"By Laura Flanders, Firedoglake
Newly released footage, which was buried to avoid confiscation, shows riot cops arresting and abusing a giant group of people for nothing.
Now that we've had a few weeks to settle, a look back at Labor Day in the Twin Cities. Labor Day was of course also Day One of the Republican National Convention. Video was released today of an apparent mass arrest of utterly peaceful concert goers at the SEIU Labor Day concert.
My personal favorite moment in the tape is an off-camera exchange. Police in riot gear have surrounded loungers in a waterfront park. They announce, "Ladies and Gentlemen, You're Under Arrest" and you hear one young woman say incredulously "Are you serious?"
Yep, I'm afraid they are.
Here's the press release that came with the video, from the Glass Bead Collective:
BURIED TAPE REVEALS USE OF FORCE AND AN UNWARRANTED MASS ARREST OF BYSTANDERS DURING THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (September 18, 2008) Video released today shows the indiscriminate arrest of a crowd of two hundred at the waterfront across from a concert on Harriet Island Regional Park during this month's Republican National Convention in St. Paul. The video includes multiple angles of the event as well as an interview with the cameraman who buried his footage and was one of almost two hundred people arrested for rioting without probable cause.
More than eight hundred people were arrested in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention. This video shows that at least twenty percent of the eight hundred plus arrested were seized without due cause."