[permaculture] Fwd: [starhawk] Permaculture Education Bus Seized by Twin Cities Police at RNC

bwaldrop at cox.net bwaldrop at cox.net
Sun Aug 31 15:41:42 EDT 2008

The message below is being sent out by permaculture activist Starhawk.  This seems like a pretty incredible abuse of power, but I suppose it has something to do with the upcoming Republican political convention to be held in the area.

Bob Waldrop

> Hey friends, we need your help!  Our Earth Activist Training Sustainable
> Skills Bus has been seized without cause by the police.  Below is an account
> from the Wilsons, who have been travelling in the bus for the last seven
> months doing trainings in permaculture and sustainability, including ways
> you can help.  My own accounts from the action can be found on
> www.starhawk.org and I¹ll be posting daily as long as I can‹or sign on to my
> own list by emailing starhawk-subscribe at lists.riseup.net.  If you¹re on that
> list, my own account follows.  Please support these folks who have been
> doing such good work for us all.  Thanks!
> Please Post Far and Wide including any Media Contacts You May Have
> 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
> wereunable 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 at 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.
> Also call the Ramsey County Sheriff
> Sheriff - Bob Fletcher 651-266-9300
> 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 at 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

More information about the permaculture mailing list