Today, October 13 (um, I just found out it’s “Columbus Day”, which prompted this immediate thought: “people still celebrate some kind of “Columbus Day”?) 6 of the 8 members of the RNC Welcoming Committee who helped to plan and coordinate the massive protests outside the Republican National Convention in St Paul, MN in early September are having their first court date.  In solidarity with these organizers, who face felony charges of “conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism“, as well as almost two dozen others who face felony charges and nearly 1,000 other activists who face charges following the RNC protests, a call from community members and movement organizers has been put out through the Cold Snap Legal Collective asking that we all take a few minutes today to put in a few calls to Minnesota.

First, call (651) 266-8510 and tell Mayor Chris Coleman’s office that the city of St. Paul must hold police accountable for their violent actions and inhumane brutality during the RNC and that all charges against protesters be dropped.

Then, call (651) 266-3222 and demand that Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner drop the Felony charges against almost 2 dozen RNC protesters and that you are watching the “RNC 8″ case very closely. Demand that her office not prosecute protest organizers as “terrorists”.

And finally, before your Columbus Day celebrations get underway (?!?!?) call City Attorney John Choi at (651) 266-8710 and demand that all misdemeanor charges be dropped now!  He has referred to RNC protesters as “outsiders” who wanted to “create mayhem.”  Let him know the hundreds of Twin Cities residents arrested during the convention would probably disagree.

Legal council is reminding folks to be firm, but polite.  Public calls to City, County, and State attorney’s have often proven quite influential in the prosecution of these kinds of trials, but the impact we have could very easily be negative for the hundreds of people facing charges if your call is not articulate and polite.  Remember the first rule of creating change: don’t make yourself the issue; there are bigger things at stake here.