Monday, September 1, 2008

Amy Goodman And Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested At RNC

Journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was arrested in St. Paul, Minnesota, this afternoon, apparently for seeking the release of two of her DN! colleagues who had been detained earlier.

Video of Amy Goodman's arrest is embedded below. More details from DN! follow.

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. [...]

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being [unlawfully] detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County [Sheriff] Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First [Amendment] rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which [Kouddous and Salazar] were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.
How much police state do you feel like tolerating?

If you've had enough and you feel like doing something about it, you might want to call Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0), and politely but firmly demand the immediate release of the journalists Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

If that prospect doesn't thrill you, it could be because the USA has turned into a militarized police state and there's nothing you or anyone else can do about it anymore. And in this case you might want to prepare yourself for the inevitable by reading "The Gulag Archipelago".

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