Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome to America, the newest military state

Happenings at the RNC here in St.Paul Minnesota.

POLICE SEIZE PERMIBUS

At approximately 6:25 pm on August 30, 2008 Minneapolis Police,
Minnesota State Troopers, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police,
and University of Minnesota Police pulled over the Earth Activist
Training Permaculture Demonstration Bus (Permibus) by exit 237 on
Interstate 94. Initially the police told the people on the bus to
exit. When the people on the bus asked if they were being detained
they were told that they were but police were unable to provide
justification. When asked why they pulled the bus over they refused to
answer. After repeated requests to explain why the bus had been
stopped Officer Honican of the Minneapolis Police explained that this
was just a routine traffic stop though he did not explain the reason
for the traffic stop. The police then told Stan Wilson, the driver and
registered owner of the Permibus, that they were going to impound the
bus in case they wanted to execute a search warrant later. After more
than an hour of being questioned by Stan and Delyla Wilson as to the
legalities of their detainment and the impoundment of the Permibus,
the police then informed Stan that the bus, which is legally
registered as a passenger vehicle in the state of Montana, was being
impounded for a commercial vehicle inspection. Shortly afterward
Sergeant Paul Davis, a commercial vehicle inspector arrived on scene.
Despite the polices insistence that the reason for impoundment was for
a commercial vehicle inspection the Permibus crew were not allowed to
remove anything from the bus including computers, toiletries, and
17-year-old Megan Wilson's shoes. The police finally allowed the
animals to be removed from the Permibus before it was towed, leaving
the Permibus family standing beside their chickens and dogs, homeless
on the highway.

The Permibus was relocating from the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis,
where they had spent the day teaching Urban Permaculture, to a
friend's house in Saint Paul for a well deserved break. The Permibus
has been in the Minneapolis area since August 2nd when the crew
appeared at the Midtown Farmers Market for a morning of Permaculture
education including Permaculture 101, chicken care, seed ball making
for kids, and the Permi-puppet show. During the past month the
Permibus has parked at several local businesses and, as a neighborly
gesture of respect for local police, Mr. Wilson contacted the
appropriate precincts just to let them know the Permibus was in the
area and had permission from the business owners to be parked on their
lot. Through this, as well as other casual discussions with
Minneapolis and Saint Paul police officers, the Permibus crew found
the local police to be interested and respectful. However on August
30th all that changed when, for no apparent valid reason the police
pulled over and seized the Permibus. After the incident Stan Wilson
said, "If the combined law enforcement of Minneapolis, Saint Paul,
Ramsey County, and the State of Minnesota can pull over and impound a
vehicle and home used to teach organic gardening and sustainability,
one has to wonder what it is our government really fears. After all,
we seek to teach people that the real meaning of homeland security is
local food, fuel and energy production. For that we have had our lives
stolen by government men with guns."

As of now, after repeated requests to be present at any vehicle
inspection, with an list of what they are inspecting for, as well as
requests to be served any warrants for searches of the vehicles prior
to a search and to be present during the search the Permi-family has
been unable to ascertain the current status of the Permibus. On site
Mr. Wilson was told that Officer Palmerranky was the inspector in
charge of the case and would determine if the Permi-family's rights
protecting them from unreasonable search and seizure would be
respected. Neither Officer Palmerranky nor his supervisor has yet to
return Mr. Wilson's calls. The loss of her home and possessions is
particularly difficult on seventeen-year-old Megan Wilson. Megan, a
shining example of what this country asks of today's youth, has
dedicated herself to making positive changes in the world. She was the
youth keynote speaker at the Local to Global conference in Phoenix AZ,
has taught conflict resolution at youth shelters and is the outreach
coordinator for the Skills for a New Millennium Tour, the family
traveling educational project. Megan believes that, "While I
understand that the world we live in is not as it should be I strive
to live and teach in a way that shows the world how life could be.
What I don't understand is why I can't get dressed for an evening out
with friends in my own home without armed men stealing my life out
from under me." The Permi-family, along with their dogs and
Permaculture super-hero chickens are currently being housed by folks
in the Twin Cities.

The Skills for a New Millennium Tour is a family education project
that travels around the United States teaching homesteading,
citizenship, and life skills at farmers markets, community gardens,
churches, intentional communities, schools, and in people's living
rooms. The Skills Tour is a donation supported project dedicated to
providing tools for sustainable living, including Permaculture, to
anyone who is interested, regardless of income. "We believe that any
solution that is not accessible to the poor and urban areas is not a
real solution for the future," states Delyla Wilson. Permaculture is a
design system with ethics and principles that can be applied to food
production, home design, and community building in order to increase
sustainability in food production, energy production, and social
systems. The Permibus is a rolling demonstration of small scale
sustainable living with three people, three dogs, three chickens, and
a box of worms as permanent residence. The chickens and worms are part
of a closed-loop food productions composting system that supports the
Permibus's traveling garden. For more information on the seizure of
the Permibus, the Skills for the New Millennium Tour, or Permaculture,
the Wilson's can be reached at 406-721-8427 or through email at
skillstour@gmail.com . You can also see pictures and read stories about
the last six months of their educational adventures at
permibus.livejournal.com.

To our supporters: First we ask that as many people as possible
contact precinct one in Minneapolis, MN at 612-673-5701 and Mayor
Rybak at

Phone: (612) 673-2100 or
call 311 or call (612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis

and demand the immediate release of the Permibus.

We are also in desperate need of donations. Though we do not yet know
the full cost of getting the permibus returned we know that it will
include tow fee, impound fees, and legal fees. To donate contact us
directly for a local address or...
Donate On-line:
Go to: www.earthactivisttraining.org/donate.htm

Click on: Donate Now!

Under "Gift Information" write: Permibus
Under "Please send acknowledgment of this gift to" write: skillstour@gmail.com

Donate by Mail:
Make check payable to: A.C.T.
On the "For" line write: Permibus
Send check to: A.C.T. 1405 Hillmount St. Austin, TX 78704

5 comments:

LisaZ said...

I'm going to put all this on my blog, too. This is outrageous!

Lisa

Matriarchy said...

This is bizarre, but typical in RNC cities. Apparently it was part of a series of raids on activists and journalists. I hope the Wilson family gets a good lawyer, above all. I see a lot of lawsuits in the Minneapolis future. Both Philly and NYC ended up losing a lot of harassment and illegal search and seizure suits after RNCs were held in those cities. Republican National Conventions cost millions of dollars to city and state governments, for years afterward. Perhaps the Wilson family will end up with a nice legal settlement to fund their continued good work.

WheelDancer said...

This is un fucking believable except that the right-wing fear machine is in full tilt in our once fair metropolis.

It is, of course, important to note that sustainability is un-American as it reduces shopping, W's solution to terrorism...

And what is that concept that this nation was founded on? Oh yeah, Freedom!

: Joseph j7uy5 said...

I'd like to point out that the link to the donations page is incorrect. It should be

http://www.earthactivisttraining.org/donate.html

(It ends with .html, not .htm)

Thanks for the post, by the way.

CycloneCross said...

I just donated:

http://www.earthactivisttraining.org/donate.html

I'll put up a related blog post soon - thanks for getting this story out!

-Gary

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