Tag Archives: Protest RNC

FRSO on the RNC: Two Summations

The following two statements by the Freedom Road Socialist Organization sum up the protest in St. Paul, Minnesota of the Republican National Convention in 2008.

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Anti-war protests at the RNC send message to the world

The tens of thousands of RNC protesters who hit the streets of Saint Paul Sept. 1 – 4 did something that was truly great. The demonstrations sent a powerful message that was heard around the world: The people of the United States reject the war on Iraq and the Republican agenda. We insist on peace, justice and equality. This message was heard by the rich and powerful, who responded with repression. And it was heard by hundreds of millions of people. Reports of the protests were carried by thousands of media outlets ranging from network TV in the U.S. to Al Jazeera to the New China News Agency. The Sept. 1 rally against the war was carried live on C-SPAN.

The demonstrations that took place on the first and last days of the RNC were of particular importance. The size, scope, militancy and the political clarity – crystallized in the slogan “U.S. out of Iraq now” – helped to create the political context for the entire week of actions against the RNC.

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Lessons From the RNC: Mass Mobilization and Militant Actions Advance the Struggle

The Republican National Convention brought many of the biggest war-makers to Minnesota. The people’s movements from across the U.S. responded by organizing four days of demonstrations against the RNC. Freedom Road Socialist Organization prioritized organizing against the RNC and helped build multiple days of protest including the mass anti-war march of 30-35,000 people on September 1st and the “No Peace for the Warmakers” militant march turned civil disobedience on September 4th.

We saw the RNC as a chance to unite the anti war movement under the slogan “U.S. out of Iraq Now” and to build a broad united front against the Republican agenda. By any standard the powerful protests that rocked St. Paul were a blow against the rulers of this county.

For progressive and revolutionary organizations the RNC served as a sort of test. Many, from a variety of political trends – ranging from Marxist-Leninists to anarchists – passed this test with banners raised and flying colors. They stepped up to the plate, organizing a historic response to the Republican agenda of war, racism, and reaction.

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See also the numerous articles on Fight Back! News

Freedom Road: Lessons from the RNC

rnc-jeremymiller-poster

The following is from the website of Freedom Road Socialist Organization:

Lessons From the RNC:
Mass Mobilization and Militant Actions Advance the Struggle

by Freedom Road Socialist Organization

The Republican National Convention brought many of the biggest war-makers to Minnesota. The people’s movements from across the U.S. responded by organizing four days of demonstrations against the RNC. Freedom Road Socialist Organization prioritized organizing against the RNC and helped build multiple days of protest including the mass anti-war march of 30-35,000 people on September 1st and the “No Peace for the Warmakers” militant march turned civil disobedience on September 4th.

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The working class has the power to stop the war!

Here is a great video from Labor Beat about the Teamsters Local 743 from Chicago at the protest of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN. Teamsters Local 743 was a yellow-dog, mobbed-up union for decades. In October of 2007, a rank & file insurgency within the union took power, removing the old-guard crooks and putting the local in the hands of the workers.

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Lessons from the RNC Protests

The following is a summation of the RNC protest from Fight Back! News Service. I have posted a lot of other material on the RNC protests and my readers should check that out as well. 

Jess Sundin marching on day 4 of the RNC

Jess Sundin marching on day 4 of the RNC

Fight Back News Service has posted a podcast of Jess Sundin, a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and one of the leading organizers of the Sept. 1 and Sept. 4 anti-war demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Sundin speaks on the lessons that can be learned from the protests at the RNC.

Sundin, along with other RNC protest organizers spoke at a Sept. 20 community discussion in Minneapolis, Minnesota hosted by Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Click here to hear the podcast:
Lessons from the RNC protests
Jess Sundin, September 20, 2008

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Call In Day on Monday, October 13th: Hold Police Accountable for Brutality and Unlawful Arrests!

PDF Flyer

Call In Day on Monday, October 13th:  Hold Police Accountable for Brutality and Unlawful Arrests!

818 people were arrested during the RNC protests.  Please call these officials to demand that all charges be dropped!  Please forward this email to others to spread the word and print off the flyer and distribute it to others!  This call-in day is organized by the Anti-War Committee (612.379.3899, info@antiwarcommittee.org, antiwarcommittee.org).

Call Mayor Coleman @ 651.266.8510
Mayor Chris Coleman misled the public and allowed St. Paul to become a militarized police state during the RNC.  Riot police lined the streets of the permitted march on Sept 1.  On Sept 4, the city-sponsored “public viewing area” across from the Xcel Center was closed to the public.  Throughout the week, protesters were attacked with pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and police batons.  Coleman called the actions of police “nothing short of heroic.”  Call Mayor Coleman to demand that police be held accountable for their brutality at the RNC and that all charges against protesters be dropped! Continue reading

October 18: National Conference on War, Socialism and the People’s Struggle

The following is from Fight Back! News:

WAR, SOCIALISM AND THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE
A conference on imperialism and how to end it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008
9 am – 5 pm
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Over the last six years there has been an upsurge in the people’s struggle in the United States: The growth of a mass anti-war movement not seen since the fight against the war in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s; the emergence of an immigrant rights movement and the largest struggle for equality since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s; and a growing fight back against foreclosures, job cuts and cuts in health care, education, welfare and a growing economic crisis.

Fight Back! has covered these struggles and sees the growth of the people’s struggle calling for a higher level of understanding of our common struggle against imperialism – a system based on giant corporations that cross the globe in search for ever-greater profits, and these corporations’ control of our government and use of military force to achieve their goals. Fight Back! is sponsoring this conference so that activists can share their experiences and learn more about imperialism and how we can fight to end it and replace it with a system of socialism, where people’s needs, not corporate profits, are the basis of society.

Join us on Saturday, Oct. 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota for this important conference on imperialism and how to end it. At the conference there will be workshops and discussion that brings together activists from the anti-war, immigrant rights, the labor, oppressed nationality, student and lowincome movements. There will be presentations from some of the leaders of these movements and from Freedom Road Socialist Organization. We will also be talking about how to build a revolutionary media that an serves the people, grassroots organizing, bringing together a broad united front of different forces, building a revolutionary organization and the direction for the people’s struggle in 2009. Continue reading

This is what imperialist democracy looks like

Take the fundamental laws of modern states, take their administration, take freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, or “equality of all citizens before the law,” and you will see at every turn evidence of the hypocrisy of bourgeois democracy with which every honest and class-conscious worker is familiar. There is not a single state, however democratic, which has no loopholes or reservations in its constitution guaranteeing the bourgeoisie the possibility of dispatching troops against the workers, of proclaiming martial law, and so forth, in case of a “violation of public order,” and actually in case the exploited class “violates” its position of slavery and tries to behave in a non-slavish manner.

 - V. I. Lenin: “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky”

(More video on Left Spot’s blog)

I was at the protests against the RNC in St. Paul over Labor Day weekend. Now more and more videos and articles are coming out like the video above that show the heavy repression that was endured by the people who came to St. Paul. Homes were raided at gun point, and in all over 800 people were arrested. Here are three very good articles from Fight Back! News covering the protests.

30,000 march against war on Day 1 of the RNC

Video: Anti-war protest on Day 4 of RNC

Anti-war march challenges McCain on last day of RNC

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Anti-war march challenges McCain on last day of RNC

Anti-war march challenges McCain on last day of RNC
Crowd repeatedly tear gassed, 396 arrested as police pull out all stops to prevent anti-war march from reaching Xcel Center

Jess Sundin of the Anti-War Committee on Day 4 of RNC, Sep 4, 2008

by Brad Sigal

St. Paul, MN – On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Sept. 4, over 1000 protesters took to the streets to deliver a strong anti-war message while John McCain was speaking. The march was initiated by the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee, with the theme, “No peace for the war-makers.”

Thousands of riot police repeatedly blocked the anti-war march from getting anywhere near the Xcel Center, even though there was supposed to be a ‘public viewing area’ that was to be open to any protesters until 11:00 pm each day of the RNC.

By the end of the march, hundreds of people were tear gassed and subjected to concussion grenades. 396 people were indiscriminately rounded up and arrested, including fifteen journalists. More people were arrested at this march than the rest of the Saint Paul RNC protests combined. Continue reading

Video of RNC Day 4 Protest: No Peace for the Warmakers!

Mick Kelly shows off the bruise at a news conference Friday, Sept. 5, 2008 in St. Paul, Minn., that he said he received after getting hit by a projectile fired by riot police as anti-war protesters gathered near the State Capitol Thursday night, Sept. 4, 2008 in St. Paul where the Republican National Convention was nearing an end. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Mick Kelly shows off the bruise he received after getting hit by a projectile fired by riot police at the protest on the 4th day of the RNC. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

“Despite repeated police provocations and attempts to disperse the protest, the marchers stayed together and stayed in the streets for over three hours until McCain was speaking after 9:00 pm.”

The article posted below about the militant protest on day four of the RNC is from Fight Back!. To read about the 30,000 person strong march on day one of the RNC, check out this post.

Video: Anti-war protest on Day 4 of RNC

St. Paul, MN - On September 4, the final day of the RNC, 2,000 protesters took to the streets here to deliver a militant anti-war message. The march was organized by the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee, with the theme “No Peace for the Warmakers.” The march was supposed to go to the Xcel Center, to show dissent while McCain was speaking. Instead, riot police declared the march an ‘unlawful assembly’ and blocked every road leading toward the Xcel Center. This is despite repeated pre-RNC assurances that there would be a ‘public viewing area’ right outside the Xcel Center where anyone could observe or express themselves during the RNC, which they claimed would be open to anyone until 11:00 pm daily. Despite repeated police provocations and attempts to disperse the protest, the marchers stayed together and stayed in the streets for over three hours until McCain was speaking after 9:00 pm. The march ended in teargassing and the mass arrest of 396 people, while McCain was speaking inside the Xcel Center. The following video captures much of the spirit of the march, which was the final protest during the RNC.

RATM unplugged at the RNC protest

“Are they afraid of us? They’re not afraid of four musicians. They’re afraid of you!”

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