Today’s UpTake: Republican Rift, FBI Raids, AFL-CIO Rallies

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What figured to be a lamb of a news day on Friday exploded into a lion when news emerged that the FBI had raided and occupied the homes of six Minneapolis peace activists (and two in Chicago), whom they suspected of ties to terrorist organizations. According to Mick Kelly, the feds kicked in the door of his apartment, with their guns drawn, and broke a fish tank. Hours later, they left his and the homes of fellow activists, carrying out boxes of his possessions, including computers, papers and cell phones. Kelly, Jessica Sundin and others were served subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Chicago in October. The peace community responded rapidly, with press conferences and information sessions later on Friday. Today they’ll hold a 4:30 p.m. (Central Time) protest in front of the FBI headquarters in Minneapolis. TheUpTake will be there, and we’ll do our best to provide live footage.

Not lost amidst the tension on the streets of Minneapolis, were last week’s Minnesota Secretary of State and Auditor debates, pitting incumbent Democrat Mark Ritchie against Republican challenger Dan Severson for Secretary of State, and Rebecca Otto (Democrat) against her Republican opponent Pat Anderson and the Green Party‚Äôs Annie Young for State Auditor. And if you didn’t catch the Minnesota Governor Hospital Association debate from Thursday, watch it here. TheUpTake now has the health care debate transcribed and closed captioned, and we’ll have the governors’ education debate transcribed and closed-captioned later today.

Later today we’ll bring you a news conference where Governor Tim Pawlenty is expected to discuss the need for a special session that would address flood relief for southern Minnesota; appearances by Senator Amy Klobuchar and gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton at the AFL-CIO convention, and this afternoon’s much anticipated FBI protest.

Finally, the much talked-about rift within the Republican Party, between radical Tea Partiers and moderates, is playing out in Minnesota and was never more pronounced than when former Governor Arne Carlson endorsed Independent Tom Horner in the gubernatorial race. Watch this video narrating the Republican Rift, both in Minnesota and nationwide.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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