Sunday, September 07, 2008

Seized Anarchist Literature Part of Criminal Investigation against the "RNC Welcoming Committee"

"[T]he materials are part of a criminal investigation against members of the anarchist group the RNC Welcoming Committee."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (9-4-08) reports that literature seized from the anarchist group "RNC Welcoming Committee" can be held because it is evidence in a criminal investigation against members of the group:

A federal judge refused this afternoon to order authorities to immediately return most of the pamphlets, literature and other material seized during four police raids last weekend.

Six plaintiffs are suing the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Bob Fletcher and investigators and police officers over the searches and seizures at three Minneapolis homes and a St. Paul business office. [See story here]

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim said that although the validity of the searches has been questioned, they were authorized beforehand by two state judges and affirmed by another, in part, after the fact.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that the seizure of books, maps and other literature violated their First Amendment rights. Exhibits in court included pamphlets and books with the titles "Anarchism, What it Really Stands For," "You Can't Blow Up a Social Relationship," "The Ethics of Labor Struggle" and others.

Attorneys for the defendants have said the materials are part of a criminal investigation against members of the anarchist group the RNC Welcoming Committee. [Full text]

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