Video: RNC 8 Case Concludes
Today, October 25, was supposed to be the beginning of the trial of the RNC 8. Originally facing terrorism charges under the first (and so far only) known use of the Minnesota PATRIOT Act, the eight anti-RNC organizers then faced four charges each before pressure on county attorney Susan Gaertner sent the terror enhancements packing. In the end, Gaertner dropped charges against three of the eight completely, and in doing so found it easier to secure a final plea agreement on a lesser charge.
At the final hearing last Tuesday, supporters packed every seat available to them. Afterwards--shown in this eight minute TCIMC/Chicago IMC video--the RNC 8 Defense Committee spoke to the media and supporters to wrap up the case, look back on the last two years, remember the reasons for resisting the 2008 RNC, and send a message to the Democratic National Committee, which is considering Minneapolis as the site of its 2012 spectacle.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, currently deadlocked in an election battle with Matt Bostrom (the "good cop" face of RNC repression) made a brief appearance in the courtroom on Tuesday. Then, Fletcher had to wait until the RNC 8's press conference concluded until staging one of his own, to which only select reporters were admitted. Fletcher's theatre was located on the 17th floor of the courthouse, guarded by four deputies who unconvincingly lied, claiming a grand jury was in process. The lie was revealed when Fletcher and his team of investigators slunk out to face the music a short time later. The deputies refused to let one independent videographer in the room; a second was ejected from the courthouse before even reaching the elevator.
Erik Oseland, the only activist of the eight to spend time in jail after September 2008, began serving his sentence October 20. With good time, he could be released before the new year.