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Starhawk: Problems with Police at RNC, Permibus confiscated, etc.

For more info and better formatting, go to: www.starhawk.org
(Related: Request to contact Mayor Coleman of St. Paul and ask for calm from the police: here.)

From:
“butterflyblue1111” <butterflyblue…>
To: longislandreclaiming@yahoogroups.com

Republican National Convention– Convergence Center Raided
Posted by: “Starhawk” stella
Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:57 am (PDT)
RNC2‹Raid on the Convergence Center

By Starhawk

It¹s Friday night. Our Pagan Cluster is sitting on the bluff of the Mississippi having our first real meeting, when Lisa gets a call. The cops are raiding the Convergence Center, where we¹re organizing meetings
and trainings for the protests against the Republican National Convention. It¹s not a role play, the caller says. It¹s real.

Instantly, we jump up and hurry back the six or eight blocks to the old theater we are using for meetings, trainings and social gatherings. I’ve spent the last two days doing magical activism trainings, teaching
people how to stay calm and grounded in emergency situations and when things get chaotic. Now it¹s time to put the training into practice. Aaron, a tall, red-headed young man who could be one of my nephews strides along beside me. “Are you grounded?” I ask him. He nods, and runs ahead.

Nobody can keep up with Lisa, who speeds ahead like an arrow, walking, not running, but still covering the ground quickly. Andy and I trail behind. We¹re often street buddies, because we¹re both big, slow, and
supremely calm and stubborn, willing to wade into almost any situation and become the immovable object.

We¹re stopped by a line of cops just before we reach the building. They refuse to let us through, or to move their van which is blocking Scarecrow’s car. There’s an investigation underway, they say, and won¹t say more.

Brush, our dear friend, is inside, having gone to a jail solidarity meeting, ironically enough. So are two very young people who had just joined our cluster that night. I try calling Brush¹s cell phone, but get no
reply.

We wait. That¹s what you do when the cops have guns trained on kids inside a building. You wait, and witness, and make phone calls, and try to think of useful things to do.

We call lawyers. We call politicians. We try to call media. We call friends who might know politicians and media.

Through the kitchen door, we cansee young kids sitting on the floor, handcuffed. We walk across the street, back, made more phone calls. An ambulance is parked in front, and the paramedics head into the
building, leaving a gurney ready. Susu, from her car around the corner, reports that the cops have been grabbing pedestrians from the street, forcing them down to the ground, handcuffing them.

Song, one of the local organizers, calls her City Council member. She wants to call the Mayor, Chris Coleman, who has promised that St. Paul will be as welcoming to protestors as to delegates, but no one has his home number.

What I have forgotten to tell people at the training is how much of an action is just this: tense, boring waiting, with a knot of anxiety in your stomach and your feet starting to hurt. Song talks to a helpful
neighbor, who¹s come over to find out what¹s happening. He knows where the mayor
lives, says it¹s just a few blocks away, and draws us a map.

We decide to go and call on the Mayor, who could call off the cops. About five of us troop down there, through the soft night and a neighborhood of comfortable homes and wide lawns on the bluffs above the Mississippi. The Mayor¹s house is a comfortable Dutch Colonial, and lights were on inside. We decide that just a few of us will go to the door, so as not to look intimidating. Song is a round, soft-bodied middle-aged woman with a sweet face. Ellen is a tiny brunette with a gap-toothed smile, and Lisa,
formidable organizer though she is, looks slight and unthreatening. The rest of us hang back. Someone opens the door. Our friends have a conversation with the mayor’s wife, who is not pleased to be visited
by constituents late at night, and who tells us we should call the office. The Mayor, she says, is asleep, and she will not wake him up.

We think a mayor who was doing his job would get up and go see what¹s going on. Nonetheless, we head back to the convergence space.

A protestor has been released from the building. A small crowd has gathered across the street, and Fox News has arrived. They interview Song, who does her first ever Fox media spot. She tells them the truth‹that people were in there watching movies‹a documentary about Meridel Le Seuer. Meridel would be proud, and I¹m glad she is with us in some form.

One by one, protestor¹s trickle out. Now we get more pieces of the story. The cops burst in, with no warning. They pulled drew their guns on everyone including a five year old child who was there with his
mother, forced everyone down on the floor. It was terrifying.

They had a warrant, apparently, from the county, not the city, to search for “bomb making materials.” They were searching everyone in the building, then one by one releasing them as they found nothing.

They continue to find nothing, as we wait through long hours. Meanwhile, more and more media arrives. These cops are not as creative as the DC cops during our first mobilization there against the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Those cops confiscated the lunchtime soup which included onions and chili powder, claiming they were materials for home made pepper spray.

We wait until the last person gets out. He¹s a twenty year old who the cops have accused of stealing his own backpack‹but apparently they relented.

And now it¹s morning. I wake up to the news that cops have been raiding houses where activists are staying, bursting in with the same bogus warrant and arresting people, including a four year old child. They¹ve
arrested people at the Food Not Bombs house‹a group dedicated to feeding protestors and the homeless. They¹ve arrested others, presumably just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Poor Peoples¹ Campaign, which had set up camp at Harriet Island, a park in the middle of the Mississippi, has also been harassed, its participants ordered to disperse and its organizers arrested.

Let me be perfectly clear here‹all of us here are planning nonviolent
protests against an administration which is responsible for immense
violence, bombs that have destroyed whole countries, and hundreds of
thousands of deaths.

This is the America that eight years of the Bush administration have
brought
us, a place where dissent is no longer tolerated, where pre-emptive
strikes
have become the strategy of choice for those who hold power, where
any group
can be accused of Œbombmaking¹ or Œterrorism¹ on no evidence
whatsoever in
order to deter dissent.

Please stand with us. Because it could be your home they are raiding,
next.

Call the Mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Tell them you are
outraged by
these attacks on dissent. Urge them to let Poor People encamp and to
let
dissent be heard.

FLOOD THE MAYORS’ OFFICES ASAP
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
651-266-8510

Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak
(612) 673-2100
(612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis

Permaculture Education Bus Seized by Twin Cities Police at RNC
Posted by: “Starhawk” stella@…”
Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:07 am (PDT)
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 I¹ll be posting daily as long as I can‹or sign on to my own list by emailing starhawk-subscribe@ lists.riseup. net. If you¹re
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

Please Post Far and Wide including any Media Contacts You May Have

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
wereunable 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 an 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 residence. The chickens and worms are part of a closed-loop
food
productions 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 skillstour@gmail. com. You can also
see
pictures and read stories about the last six months of their
educational
adventures at permibus.livejourna l.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 311 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…

Donate On-line:

Go to: www.earthactivisttr aining.org/ donate.htm

Click on: Donate Now!

Under “Gift Information” write: Permibus

Under “Please send acknowledgment of this gift to” write:
skillstour@gmail. com

Donate by Mail:

Make check payable to: A.C.T.
On the “For” line write: Permibus
Send check to: A.C.T. 1405 Hillmount St. Austin, TX 78704

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