Public invited to Oct. 23 panel discussion on Republican National Convention, civil disobedience, community policing
A political party’s national convention and protesters. They seem to go together, in the words of Forrest Gump, "like peas and carrots." So as St. Paul continues preparations for the Republican National Convention, plans are under way to ensure the free-speech rights of everyone – conventioneer and protester alike.
Those plans are the topic of a community panel discussion, "The Republican National Convention: Civil Disobedience, Community Policing and Moral Courage" from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium at the University of St. Thomas. It is free and open to the public.
Panelists will include:
- Dick Bernard, president of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, a consortium of 68 peace groups in Minnesota
- Matt Bostrom, assistant chief, St. Paul Police Department
- Dr. Gerald Schlabach, director of St. Thomas’ Justice and Peace Studies program
- Tom Smith, assistant chief, St. Paul Police Department.
The Republican National Convention will provide a unique arena for guarding free speech as well as protecting citizens and their property from harm when more than 100,000 visitors converge on the city from Sept. 1 to 4, 2008. The St. Paul Police Department employs a philosophy called "community policing," which aims to create more trust than sometimes exists in other communities among police, protestors, conventioneers and citizens. Panelists will discuss its principles and respond to audience questions.
For more information, call Dr. Michael Andregg at St. Thomas, (651) 962-5907, or the university’s Justice and Peace Studies program, (651) 962-5332.