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Lawsuit seeks damages for police violence against anti-war protester at RNC

by staff |
September 27, 2008
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St Paul, MN - The first lawsuit resulting from police violence at the Republican National Convention was announced at a press conference in front of Saint Paul City Hall, Sept. 26. Notice has been served on the cities of Saint Paul, Bloomington and Minneapolis, along with Ramsey County, that lawyers representing Mick Kelly will seek $250,000 in damages. Kelly was shot at close range and injured by police with a high velocity marking projectile at a demonstration organized by the Anti-War Committee on the fourth day of the RNC, Sept. 4.

Said Katrina Plotz of the Anti-War Committee, “Those responsible for attacking our protest against the war on Iraq need to be held accountable. Nearly 400 people were arrested. Riot police repeatedly met our demonstration with tear gas and concussion grenades. We have every right to speak out against the war. We demand all charges against anti-war protesters are dropped. Those who stood in the way of our right to protest will now answer for their actions.”

Mick Kelly was carrying the lead banner in the march to the Xcel Center. Police blocked the march route at 12th and Cedar. He was shot after police tore the banner off its poles.

Kelly, who was among the organizers of the massive anti-war march on the first day of the RNC Sept. 1, has another lawsuit pending against the city of Saint Paul stemming from an incident where he was arrested on June 5 for passing out leaflets promoting that anti-war protest outside the Obama rally.

The lawsuit is being pursued by attorneys Ted Dooley, Gena Berglund and Peter Nickitas, all members of the National Lawyers Guild.

Speaking at the press conference, Meredith Aby stated, “We in the Anti-War Committee encourage other protesters who were assaulted, detained and arrested to follow Mick Kelly’s lead and sue the city of Saint Paul. We ask the city to have public hearings so that suing the city will not be the only avenue available for people to get the attention of the mayor’s office. We encourage everyone who attended the Anti-War Committee’s No Peace for the War Makers demonstration to speak out against their treatment. Even in the face of this oppression at home, the anti-war movement must continue to speak out against the U.S. occupation and war in Iraq. It is imperative that we not be silent. We refuse to be intimidated. The Iraqi people need us to continue to protest the unjust and immoral occupation of their country. We ask our supporters to join us in the streets and to join us in our demand that all charges be dropped.”