrants for searches of the vehicles prior to a search and to be present during the search, the Permi-family has been unable to ascertain the current status of the Permibus.
On site, Mr. Wilson was told that Officer Palmerranky was the inspector in charge of the case and would determine if the Permi-family’s rights protecting them from unreasonable search and seizure would be respected. Neither Officer Palmerranky nor his supervisor has yet to return Mr. Wilson’s calls.
The loss of her home and possessions is particularly difficult on seventeen-year-old Megan Wilson. Megan, a shining example of what this country asks of today’s youth, has dedicated herself to making positive changes in the world.
She was the youth keynote speaker at the Local-to-Global conference in Phoenix AZ, has taught conflict resolution at youth shelters and is the outreach coordinator for the Skills for a New Millennium Tour, the family traveling educational project. Megan believes that, “While I understand that the world we live in is not as it should be, I strive to live and teach in a way that shows the world how life could be. What I don’t understand is why I can’t get dressed for an evening out with friends in my own home without armed men stealing my life out from under me.”
The Permi-family, along with their dogs and Permaculture super-hero chickens are currently being housed by folks in the Twin Cities.
The Skills for a New Millennium Tour is a family education project that travels around the United States teaching homesteading, citizenship, and life-skills at farmers markets, community gardens, churches, intentional communities, schools, and in people’s living rooms. The Skills Tour is a donation-supported project dedicated to providing tools for sustainable living, including Permaculture, to anyone who is interested, regardless of income.
“We believe that any solution that is not accessible to the poor and urban areas is not a real solution for the future,” states Delyla Wilson. Permaculture is a design system with ethics and principles that can be applied to food production, home design, and community building in order to increase sustainability in food production, energy production, and social systems.
The Permibus is a rolling demonstration of small-scale sustainable living with three people, three dogs, three chickens, and a box of worms as permanent residents. The chickens and worms are part of a closed-loop food production composting system that supports the Permibus’s traveling garden.
For more information on the seizure of the Permibus, the Skills for the New Millennium Tour, or Permaculture, the Wilson’s can be reached at (406) 721-8427 or through email at email@example.com. You can also see pictures and read stories about the last six months of their educational adventures at permibus.livejournal.com.
To our supporters: First we ask that as many people as possible contact precinct one in Minneapolis, MN at 612-673-5701 and Mayor Rybak at
Phone: (612) 673-2100
Or call (612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis.
Also call the Ramsey County Sheriff
Sheriff – Bob Fletcher 651-266-9300
and demand the immediate release of the Permibus.
We are also in desperate need of donations. Though we do not yet know the full cost of getting the permibus returned we know that it will include tow fee, impound fees, and legal fees. To donate contact us directly for a local address or…
• Contact: www.earthactivisttraining.org/
• To support the Permibus, write, ACT, 1405 Hillmount St. Austin, TX 78704
This post has been sent from Starhawk@lists.riseup.net.
Starhawk is a lifelong activist in peace and global justice movements, a leader in the feminist and earth-based spirituality movements, author or coauthor of ten books, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, and her latest, The Earth Path. Starhawk’s website is www.starhawk.org, and more of her writings and information on her schedule and activities can be found there.