A little background… • RNC Welcoming Committee: investigation $300,000 • Four Paid Informants: FBI and Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office; others from Iowa and Texas • Tens of thousands of pages, 100s of discs of discovery
The beginning • Originally charged with 2 nd degree conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism • First known use of the Minnesota state PATRIOT Act passed in 2002 – incredibly broad definition of terrorism
Pressure • Ramsey County prosecutor Susan Gaertner – was running for governor (but not doing so well, in part thanks to us!) • Dance party outside Susan’s fundraiser, December 2008 • State adds 3 more charges – 4 total; 2 terror enhancements
Pressure • More events; national day of action, petition delivery, media appearances • Terror charges dropped; 2 remain • Collective pressure campaigns WORK. Our response is to push back; not be afraid •Ongoing events: dinners, educational events, solidarity & legal work
Pressure Some key points of RNC 8 & Defense Committee work: • Solidarity with all targets of repression • Visibility • Expand friendliness of community • Continue struggles
Charges Now: • 2 nd degree conspiracy to riot (with a dangerous weapon) •1 st degree conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property (over $1,000)
Upcoming • Minneapolis: RNC 8 Defense Committee meets regularly; national network of supporters • Funds needed: $250,000 • Judge Teresa Warner • Trial scheduled October 25. Come to Saint Paul!
In Context •Use of informants has a long history •SHAC 7 USA conspiracy conviction for... running a website. Only one example of the expanded, convenient definition of “terrorism” to bypass violence •Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act cases; Scott Demuth/Carrie Feldman – alleged evidence from RNC raid
Terror Why “terrorist”? Why “criminals”? • Our movements' ideas are a threat to the core cultural, political, and economic values embodied in the concept of property; and threaten the capitalist imperative to colonize all forms of life; • Rejection of hierarchy represents a threat to the broader social order rooted in speciesism, white supremacy, classism, and heteropatriarchy; • Disciplinary message to the general public
Terror Who are the terrorists? • A common first instinct is to argue that the RNC 8 (for example) aren’t the real terrorists. • But then who is?
Terror Who are the terrorists? • A common first instinct is to argue that the RNC 8 (for example) aren’t the real terrorists. • But then who is? YOU, ME, ALL OF US • The target of repression is not just those who face a prison sentence – it is us.
8 for the 8 ORGANIZE for justice and liberation in your local community • the more radical, non- hierarchical organizing, the more difficult it is for the state to successfully target any of us • the work done by the RNC 8 is not unique – chances are you and your neighbors may be doing it too, or could be
8 for the 8 STAND IN SOLIDARITY with political prisoners, targets of repression, and marginalized communities everywhere. For a list of political prisoners in the US, visit the Anarchist Black Cross Federation website: www.abcf.net
8 for the 8 SUPPORT the RNC 8 directly by being in the courtroom at their May hearings or coming to the Twin Cities for trial in October While you’re here, continue to build the connections and networks that keep our movements strong and safe
8 for the 8 DONATE Even radical lawyers are expensive (see our website, RNC8.org, for more action items to round out the list)