Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Even more outrageous

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was arrested at the RNC yesterday and charged with obstructing a peace officer. She was attempting to obtain the release of two Democracy Now! producers that had been arrested and have been charged with felonies. While all three have now been released, the two producers sustained injuries during the arrest, and all three still face charges. Free Press has called for the charges against Goodman and other independent journalists to be dropped. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) has also condemned the actions of police. The video of Goodman's arrest is at the bottom of the post.

Democracy Now! journalists are not the only journalists to have been arrested at the RNC. An intern for the Utne Reader was arrested and then released. And an AP photographer was also arrested. In addition to the journalists, some 300 protestors were also arrested.

The actions of the Twin Cities police do not seem to have been the actions of "peace officers". Rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray and concusion grenades were all used on protestors, according to Democracy Now!. To get a sense of just how the Twin Cities police have used these weapons on protestors, go ahead and watch this:

For more of the nasty details about how local police and the FBI have been treating those who are merely exercising their constitutional rights, Glenn Greenwald has more of the story, along with pictures and an interview with Amy Goodman just after her release. Also make sure to check out The Uptake, which has continuing netroots coverage of what's going on at the RNC.

I don't even have words for how disgusting this is. First the raids on suspected protestors and now police power being abused to stifle free speech and frighten away what little free press we still have left. These are not events that happen in a democracy. These are not events that occur in a "land of the free". But what's worse is that the mainstream media is not covering it. Not a word about a prominent journalist being unlawfully arrested. Not a word about the girl in the video below who was sprayed repeatedly at close range with pepper spray. Of course, why would they say anything? A well informed populace is a threat to those in power.

Amy Goodman being arrested:

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