The self-styled “anarchists” in St. Paul are positively organized when it comes to stonewalling the media.
A coalition of groups held a news conference at Harriet Island this morning, to protest the raid of their office on Smith Ave., in St. Paul, and several other houses in the metro.
After a series of speeches detailing various allegations against police, I asked a speaker if there was any evidence that law enforcement had infiltrated their organizations.
“Absolutely,” said Cheri Honkala, who says she’s from Minnesota. She then detailed already-well-documented evidence about infiltrations in 2004. New York spied broadly on the groups well in advance of the Republican convention in New York, the New York Times reported.
“That was 2004, I’m asking about 2008,” I said.
As one member of the coalition tried to answer a question, the leader of the group cut him off and announced “The Welcoming Committee will not be answering questions.”
Just prior to that Honkala made an impassioned speech about the importance of the news media in covering a story.
update 2:53 p.m.
A news release from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office says these items were confiscated during the raid in St. Paul:
Materials used in creating “sleeping dragons” (pvc pipe, chicken wire, duct tape)
Large amounts of urine (including 3 – 5 gallon buckets of urine)
Assorted edged weapons including a machete, hatchet and several throwing knives
Gas mask and filter
Empty glass bottles
Homemade Caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads)
Old tires (for burning)
Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields
Material for protective padding
An army helmet