Despite months of media coverage promising some of the most violent and chaotic protests at the Republican National Convention, the political circus came and went with very little fanfare. The numbers of protesters were drastically lower than the numbers put forth by organizers and the deadstream media.
Aside from a few arrests for the legal act of burning the American flag there was not much dramatics and in reality, the $50 million “security grant” used to increase security around the city of Cleveland was largely wasted. The majority of the cops were left standing around wondering why the heck they were following around a handful of mostly peaceful protesters. However, there was one incident involving federal and local law enforcement blatantly violating the rights of activists who were in town for the Republican National Convention.
On Wednesday morning, activists (some who claim association with Anonymous or identify as Anarchists) had guns pulled on them before they were forced out of their beds and into the streets to be questioned by agents of the federal government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Elyria police illegally entered the home of a local resident who was hosting visiting out of town activists. Cleveland.com reported:
FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said law enforcement went to the house Wednesday morning because those inside were suspected of causing issues this week in Public Square in downtown Cleveland. Namely, agents believe the group threw bottles of urine at police officers, Anderson said.A spokesman for Elyria police also confirmed that its officers joined the FBI at the Lake Avenue house shortly after 7:40 a.m. He did not have any further details.
Anderson also told Cleveland.com that the officers did not put guns in the protesters faces and did not enter the house. However, this statement is contradicted by two videos captured by activist Rod Webber who was inside the house at the time of the raid.
The videos clearly shows a police officer yelling at one of the protesters, “get out of the bed. I’m not going to tell you again, or I’m going to come get you out of bed. Come on, you know what’s going on. Get out here.” The officers take the protesters outside of the house before questioning them about whether or not they had thrown bottles of urine and feces at police officers the day before.
“The Ohio NLG condemns warrantless raids without consent as unlawful police conduct,” Jacqueline Greene, an organizer with the Ohio National Lawyers Guild, told Cleveland.com.
Activist Post spoke with activist Brittany Om about her experience being woken up by the FBI with a gun in her face.”It was 8:00-ish am and they didn’t knock, one officer came in with his gun already drawn and went back to our bedroom by himself to get us. They didn’t ask any questions except if we knew some people and they read off names but we didn’t know any of them. Then they said they’ve been watching us for a few days and if we didn’t want to see them again that we will stay away from the RNC.”
Activist Post reporter Derrick Broze spoke with Rod Webber (aka The Flower Guy) about the raid as well. Webber was inside the house when the raid began and made the decision to record the incident from two different cameras.
The RNC may not have been the clash of protesters and police that some may have hoped or promoted but the raid by the FBI does in fact show that the American Police State lives. In times of great fear and paranoia the authorities will use whatever justification they can muster to force their way and intimidate those who seek to expose them. In the end we only have the “rights” we are willing to stand up and fight to preserve.
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