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St. Paul Photo Essay: Making the Front Page, Getting Arrested, and More from the RNC

September 8th, 2008

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation not only had a strong presence at the Democratic National Convention in Denver but at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul as well. National Organizer Katherine Fuchs filed this photo essay from St. Paul after the conclusion of the RNC.

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Iraq Veterans against the War (IVAW) march on Labor Day.
The RNC protest activities kicked off with an Iraq Veterans against the War (IVAW) march from the Minnesota State Capitol to the Excel Energy Center, home of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Katherine worked as a legal observer during this march and continued to work with IVAW members throughout the week on strengthening the “Dual Occupations: Wrong in Palestine, Wrong in Iraq” framework. Most of IVAW’s members and supporters see the important links between the U.S. occupation of Iraq and U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and want to act to end both.

Palestine contingent of the Labor Day anti-war march on the RNC.

After IVAW’s march, there was a general anti-war march attended by thousands. The Palestine contingent included about 100 activists from around Minnesota and the rest of the country. The call to action for this contingent was sent out by the Coalition for Palestinian Rights, a member organization of the US Campaign based in the Twin Cities, and included representation from several US Campaign member groups in the region.

Front page of Tuesday's Star Tribune with US Campaign placards in the picture.

The US Campaign supplied the Palestine contingent with banners and placards. The lead banner of the contingent, pictured above, read “The World Says NO to Israeli Occupation”. Last Tuesday’s edition of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune featured a great photo of the anti-war march on its front page and in the bottom left-hand corner of the picture are two US Campaign placards reading “End U.S. Support for Israeli Occupation”. To view a bigger picture of the newspaper photograph, please click here.

US Campaign anti-apartheid posters adorn our table at the Peace Island Conference.  To order your set of anti- apartheid posters, please click here.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the US Campaign had a presence at the Peace Island Conference. We shared a table with member group Middle East Peace Now. From this table we distributed postcards challenging military aid to Israel and promoting our Motorola boycott and corporate accountability campaign against Caterpillar, as well as fact sheets and other materials about our work.

Throughout the RNC, Katherine worked in the Coldsnap Legal Collective’s office, answering calls from arrested activists, working to bail them out, and taking police misconduct reports. This legal support work helps build civil liberties lawsuits against police agencies involved in brutality and false arrests. Katherine’s legal support helped our volunteers and others arrested during the protests to keep their spirits up as they sat in jail on trumped-up felony riot charges without medical care or access to their lawyers for up to two days after their arrests.

An armed Coast Guard skiff patrolling the Peace Island picnic.

The police presence in the Twin Cities was over-the-top. This armed Coast Guard skiff was patrolling around the Peace Island picnic on Thursday. Other intense police presences and overreactions led to over 400 arrests of activists, including two US Campaign volunteers who were standing on a sidewalk taking pictures of protesters when they were swept up in a mass arrest of over 100 people (they were arrested about five feet away from Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman).

Peace Island picnic.

On Thursday, Katherine gathered signatures on postcards for our military aid campaign at the Peace Island picnic.This gathering was open to all and offered free food and music in a progressive atmosphere.

Help the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation maintain a strong presence throughout the next two months as we continue to inject our issues and concerns into the election campaign season in a non-partisan way by making your generous tax-deductible contribution today by clicking here: