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Ground Noise & Static

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First we fight the battle, Then we fight the battle of summation This is our contribution to the battle of summation Telling a reliving the collective story of the Of the republican national convention Is fundamentally important for resistance movements in the US By remembering these huge sparks in activity We remind our selves that we can confront the state in all its might And all of a sudden another world seems so much closer And so much more real But just as important as telling our collective stories Is learning from our collective experiences. In this election, there is something happening in America l know these a are tough times for many of you You're worried about kee... (interrupted) My friends, my dear friends Please, please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static (Laughs) The RNC Welcoming Committee The Anarchist, Anti-Athoritatirian body organizing for the protests Started publicly organizing a full year and a half before the convention This amount of lead time is something that hasn't be prevalent in the north american protest movement since the summit protest era at the height of the the global justice movement On labor day weekend 2007 Exactly a year before the convention the RNC Welcoming Committee held a weekend long planning and training meeting, attended by hundreds of activists Representing organizations from around the country What kinds of activities are expected for the protests? Well, something that came out of the first Pre-N.C. was that we were going to blockade the streets And try to prevent the delegates from reaching the Xcel Energy Center in the Welcoming Committee's words, crash the convention the RNC Welcoming Committee is not planning any actions or protests Ourselves, we are more or less creating the clearinghouse for people to come through us to have those actions happen. We plan to provide you with over 300 buses And hundreds of private cars to transport you From your lodgings to the Xcel Energy Center All four days of the convention With more than several freeway entrances Into Downtown Saint Paul Including the l-94 Kellogg exit The l-94 fifth street exit The 35E Eleventh street exit The 35 E University exit The l-94 Tenth street exit And the l-94 12th Street exit Getting to the Xcel Energy Center might be half the adventure Awesome No blood for oil, U.S. off Iraqi soil With the Coalition to march on the RNC and Stop the War Scheduled to march on the Xcel center same day as the RNC Welcoming Committee's Crash the Conventions Blockade Organizers for both groups worried about how the two actions will play out together on the streets, but in February '07, organizers from both groups came together To establish the Saint Paul Principles What it was, was a way make sure that all the work that the local organizers Wouldn't get pushed aside when the national groups came in We've had a lot of success having other groups sign on to the Saint Paul Principles, and it's actually pretty historic First we mentioned, our solidarity will be based on diversity of tactics And the plans of other groups, meaning while people might disagree with tactics, we all recognize which side of the barricades we're on There will be a separation of time and space for actions And what that means, we're going to make sure that lf someone is having an action in an area that nobody is going be bringing their actions down on that one that's already going on The third one which is a pretty new agreement for people to sign on to for a march or an action like this is Any criticisms or debates of tactics, individuals, they will be kept internal We're not going to go to the media and denounce this group that has different tactics than us The last one is that we oppose any state repression of dissent Including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence We agree not to assist law enforcement in actions against activist and others lt's pretty nice to see that people seem to be coming around to the idea that when it comes to protests the police very firmly on one side This is your final warning, you will be subject to chemical irritants If you do not disperse and clear the streets ln some sense the battle of the RNC was kicked off on Thursday August 28th with the erection of Bushville, a tent city modeled after the Hoovervilles of the great depression. This encampment on Harriet Island, will serve as a home for the poor and homeless arriving in the Twin Cities to protest the Republican National Convention. Homeless people sleep every single night across Saint Paul The only difference between myself and other homeless people That would be here in Saint Paul, is the fact that they don't have signs up ls that the difference? Is that we're saying something about what's happening In this country We know our families don't have the kind of health care that they need They don't have the kind of housing that they need We live in a rich country and none of us should have to be Dealing with 9,000 police officers Just to talk about what's wrong in this country On Friday, August 29th and Saturday, August 30th, police make a series of preemptive strikes against the movement. Armed with a search warrant, police kicked in the door of the RNC Welcoming Center, a convergence space for protesters. They ended up breaking through the door, all of us were in there They had us get down on our stomachs as we were watching a movie We were both terrified, the cops went in and started cuffing everybody For our safety and theirs, supposedly as he is crying and in hysterics The Ramsey County Sheriff's department and the Saint Paul Police Raided the RNC Convergence space and detained over 50 people ln an attempt to preempt planned protest on the RNC on Monday Looking for items in any Twin Cities house like jars, paints and rags This attempt to portray us as criminals and destroy our credibility Has already backfired as evidenced as the masses of people who have come to support us Frank is Gena, there's two more house raids going on in Minneapolis One's at 2301 twenty third avenue south and the other is at 3240 seventeenth avenue south, just thought you might want to know Me and my partner were sleeping and l was naked and officers came and separated us, made me lay on the floor naked for about an hour By the time the first wave of raids ended, At least three houses had been invaded and Eight RNC WC organizers had been arrested on felony conspiracy to riot charges In response, the legal, communications, and community outreach structures Jumped into high gear, legally contesting the arrests and the searches Providing solid, accurate information and running rumor control and generating a widespread expression of community outrage. Private First Class Shane Penley, Age 19 Sauk Village Illinois Died in Iraq, April 6th, 2008 We will remember you August 31st. We remember, say the Veterans For Peace as they march on the Xcel Center to read out the names of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed in the war. Unknown Iraqi child, bloody face and loss of right eye, we will remember you Let them in, they have served their country, let them in Nine are arrested for breaching the security perimeter. Monday, opening day for the RNC At the State Capitol, the people assemble, preparing to march in peaceful protest to the Xcel center. Estimates vary on the size of the crowd, between 10 and 30,000 people. The police are armed with extended batons, pepper spray, tasers, tear gas guns, automatic rifles, and guns firing less lethal projectiles Today, public order will be kept by 3,700 police from across Minnesota with the help of thousands more from over 30 agencies The RNC Welcoming Committee had divided Saint Paul into 7 sectors So that organizing groups throughout the country can coordinate their actions and blockade as many access points as possible. Each group created a unique blockade, independent, yet collaborative Major entrance and travel points in each Sector, from highway on-ramps, to busy intersections, to hotel shuttle bus loading spaces, were claimed by the affinity groups. Traffic was blocked for several hours in downtown St. Paul and during the chaotic scene the swarm of protesters was able to disable at least two buses by slashing their tires and smashing their windows. Delegates were delayed in getting to the Xcel Center and hundreds of America's political elite were directly and personally confronted by an energetic declaration of opposition. l'm shutting down, they are getting ready to spray down here l said the riot, the protesters have come down, the police are on their way down Here and l am going to shut down before they spray The police reacted aggressively, strategically and methodically working to force protesters out of key intersections and off of main thoroughfares. They use blunt object force, chemical weapons, and concussion grenades in an attempt to disperse, or at least push back crowds. And when their numbers allowed it, police surrounded and arrested entire groups of protesters, reporters, and bystanders. Put your hands behind your back You're under arrest Get down from that day on, the Saint Paul police held a constant assault against all RNC protesters, regardless of their affiliation, or permit status We remember the US tank that fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, killing Spanish journalist Jose Couso, and the US missile attacks on the offices of Al-Jazeera in both Iraq and Afghanistan shortly after the US invaded those two countries. Altogether at least 217 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the US-led invasion, according to Reporters Without Borders. Recently, Indymedia journalist Sally Grace Eiler was raped and murdered in Oaxaca, Mexico, in a case linked to political repression, much like the case of Indymedia videographer Brad Will, who in 2006 was gunned down in Oaxaca while covering the teachers strike. Journalists serve as the eyes and ears of democracy. Without free access to the story, there can be no freedom of the press. ln St. Paul, the police escalated their usual heavy-handed attack on media activists by first detaining, nearly a week before the convention began, members of the Glass Bead Collective They confiscated our cameras, they confiscated our notes They confiscated our computers. What they took away is our ability to report Later police raided i-witness video, a cop-watch group. Their footage of police arrests at the RNC 4 years ago in New York resulted in hundreds of arrested demonstrators getting off since the i-witness video footage showed time and again that the police were lying about the circumstances of the arrests. gentleman in the house had cameras and we were videotaping and photographing as we heard the police bust through an attic door Yell 'Police' come down the stairs and enter the living room with a hand gun Drawn on us. Put them on top your head please, on top of your head please Two members of the PepperSpray Collective, Lambert Rochfort and Joe LaSac were arrested in St. Paul while covering the protests. They were both held for days and their cameras were not released until after the story they traveled from Seattle to cover was over. It was a serious blow which put the lens cap on their reports. Hold it right here. Ma'am, sidewalk Release the accredited journalists now! l'm coming from the convention floor. Sidewalk, now Sir l want to talk to... Authorities picked up a rock only to drop it on their own feet with the arrest of Democracy Now's popular host Amy Goodman, and her crew. The police quickly let Amy out of jail as they were inundated with a storm of calls and other pressure demanding her release. independent Filmmaker Flux Rostrom operates Mobile Broadcast News a school bus that serves as video production facility, roaming the country to cover underground news. Throughout the RNC the Saint Paul Police attempted to break in numerous times without a warrant, forcing the mobile broadcast news crew to keep watch on 24l7 Get out of here! l can't see, ahhhh! Press! Press! Get down on your face! On your face! Get down on your face! Domestic preemptive raids and arrests against protest organizers and the press marks a big escalation by the authorities. They clearly wanted to cripple the movement and or ability to report on it, and certainly did not want the unblinking eye ofthe camera trained at them while they did their dirty work. These tactics raise political questions around the constitutional right Of freedom of the press, and exposes the ugly face of the police state You alright Flux? Yeah, l'm all right. They only got one eye, l still got one left Good morning slaves and welcome to part two of ground noise and static, by now you probably thought.... Wait a minute, where's my mother fuckin eye? thanks. OK, so you suckers though we were just going to grill the Republicans and let the Democrats off the hook, didn't you? My selecta, rewind that shit Our team of video ninjas went to Denver for the same reasons we covered the protests in St. Paulice. There is a resistance movement growing throughout the land and all around the world. A movement that is bigger than elections. A movement that broadly unites people across a diversity of class, social, political, economic, racial, and gender lines. A movement that in the spirit of the St. Paul principles can live with its many differences, because we are all united against against a common enemy. We know there is something fundamentally wrong and even suicidal as a species, with the corporate vision of the future. So the movement went to Denver, just like St. Paul, to proclaim mutiny, to stand up and be counted on the better world that is possible. When things like these happening, somebody better recreate some struggle Our immigrant sisters and brothers, are being rounded up by the thousands Dragged out like slaves, dragged out of plants and factories, dragged out of their homes, thrown in prisons, some of them are dying in prison for lack of Medical attention, deported, some of them are being beaten to death, lynched Somebody better recreate some struggle Somebody better recreate some militancy, some unity What occupation do we oppose? What war do we oppose? All war? Any war? This war? That war? How about the war that's right here in occupied Denver? With the DNC coming to town, it's like Santa Claus has dropped off gifts For the Denver Police Department, only these gifts are in the form of new riot shields, new security cameras, and gas canisters to use on protesters Have you notice that with all this talk of stopping terrorists and Bin Laden all that stuff and all this militarization and homeland security, that it all comes down to the government's guns are pointing at us? This is what happens in a Nazi country, not what happens in America You can't even walk down the street, without them coming out with their war gear on. -Protester.. Help! -Police.. Camera, camera -Protester.. Help! -Protester.. l'm shot You're in charge? and you're instructing these officers to hold me here? Under what freaking authority? While its no doubt true that some people who were righteously interested in bumping chests with Republicans skipped Denver, to avoid making the Democrats mad. Its safe to say that those who showed up in Denver, and there were a lot's of them, were clearly sick of the two party, corporate-police-state system. When it came to the constitution, the democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us, was more important to them than protecting our civil liberties. When it came to war and occupation, the Democratic leadership showed us, that financing an illegal immoral war based on lies, was more important to them, than the peoples desire for peace And when the people, hurting from the financial mismanagement of this country, called for accountability, for the crimes that have been committed Against the people here, against the global community, against nature itself The Democratic leadership took impeachment off the table. And even greater use of clean coal technology We need to have clean coal technology And that's why we have to invest in clean coal technologies The DNC was also being billed as the greenest convention ever by the Democrats and a need to seriously confront green capitalism was seen as a necessary component to the protests. One of the most common things that we see every day, is this thing called green washing, and it's when corporations try to say they're a part of this environmental movement, they're part of this sustainable paradigm, that we all want, because we see how unsustainable our current lifestyles are The problem with that is that these companies, aren't part of our sustainable future, and the sooner that we realize that, the sooner that we're going to get rid the best. Let them die, and start building something that's truly sustainable. The clean coal lobby was out in force at the DNC passing out fans and buttons touting the virtues of clean coal without even explaining what it is. Overall the anti green capitalism mach was a success in causing a spectacle to counteract the dem's green image and got into the heads of unsuspecting political tourists. This was a powerful victory as normal folks become disillusioned with the political system and look for real alternatives beyond the democratic leadership One of the best indicators of how shaky things are for the rich is the role of Iraq Vets Against the War. Fresh back from the killing fields, these mutineers are driven by their own experiences to confront democrats and republicans alike. l think people need to get out on the streets, l think it has to be a real movement Gl's have to stop fighting the war, that's how it ends. And they need the support They need to see people in the streets that are supporting them. When they actually resist, when they go AWOL that the people are there for them More and more vets--and now active duty military--are joining IVAW to stand and confront their masters. Ron Kovic paralyzed Viet Nam Veteran, whose story is detailed in Oliver Stone's movie 'Born on the 4th of July, and who in real life rode his wheelchair in to disrupt the Republican convention in 1972 never stood so tall as when he wheeled out of this year's Democratic convention to stand with IVAW as they faced off the cops and their political handlers. When l have to go inside of a cage, to dissent to question authority. Is that the freedom that l sacrificed my body for? In the next couple of days, we are going to find that freedom. We are going to allow the American people to know that we are not going to be silenced. That's what being an American is all about. We refuse to be silent. They will not take us. We will not go silently into this dark American night. This was a photo op moment, rank and file, disciplined, silver bugle and all, standing against the masters of war. Here's how it all came down.. Just a victim of the in house drive by... Rage Against the Machine rocked out a free concert in front of thousands of fans. immediately following the show, RAGE instructed the crowd to march behind the vets to the Pepsi Center for five freakin miles. The plan worked, and about ten thousand amped up peeps walked towards the DNC in an unpermitted march. We have come here to hold the Democratic Party accountable We want to talk to Senator Obama, we do not want to hurt you We don't want you to hurt us. They stood in mutiny, and the cops, who would immediately attack a similar crowd lead by protest groups, punked out. At one point the cops started suiting up, preparing for the order to atttack. The vets stood unwavering, the crowd on edge. The authorities tried to stall, but the vets determinedly held their ground. -We are! -We are! -Awaiting negotiation! - Awaiting negotiation! -With Senator Obama!! -With Senator Obama!! -The Democratic Party! - The Democratic Party! -ls scared shitless right now! -ls scared shitless right now! Finally the police blinked and it felt like a decisive battle had been won. The veteran's liaison is coming out to set up a meeting to talk about when We can read our letter to the delegates Your voices have been heard! Senator Barack Obama is going to meet with us. No doubt the ranks of IVAW will continue to grow with volunteers, stepping up to the battle. Their actions reach those unreachable by other means. And by example they call out to all Americans to exceed the limits to break ranks, and join the revolution. In conclusion, the republicrat rebellions of 2008 succeeded in bringing people from around the country together, and cementing strong bonds which will carry on beyond the conventions. See you in the streets They tried to use me, but l am not a tool. They tried to lie to me but l will not be fooled They tried to bribe but l could not be bought And they tried to stop me but l cannot be stopped Because we are unbeatable And we are unstoppable

Video Details

Duration: 31 minutes and 19 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: subMedia / Pepperspray Productions
Director: Franklin Lopez
Views: 433
Posted by: stimulator on Dec 24, 2008
A video report on the protests that occurred in connection with the Democrat and Republican National Conventions, Ground Noise & Static is a manifesto. We went to Denver and St. Paul to take the pulse of the movement. Corporate media would cover the platitudes and posturing of the politicians, we were interested in something else, a story hidden in plain sight, captured in the now-classic street chant, “This is what democracy looks like.”

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