My comments are at the end.
Police attacked a Critical Mass in downtown Minneapolis during the pReNC today and arrested at least twenty people using mace, pepper spray, tasers and brutal force on crowd of cyclists with no provocation.
A strong critical mass of around 400 or more cyclists were attacked by the police at the corners of LaSalle and Grant as the tail end of the Mass went under the bridge.
"They just drove into the crowd and nearly hit me, it was totally unprovoked" proclaimed a cyclist who was in the last 5 bikes.
After arresting one biker for allegedly "driving straight towards cars," Massers turned back and swarmed the cops, chanting "let him go." Unsurprisingly, since they were outnumbered 2 to 500ish, the cops let him go.
Half an hour later, another few bikers are arrested by cops (now following the Mass at the back). After bikers turn back to get legal information and collect badge numbers, suddenly a dozen or so squad cars show up. Unprovoked, the police start attacking the crowd, first with excessively violent arrests, then mace, pepper spray, brandishing batons and using tasers on bikers. They arrested at least one utterly uninvolved bystander just for taking pictures as well as several minors. The cops created a riot style line of police that arrested a cyclist who made the mistake of falling behind the others. According to an eyewitness as she attempted to move from behind the police line to join her friends she was told "Get of your bike and get on the ground."
At this point around 20 people are believed to be arrested as the police force of Minneapolis flexes its brutality in the midsts of the PreNC anarchist and anti-authoritarian planning happening during this weekend.
Cruisers #993 and #9980 drove into the back of the mass at the corner of LaSalle and Grant and started to arrest a few cyclists. More arrests ensued with police resorting to pepper spraying the crowd and creating a line in which they advanced and arrested those who fell behind.
Badge and car numbers that we know of:
4151 (maced people)
4046 (tazer, excessive force)
956 (tazer, excessive force)
car 999 - pushed into an individual's bike
unmarked car, license plate RVX-707, cop with badge number 6837 - hit an individual
Tasers, pepperspray and mace. As well as at least one cop attempted to ram and run over a cyclist.
If you witnessed this police brutality contact Joe Vacek at www.simplelaw.org
Everyone who was arrested have been released on bail except Hunter Gsoell who it is clear will be staying until at least Wednesday. Sympathy letters and the like can be delivered at the Jack Pine.
How livid this makes me! I expect we'll see much more trampling of civil liberties (yep, it's that crazy right to assemble!) as the RNC approaches. But hey, we're just a bunch of wacky anarchists, rabble rousers, no-goodniks right? It's not like I'm an RN, a mother, a wife, a human being. All you folks who tsk and sneer at our protests and our antiauthoritarianism just remember, we're out there protecting YOUR right to assemble, YOUR right to dissent too.