I’m re-printing the following account, from InfoshopNews.  Power, by its nature, tends to flow upwards and as it does so, it obviously consolidates and reacts.  Political systems, which do nothing more than manage power on a socialized scale, do exactly the same.  All across the United States you can see this.  Being on the political left and walking down the street just ain’t what it used to be, no matter where you are or who you are.  Take, the following:

 

A group of six people were walking down the street in the industrial section of Saint Paul at 6 pm on Saturday, August 23, 2008. We turned to the right as one of us turned left on his bike. A police car rolled by him and stopped and pull him over. He was getting patted down, and his belongings were being searched and photographed. 4 more cars gradually pulled in, one strategically placed to block our view of their interactions and another strategically placed towards us so we were in shot of their police camera. We sat down on the curb about a block and a half away to keep an eye on the situation. A detective in an unmarked police car drove by us, slowed down and asked what we were doing. We said we were stopping to smoke cigarettes and drink water, and he informed us we were across the street from the Saint Paul Police Department headquarters, and there was increased security due to the upcoming Republican National Convention. 

He drove off, and about five minutes later two police cars pulled up and the police inside detained us, asked for our identification, patted several male-bodied people down, searched our bags (owners verbally expressed that they did not consent to the search), and took down our addresses. We were questioned about the schools some of us went to and whether or not we were violent protesters or anarchists. Our markers, multi-tools, and bike tools were questioned and suspected of being weapons. We were then photographed by officer Dan Michener, badge number 787. First we were photographed individually, then as a group. Male bodied people had their tattoos photographed. Officers Kathleen M. Brown, Dan Michener, badge number 787 and Genevieve Haigh, badge number 688, made small talk with us, asking us about what kind of music we listened to and what candidate we were in support of for the upcoming election. We were also questioned on our involvement with groups such as the Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement, the Northeast Anarchist Network and the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, all described by the police as dangerous militant protest groups who didn’t have any respect for the freedom of individuals. We were repeatedly reminded that the police were with us, on the side of peaceful protesters and in favor of speaking our minds. We were advised to stay away from “militants” and people who would like to hurt people and destroy property. 

 

We were also repeatedly reminded to keep an eye on one of the people in our group (who had just been released from detainment and was detained again), who they perceived as more of a threat than the rest of us. The female detainees were treated much differently than the male detainees, not being patted down or even suspected of having tattoos to be photographed. During this entire process, more cops continued to arrive. All the names and badge numbers we were able to get were: Jeff Rothecker, # 245, A. Jay Curiel, #811, Genevieve Haigh, #688, Dan Michener, #787, G. Carter, # 382, T. Tessmer # 611, and Kathleen M. Brown, whose badge number we didn’t get. There were probably between three and five more police officers there who I didn’t deal with directly and did not get the badge numbers of. We were told that we were being made an example of and that we should go and tell our friends that they will meet the same reaction if they’re seen anywhere near the location of the Saint Paul Police Department Headquarters. When we asked why were being detained, it was inferred that we were being detained as a security measure to prepare for the upcoming Convention, and that we were in fact in a high security zone in which our rights could be curtailed and ignored as a matter of course. After around an hour, and in total about a dozen police people and cruisers being on the scene, we were told we were then free to go

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