3/8/2003 Newsletter


  • Watch Your Back at the Megamall
  • Great Idea for Dealing with Cop Layoffs

We just learned that the press conference being held on Monday, March 10th in support of progressive groups that have been falsely framed as "terrorist" has been changed to 10:00 a.m. instead of 11:00 a.m. The details:

Press conference by Anti-Racist Action, Students Against War, others
Monday, March 10th
10:00 a.m.
State Capitol

At this press conference, State Rep. Keith Ellison is expected to announce a new anti-McCarthyism bill he will be introducing to the legislature. As the Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft regime ratchet up the police state and the repression filters down to the local level, we need to get behind these groups and behind this bill to stop attacks on First Amendment-protected dissent. See you there!


Lawyer Arrested for Wearing a 'Peace' T-Shirt
March 4, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance" that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany.

"I was in the food court with my son when I was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall," said Downs.

When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing "in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises," the complaint read.

Downs said police tried to convince him he was wrong in his actions by refusing to remove the T-shirt because the mall "was like a private house and that I was acting poorly.

"I told them the analogy was not good and I was then hauled off to night court where I was arraigned after pleading not guilty and released on my own recognizance," Downs told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Downs is the director of the Albany Office of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates complaints of misconduct against judges and can admonish, censure or remove judges found to have engaged in misconduct.

Calls to the Guilderland police and district attorney, Anthony Cardona and to officials at the mall were not returned for comment.

Downs is due back in court for a hearing on March 17. He could face up to a year in prison if convicted.


Friday letters from readers (3-07-03) Star Tribune

Where to start on layoffs

The March 5 Star Tribune detailed the state's financial crisis and how it could result in layoffs in the Minneapolis Police and Fire departments.

I suggest that first for the chopping block should be those police and fire employees who have a record of abusing residents.

An initial list of employees to lay off could be culled from Civilian Police Review Authority complaints previously filed against officers. Let's start with those who have had the most complaints sustained and work down the list.

Laying off abusive officers, and publicizing it, would certainly help build trust between the city of Minneapolis and its residents.

-- Chris Spotted Eagle, Minneapolis.

Communities United Against Police Brutality
2104 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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