7/8/2008 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Pack the Courtroom: Support Demands for Permits to March on the RNC
  • National Lawyers Guild Summer Picnic
  • Resisting the RNC: Town Hall Organizing Meeting
  • Don't Let the Minneapolis City Council Shoot Down Our Rights!
  • Complaints to Internal Affairs vs. CUAPB

IMPORTANT UPCOMING ACTIONS

Folks, there are a lot of important actions happening in the Twin Cities over the next few days. Please read the announcements below for full details.

July 9: Court Support for a permit for a march on the RNC
July 10: Flyering downtown to push for city council approval of protections from MPD use of rubber bullets, other protections
July 12: NLG annual freedom picnic
July 13: Resisting the RNC Town Hall meeting
July 16: Pack the Minneapolis city council committee meeting to demand protections from MPD use of rubber bullets, other protections
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PACK THE COURTROOM: SUPPORT DEMANDS FOR PERMITS TO MARCH ON THE RNC
Wednesday, July 9
2:00 p.m.
Federal Courthouse
4th Street and 4th Avenue, Minneapolis

The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War will be in Federal Court to seek an injunction that forces the City of St. Paul to issue adequate permits, regarding march route and time, for an anti-war march during the Republican National Convention (RNC) September 1st. Join others at the Courthouse in support of the Coalition's demands for permits to March on the RNC. Please arrive between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m. Organized by: the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. FFI: <marchonrnc.org>.

Please also sign the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War's eletter. It's a petition to St. Paul Mayor Colman to demand that we get the permit we need to have a successful march on September 1st: http://mapm.pjep.org/eletters/
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NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD SUMMER PICNIC FOR FREEDOM
Saturday, July 12
5:00 p.m.
Minnehaha Park Bandstand

Celebrating local defenders of freedom and raising energy for our struggles ahead.

The NLG will supply the hotdogs (meat and vegan), corn on the cob, baked beans, watermelons, pop, plates/utensils. Please contribute a side item for 12 if you can, but be sure to come and bring friends/ that's the most important!
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RESISTING THE RNC: MINNESOTA TOWN HALL ORGANIZING MEETING
Sunday, July 13
1:30 pm
Rondo Community Library
461 North Dale Street, St.Paul

Join us and plug into the organizing efforts of those who have already started putting plans into place to resist the RNC. This will be a space for people to come together, share ideas, plans and energy, and participate in the process.

- Discuss why the RNC is coming, what it means for our community, and why resistance is necessary
- Updates on the plans groups have for the convention
- Network and organize with others who are organizing to protest the RNC.

Contact Kim: kimdefranco@yahoo.com or Nathan: reallysubsumed@riseup.net to reserve an information table, present your "already underway" plans, and/or volunteer to help with the event.

Childcare and snacks provided.
Co-hosted by: Protest RNC 2008 and the RNC "Welcoming" Committee
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DON'T LET THE MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL SHOOT DOWN OUR RIGHTS!
Rubber Bullets Can Kill!

You may have heard about the City Council stripping away protections for people exercising their rights, protections that activists fought for and won in 2000. You may be mad about this.

But you can fight to restore these protections!

Thursday, July 10th
12-1:30 p.m.
Peavey Plaza, Downtown Mpls

Come downtown on Thursday and help spread the word about the City Council's contempt for free speech!
Meet at the base of the fountain at Peavey Plaza at 11:45 a.m. to hand out flyers and talk to people about the problem and what they can do about it. Organizing session from 11:45-noon and flyering from noon-1:30 (or however long you can stay). If you can help print flyers, great! Email recycleme2@gmail.com for a PDF version of the email below.

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More information on fighting for these protections is in the email below.

DON'T LET THE MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL SHOOT DOWN OUR RIGHTS!
Rubber Bullets Can Kill!

In 2000, after a number of excessive force incidents by Minneapolis police against protesters, the community successfully pushed for a resolution that bans police from using rubber bullets, prevents cops from concealing their identities, blocks police from infiltrating groups and building dossiers on activists, and provides other important protections.

Over the last month, however, the Minneapolis City Council has been working on new resolutions. They claim they want to make it easier to exercise free speech but, in reality, they passed one resolution requiring us to get permits to demonstrate­something we've never had to do before. Then they passed another resolution that has some loosely-worded protections for activists but that throws out the 2000 resolution and all of its truly important protections.

A proposal by councilmember Cam Gordon would bring many of the important protections from the 2000 resolution into the new resolution. This proposal was shunted off to the Public Safety and Regulatory Services committee, which was supposed to hear it on June 25th but they postponed it to their July 16th meeting at request of the police department.

If you want to be safe when protesting the RNC, members of this committee, the rest of the city council and the mayor need to hear from us NOW! They need to know we are not going to let them take away the hard-won protections of the 2000 resolution and we are not going to sit idly by while they empower cops to use rubber bullets on protesters. We need to demand they pass Cam Gordon's proposed changes to Resolution 2008R-248: Resolution Adopting Police Policies Regarding Public Assemblies.

CONTACT THESE COUNCIL MEMBERS:
*Paul Ostrow 612-673-2201 paul.ostrow@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
*Cam Gordon 612-673-2202 cam.gordon@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
*Diane Hofstede 612-673-2203 diane.hofstede@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
*Barb Johnson 612-673-2204 barbara.johnson@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
*Don Samuels 612-673-2205 don.samuels@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Robert Lilligren 612-673-2206 robert.lilligren@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Lisa Goodman 612-673-2207 lisa.goodman@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Elizabeth Glidden 612-673-2208 elizabeth.glidden@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
*Gary Schiff 612-673-2209 gary.schiff@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Ralph Remington 612-673-2210 ralph.remington@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Scott Benson 612-673-2211 scott.benson@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Sandra Colvin Roy 612-673-2212 sandra.colvin.roy@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Betsy Hodges 612-673-2213 betsy.hodges@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
*Member of Public Safety & Regulatory Services Committee

CONTACT THE MAYOR:
R.T. Rybak 612-673-2100 R.T.Rybak@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND ATTEND THIS MEETING
Minneapolis City Council's Public Safety & Regulatory Services Committee Meeting
Wednesday, July 16
1:00 p.m.
Minneapolis City Hall
350 S 5th Street, Room 317
Minneapolis
There won't be a public hearing but that doesn't mean we can't make our presence felt! Bring signs and statements to hand to the members. Pack the council chambers!

Brought to you by a broad coalition of Twin Cities-based activists. For more information on this issue, contact mgresist@minn.net or www.coldsnaplegal.org


INTERNAL AFFAIRS: FEWER FILING AGAINST MPD
However, an anti-police-brutality group received 17 complaints last week.

By Andy Mannix
July 2, 2008
http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2008/07/02/72167426

While incidents involving Minneapolis police using force climbed significantly from 2006 to 2007, the number of complaints made to the department decreased drastically, according to the 2007 Internal Affairs Unit report released by Minneapolis police last week.

According to the report:

• Force incidents increased 40 percent from 2006 to 2007.
• Arrests increased from 53,220 to 55,645.
• Internally and externally generated complaints decreased 8.2 percent.
• Total complaints decreased 10 percent, from 246 to 222.

Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Bill Palmer attributes the decrease in complaints to an emphasis on people skills during the department's training.

Palmer said Minneapolis police are dealing with the public in a more "professional" manner than in past years.

"We're not in the business of making people happy, but the way we are training our officers to interact with the public may be working," Palmer said. "I would say that it is."

At a community forum June 16 facilitated by the Police Executive Research Forum - a private company currently investigating the Minneapolis police Internal Affairs Unit - many community members criticized the MPD's ability to deal with the public.

Many said they have been discouraged and threatened to not file complaints with the MPD's internal affairs.

Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, said her organization has received a record number of complaints against Minneapolis police in the past few weeks, including 17 last week.

"We are just floored by the number of complaints we're receiving," Gross said. "It's summertime, and it's usual for our numbers to go up in the summer, but it is just skyrocketing."

Based on information gathered by CUAPB, Gross said the report released by the MPD presents an "overly rosy" picture.

"I don't feel that this agency is in any way serious about monitoring the conduct of the police," she said.

Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia denied that community members have been discouraged from reporting complaints.

"It's a very open process," Garcia said. "You can file a complaint without even dealing with an officer."

After a complaint passes the preliminary investigation, it can escalate into a formal internal affairs case, come under panel or chief review or receive an administrative examination, which may lead to policy changes.

Of the 222 complaints, 63 were formally investigated and 13 others moved past the preliminary stage, according to the report.

The most common forms of disciplinary action taken in sustained formal internal affairs cases in 2007 were suspension and coaching. There were four terminations, according to the report.

Of Internal Affairs Unit cases, almost twice as many complaints came from internal sources than external.


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