Early this morning, the Ramsey County police raided several homes occupied by people here to protest at the Minneapolis Republican National Convention. It’s believed that these were associated with another raid conducted last night, and the target were individuals associated with a group called the RNC Welcoming Committee.
Glenn Greenwald and I arrived at one of the houses shortly after it was raided this morning. It was a hippie house full of people in their late teens and early twenties who said they were here to "watch history." They were forced on the floor by roughly twenty cops carrying assault rifles, who initially refused to show them search warrants and joked about the "Terminator" and the "Executioner."
We spoke with the people who were staying at the house about the raid in the video above, and they were really sweet and inspirational, interested in "food not bombs." Coming off the Denver DNC where most young people were blackberry-wielding Young Democrats hustling tickets to bigger and better parties, they were extremely refreshing and a much needed part of our political landscape. The idea that they were a serious threat to security is rendered rather ludicrous by watching the video above.
We later spoke with Bruce Nestor from the National Lawyer’s Guild who lives in the neighborhood of the second house we went to. He’d seen the search warrants and said that the laws they were trying to invoke were largely bullshit, meant to suppress free speech and not dissimilar to those used against the Chigago 8 in ’68 (we’ll have video of that interview up soon).
It’s not clear what the Ramsey County Sheriff was doing conducting raids in Hennepin County, but the lawyer suggested a strong likelihood that it had to do with a desire for a bigger piece of the $50 million security pie.