Convention Beat: August 30, 2008 Archive
Posted at 10:19 PM on August 30, 2008
by Tim Nelson
A monstrous hurricane may be bearing down on the Gulf Coast and a self-described "hockey mom" might be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.
But the news stars of this weekend are three plastic buckets with cling wrap taped over the top.
What's in them?
Potty, say police -- part of a planned biological assault on security at the upcoming Republican National Convention.
It's wash water, says National Lawyer's Guild local chapter president Bruce Nestor.
He's the activist attorney who's taken up the cause of would-be demonstrators swept up in a series of police raids ahead of this week's Republican National Convention.
"This whole urine thing is a total and complete fabrication, total and complete" Nestor said Saturday night, after being escorted out of a press conference held by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher to discuss the raids. "You can look at the inventory. The officers didn't even claim it was urine at the time they seized it. And his press release claims three five gallon buckets of urine. These people, I went into their house. I saw it. They disconnect their kitchen sink from the sewer system and they drain it into a five gallon bucket and you call it grey water. You can't drink it, but its usable still. And then they haul it upstairs and they flush the toilet with it. And in their view, they're doing the responsible thing. They're using less water. They're paying less on their utility bill, they're not taxing the city sewer system, they're reducing runoff into our streams and rivers. That's what they were doing."
"It might be weird to you and I that like to turn on the faucet and have it go straight into the sewer system," Nestor said. "But its not criminal. It's not violent."
So where did the whole urine thing come in?
Well, there've been longstanding rumors that urine and feces were the new weapon of choice for street protests.
And it turns out there WAS some wee, as it were, involved here. The sheriff has some potty in one of the pails in his department's basement.
"The one bucket of urine they got was from some guy out in the back garage," Nestor said. "The guy's been living there eight or nine years. He's got nothing to do with the people in the house. It's a fabrication."
So what was going to happen? Was it a squatter's chamber pot or a would-be political statement?
Nestor pointed out that Fletcher last week was amidst his own legal problems, and suggested that the Sheriff's efforts might better be spent investigating the likes of Mark Naylon, his former aide and the best man at his recent marriage. Naylon and another sheriff's employee were convicted in federal court on corruption charges last week.
[Asked at today's press conference about the jury's decision on Wednesday, Fletcher denied any ulterior motive to the raids by his department in the runup to the Republican National Convention. He said the investigations regarding "criminal anarchists" long predate the trial of his friends.]
But Nestor contends the case is still more about the sheriff than the people with the buckets. And whatever was in them.
"He was quoted that these people were planning extreme violence. That they were planning attacks on law enforcement," Nestor says. "It's a fabrication. An outright lie. I know these folks, okay. We have agreements and differences, but the point is they're young folk. They're idealistic. They don't believe the Democrat or Republican party are going to make things better in this country. They want change. Fundamental change. They they don't believe attacking a police officer is going to send a postitive message to society and convince anybody to agree with them..."