Not so different fiddlers, same dance:
…On Saturday afternoon, law agents surrounded 951 Iglehart Av. in St. Paul where members of I-Witness Video, a New York-based group that monitors police conduct during protests, were staying. They were detained and handcuffed but eventually freed without charges…
…This is truly repugnant, extreme police behavior designed to intimidate protesters, police critics and others, and it ought to infuriate anyone and everyone who cares about basic liberties.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
…Glenn Greenwald: So what were they charged with?
Bruce Nestor: They were charged with conspiracy to commit riot, which is about as bullshit a charge — about as thin a charge — as you could possibly come up with. And I say that as a lawyer.
Glenn Greenwald: How do you distinguish between that and a protest?
Bruce: You can’t. It basically criminalizes political advocacy. I mean, the essence of conspiracy law is if a single individual takes an overt act towards accomplishing an illegal goal such as purchasing a brick, and the police then claim that someone else in his group has an intent to throw that brick, then everyone who advocates that you attend that demonstration…
Glenn: Even if you’re not intending to commit that crime…
Bruce: …even though you’re not intending to commit the crime, could all be charged with conspiracy….
It’s their party and they’ll desecrate the Constitution if they want to.
Heaven protect us from long (and short) haired protesters with large puppets and smart mouths. Puh-leaze.