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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Terrorizing Dissent: Election Cut early bird premier today in the Twin Cities

The following is a reprint of a press release from Glass Bead Collective and Twin Cities Indymedia.

Glass Bead Collective, Twin Cities Indymedia, and other independent media activists have released a new film, "Terrorizing Dissent: Election Cut," an exposé of events at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Featuring first-person accounts and footage from more than forty cameras on the streets, "Terrorizing Dissent" focuses on the story of dissent suppressed. People charged with "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism" speak out against the government's campaign to manipulate media coverage and label civil disobedience and community organizing as terrorism.

The film is free to view and download now (FLV/MOV) at

Free screenings of the film will be offered throughout the nation before and immediately after the election. (See below for schedule.)

The 'Early Bird Premiere' is this Saturday, November 1st, 10:40 AM at Riverview Theater (3800 42nd Ave S., Minneapolis, MN). Doors open at 10:15 AM.

Effectively, the Republican National Committee provided financial cover for the widespread, organized suppression of dissent. The FBI and Secret Service coordinated with local police to raid homes and work spaces before the RNC even began. On the streets, the government's intimidation strategy shut down peaceful protests through the heavy use of tear gas, pepper spray, stun grenades, rubber bullets, and other projectiles. This excessive use of force followed months of harassment and surveillance of community activists. At every stage, local officials have refused to release the documentation behind what they did, from the origins of dubious search warrants to joint powers agreements.

The Republican Party's efforts to control the message and crush dissenting voices were led by one of the top local Republicans, troubled Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who personally spearheaded the "pre-emptive raid" strategy and spun the media by claiming captured household items were weapons (most notably, the buckets of recycled grey water he dubbed "urine"). At every stage, from fake urine to riot threats, messages of fear were distributed to chill Minnesotans from exercising their First Amendment rights.

Just days before Fletcher launched high-profile preemptive raids against protesters, two of his closest aides, Mark Naylon and Timothy Rehak, were found guilty on federal charges after they attempted to steal $6,000 in an FBI sting. To shore up his murky political future, Fletcher staged an authoritarian spectacle unparalleled in Minnesota history.

As local Democratic officials cautiously stepped back, Fletcher put himself in front of a classic "security theater" media campaign to create a non-existent enemy, equate civil disobedience with terrorism, and move in to attack peaceful protests. This plan culminated with the blocking and flashbang bombing of a peaceful march organized by anti-war activists on September 4th as John McCain delivered his acceptance speech at the Xcel Center.

Within weeks, John McCain's campaign turned to attacking Barack Obama on the same grounds as the RNC Welcoming committee, a group that provided logistical help such as housing, food and a convergence center for demonstrators.

This rapidly produced "election cut" shows how the government--even in a liberal state such as Minnesota--easily rolled over to domestic militarization and criminal abandonment of Constitutional freedoms. As the Republican National Convention paved the way for a fall of terrifying national instability and financial chaos, Americans need to know about the techniques used to silence Minnesota.

Cut from hundreds of hours of donated footage, "Terrorizing Dissent: Election Cut" has been released for free on the Internet in HD, FLV and Quicktime formats, under the Creative Commons / CopyLeft license, and its producers encourage everyone to share this important film. A burnable DVD image will be released soon.

Visit to view the trailer, watch the full-length production, and sign up for updates on the project. Local information about the film can be found at .


Thursday, October 30th:
* Loth Lorien Co-op (244 W. Lakelawn Place, Madison, WI)
at 7 pm.

Saturday, November 1st: EARLY BIRD PREMIERE!
* Riverview Theater (3800 42nd Ave S., Minneapolis, MN)
at 10:40 am. Doors open at 10:15 AM.

Sunday, November 2nd:
* Book House (in Dinkytown, 429 SE 14th Ave., Minneapolis,
MN) at 4:30 pm.
* Arise! Bookstore (2441 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN)
at 7 pm.
* Black Dog Cafe (308 Prince St., St. Paul, MN) at 7 pm.

Monday, November 3rd:
* Arise! Bookstore (2441 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN)
at 7 pm.
* AK Press (674-A 23rd Street, Oakland, CA) at 8 pm.
* Gringolandia/The Honey Space (11th Ave [the West Side
Highway] between 21st and 22nd Streets, New York City) at
8:30 pm.

Thursday, November 6th:
* Gringolandia/The Honey Space (11th Ave [the West Side
Highway] between 21st and 22nd Streets, New York City) at
8:30 pm.

CONTACT: Vlad T, 917.650.2486;
Dan F, 651.503.5661 (Indymedia Dispatch Line);,