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British Consul Closes Office to Duck Assange Letter

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  • But wouldn't the Minneapolis Police Chief, Mayor and Minneapolis City Council be hard-pressed to explain what about our letter and efforts to get signatures it was exactly that justified the dispatching of so many police officers?! It's certainly not a crime to write or deliver a letter (especially one insisting that the law be followed) so someone must have been watching too much TV or something to get their imaginations running so wild.
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  • A copy of the same letter was delivered directly, without problem or advance notice, to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
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Coleen Rowley, Huffington Post
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On February 7, 2011, a small group of peace activists organized by the "Tackling Torture at the Top" Committee of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) tried to meet with the British Honorary Consul at his office on the 26th floor of the US Bancorp Center, 800 Nicollet Mall, in downtown Minneapolis. The purpose of the meeting was to deliver a letter with more than 750 signatures asking the British government to observe their own laws prohibiting political extradition in the case of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. Various news sources (also here and here) have claimed that the proposed extradition is being pushed by the United States so that, once Assange is in Sweden, the U.S. can grab him for political rendition to stand trial in the U.S. with a possible death penalty.

The time of our anti-torture group's intended letter delivery had been conveyed to office staff of the Honorary Consul (Attorney William McGrann) at least three times (twice by phone and once by e-mail) in the days before and on the morning of Monday, Feb 7. When the first members of our group arrived at the building early, at about 4 p.m., they were met by security guards backed by Minneapolis police officers in uniform as well as several plainclothes officers (or perhaps federal agents) who barred our entry into the building. A security fence had been set up on the sidewalk. The group was told that the entire 26th floor had been evacuated at 4 p.m., making it impossible to deliver our letter.

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