In the wee hours last night major police repression and violence was once again the story, this time in Downtown Minneapolis following the conclusion of a Rage Against the Machine show.  Reports on the web put the number of arrests late last night/yearly this morning between 50-80.  The latest strategy from the pigs, which began yesterday, was taking people who were being released from jail and dropping them off in far-flung corners of the Twin Cities, thus avoiding the legal and medical support teams that have been waiting around all week outside of the jails.  At 7:15 this morning Cold Snap reported that police were out in force intimidating the jail support folks outside the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis.  

As reports are beginning to come out, en masse, about unbelievable police violence and repression, including beatings, dangerous and excessive taser use, tear gas and pepper spray on large, peaceful crowds (but no arrests), mass cataloging’s of name’s and ID information, the targeting of journalists (especially those with cameras and video equipment), and people in police custody being denied their legal rights and medical treatment for serious injuries, someone, somewhere, can take comfort in the fact that the RNC took out insurance to cover the eventual massive civil suits that are sure to come down the pike.

And finally, (for now) the second journalist from PepperSpray Productions was finally released from jail this morning:

I’ll be back with updates after my time at the j-o-b is done.  Good luck folks- today’s the last day of the RNC.

5:30 (EST)/ 4:30 (CEN):  OK, as I try to read emails, newswires, and scour websites, it seems that the police have “closed” downtown St Paul in the wake of the announced “No Peace For War-Makers” march, which was supposed to start just minutes ago.  Many State Employees were given a shortened day and told to get out of downtown (hey! the State of Minnesota has been shut-down! that’s an unintended victory for anti-authoritarians!).  Again, a massive riot cop presence throughout the city is being reported far and wide.

The RNCWC had scheduled a press conference (one of many I saw announced for this afternoon) but I haven’t seen any word about it or coverage (yet)…. police have sealed off many of the main thoroughfares through Downtown St Paul and apparently the main routes to the convergence center (where the RNCWC were to hold their presser) are blocked.

Also, Cold Snap is requesting people who were witness, involved in, or have pics and video of police brutality to get in touch with them or the TC IMC, as they’re going to need to start building legal cases in defense of the RNCWC 8 as well as everyone else.

And Portland IMC is reporting that has collected over 40,000 signatures from people against the abuse and detention of journalists at the RNC, it’s being delivered to the appropriate mayors and agencies today.

6:30 (EST)/ 5:30 (CEN):  Approx 600 people marching through streets in the No Peace For War-Maker’s bloc; incredibly heavy police presence on all sides; orders for dispersal were just given; streets are being blockaded by snow-plows (I’ve never seen that one before).  I know many of you won’t understand, but my coverage will be sparse for the next few hours- opening night of the NFL.  Hit-up TC IMC and the Cold Snap Legal Collective or the Portland IMC (all of whom have just seriously kicked ass all week) for your updates.  I’ll check back in sporadically.  Solidarity!

6:45 (EST)/ 5:45 (CEN):  Bridges being occupied by protesters; cops readying tear gas, but folks are surrounded with little to no where to move; march permit “being ended” by cops.

8:15 (EST)/ 7:15 (CEN):  Several hundred people who were holding a bridge (or two) and surrounded by massive police numbers are being clubbed and brought to police vans; “chemical agents” being deployed and more cops (from Minneapolis) reportedly on their way.

10:55 (EST)/ 9:55 (CEN):  So apparently here we go again.  The newswires are filled with an endless stream of mass arrests (seemingly over 100 in the streets tonight) along with what is being called “unprecedented in recent memory” police violence on what was an entirely peaceful and non-violent crowd of civil disobedience.  Concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray, clubbings seemingly everywhere….. it all seems to be going on; I just saw first a protester in the convention who seemed to be from IVAW, followed shortly by a protester who looked to be from Code Pink- both received ample screen time on CNN’s coverage of McCain.

11:55 (EST)/ 10:55 (CEN):  As the police riot continues in the streets, MSM are caught-up in the mix- a Fox News crew was gassed and KARA 11 crew member was arrested;  a photographer for WCCO was also arrested… I wonder if the MSM will start picking up on this story now that their folks are starting to see what it’s like…. Amy Goodman’s arrest is obviously making news all over… now, if only the Forth Estate would spread the word about the atrocities committed against the other thousands who’ve bravely taken to the streets of Saint Po-Po.

I’m off to bed, and sadly, the 571MU1470R (AKA, the Stimulator) has put out his last RNC “Special Mother Fucking Report”.  I’m gonna miss that guy…..

Plenty of posts that I’m hoping to get up in the next week, in the after-math of the RNC.  First, work in the morning, septic people to deal with, a wedding on Saturday, a garage to side, wood to stack, a chicken fence to fix… you get the picture.  

Cheers, from 1351 miles due East of the Battle of the Twin Cities.