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More Sat. RNC Po Po BS

Just visited a bunch of areas where police are raiding homes and detaining people - often releasing them hours later without charge. In particular, the police detained a whole bunch of video workers who are from NYC, where their work proved officers lied on some 400 charges against protesters 4 years ago at the RNC NYC.

Complete crap. Guess we are no better than the rest of the country. Constitution may provide redress later, but does little to protect rights now. Ridiculous.

Pre-RNC Raids

Last night, Ramsey County and St. Paul Police raided a meeting where people were planning protests against the Republican National Convention, which starts next week. Nothing is clear yet, except that the police have little respect for the Constitution. More details here.

This morning, I got a call from a friend working with the National Lawyers Guild - they needed a photographer to get out to S. Minneapolis because there were more raids. So I grabbed my gear and headed out to see what photos I might get.

Arrived about 1 hour after the police raided the house. They were still dealing with some of the occupants though they had already arrested and removed 3 who were on the search warrant. They took crime-scene photos of 2 cars out front (MN plates, so much for the out-of-towners coming in and causing problems, eh).

Justification of the warrant is dubious and the word is that home owner and 2 occupants are charged with conspiracy to riot. The warrant sought a number of things, including Molotov cocktails - assembled or not. Unfortunately, this is a total bullshit claim. 95% of houses have disassembled Molotov cocktails - a bottle of liquor and a t-shirt in another room. Add some nails from the basement and you have a shrapnel bomb. These warrants are designed to get anyone busted.

Hazmat teams came in because the house has long stored biodiesel. Sure, they have been using it to power their van, but having it means they must be preparing to blow shit up. Raid and raid in the Twin Cities - I'm disappointed as I had higher hopes for protecting rights to dissent. Early word from raid last night suggested that they were taking all manner of cameras and computers for evidence. How someone was going to blow up the Xcel with a camera is beyond me.

I'll probably be putting more coverage up as I learn more. I'll go out if more news breaks today, otherwise I'll be shooting the Gopher football game tonight and heading to the march against torture or something like that tomorrow in the late morning.

Best local coverage is on Twincities Indymedia, The Uptake, and Twincities Daily Planet.

FRANTI! DEAD PREZ!

Where will I be on Tuesday night? RNC RNC RNC RNC RNC RNC RNC RNC.

THANK YOU Republicans! The aristocratic'er party, the Repubs are in St. Paul and some great bands are coming to meet them. Steve Earle is playing on Monday. Awesome!

On Wed, I'll finally get to see Rage Against the Machine at the Target Center in Minneapolis - thanks to Kimmi with the early birthday gift.

And now - on Tues, Michael Franti and Dead Prez on the Capitol lawn! It's the Ripple Effect 08!.

Cedar Bridge

I'm already looking forward to a new bridge (well, old bridge fixed) over the Minnesota River that will be open by 2010.

Always looking for new routes and exciting places to visit without a car! Where is it? Old Cedar Ave is just below 77 here. They are going to replace a bridge that has been closed for the past 5 years.


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Google Transit

Google is going to add the Twin Cities to its transit integration on google maps. I used google maps in Portland when planning trips on the buses and it was incredibly helpful.

Now if we can just get Google to help with Minnesota's total and blatant lack of ability/interest to use modern technology to allow citizens to know what is happening at all levels of government. Every try to get a transcript from a court case? Or follow hearings in the Leg without going there? It is much more difficult than it should be. Government is failing to offer citizens access to the information we need to be informed.

Rage Against RNC?

Wow. I'm pretty pumped about the Republican National Convention coming to St. Paul. I've heard rumors about a Michael Franti free concert at the Capitol and now I find that Rage Against the Machine will be performing on the Target Center during the RNC.

Unfortunately, tickets for it go on sale on Saturday morning, when I'll be camping. Hrm. Maybe Michelle or Kimmi can help me out?

Also, Steve Earle will be playing Harriet Island as part of an SEIU rally on Sept 1.

Radio

Local folks may want to tune into AM 950 on Wed evening at 6:30pm to hear me talk about a local network and a lawsuit I have been following closely.

You should be able to listen online here.

CRACK

The explosion was more of a CRACK than a BOOM or even the KABLOOMY I hoped for. It was actually a stunning experience. Missed what this is about? Read about it here.

I put my smokestack demolition photos on flickr and in my gallery.

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And finally, the smoke drifted over downtown St. Paul.
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Update:The best video I've seen thus far is from the Strib which shows just how slow it goes down.

Also, a video from the explosion...

Mpls Bike Culture

I just read about a local bike shop / coffee shop / bike art gallery in Minneapolis called One on One Bicycle Studio. I guess they have new and used bikes. I'm gonna have to stop by over there to see what it is like. Sounds interesting!

Boom Boom Smokestack

Wanna see something big go boom? I do! Saturday morning, June 28, a smoke stack near the High Bridge in St. Paul will be imploded at 7:30 AM. I read about it first on MPR.

The bigger story is that Xcel Energy has been converting a coal plant to natural gas, which will result in fewer emissions and make St. Paul a better place to live, even if the electricity is a tad more expensive. It is still insanely cheap relative to its utility!

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