The Republicans showed their true colors both inside their convention and outside on the streets. Using the "Patriot Act" and similar state laws, an all out attack was waged by the Minneapolis/St Paul police on the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. With the use of force against assembled citizens unparalleled and more akin to totalitarian regimes than a nation founded on the principles of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The police actions against the press have been especially appalling. It has also been reported that the City of St. Paul has a TEN MILLION DOLLAR insurance policy provided by the Republican Host Committee to protect the city for lawsuits arising from the use of force against our constitutional rights.
The Real News Network provided this documentary of their journalists being arrested.
CounterSpin for September 5th.
Most of the coverage of the political conventions focused on what was going on inside the arenas; so what about what was happening outside? Crackdowns on protests, arrests of journalists, and pre-emptive house raids could provide a very different measure of the state of American democracy. Heidi Boghosian of the National Lawyers Guild will joins the CounterSpin staff to tell what she saw. To listen to the podcast using Quick Time, click here.
I strong urge that people listen to the following Democracy Now broadcasts from September 1 "Police Conduct Massive Preemptive Raids", September 2 and September 4, as well as the broadcasts from Free Speech Radio News for Tuesday Sept. 2, Wednesday Sept. 3, and Thursday Sept. 4.
Thousands of protesters gathered in St. Paul, Minn., the site of the Republican National Convention. As tensions mounted between those gathered and police, AP photojournalist Evan Vucci was in the middle of the crowd. The following video shows what happened.
Megan Tady of StopBigMedia.com reports that media advocates and independent journalists delivered more than 60,000 letters to St. Paul City Hall calling on Mayor Chris Coleman and local law enforcement officials to drop all charges against journalists arrested while covering protests outside the Republican National Convention.
Writers Guild of America, East Calls on Authorities to Respect Press Freedom
The arrests and harassment of working journalists by the police, local and federal officials at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions go against the nature of our democracy. All charges against these journalists should be dropped and an investigation into police misconduct should be launched.
Jeffery Allen writes foor OneWorld USA that police along with local and federal officials in St. Paul, Minn., are under fire from independent media groups for their crackdown on independent news reporters at this week's Republican National Convention.
MyFox Lubbock reports that two MyFox journalists were among several media professionals detained or arrested on a bridge where about 200 protesters were taken into custody enroute to the site of this year's Republican National Convention finale. At least 19 other members of the media were detained and issued citations for unlawful assembly.
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com reporting that the government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. Behind all the patriotic hyperbole that accompanies the conventions, and the thousands of journalists and media workers who arrive to cover the staged events, there are serious violations of the basic right of freedom of the press.
Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of video makers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention. I-Witness Video's work four years ago lead to acquittal of more than 300 people who had been charged in similar raids by police at the Republican Convention in New York.
Craig Aaron write in The Hill's Congress Blog: "You won’t hear much about it in the tightly scripted primetime broadcasts from St. Paul, but local law enforcement is rounding up reporters in an aggressive -- and sometimes violent -- sweep outside the Republican National Convention. Their crime: committing journalism.
Leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists are expressing outrage over recent arrests of journalists at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Dave Astor writes for Editor and Publisher that as more groups denounce the arrest of four journalists at the Republican National Convention, a YouTube video showing Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman's arrest has been viewed more than 508,000 times.
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes for The Nation: Not only is arresting and detaining journalists for doing their work a violation of free speech and freedom of the press, but it's a travesty that our tax dollars are being used to suppress dissent and arrest journalists at conventions that should be celebrations of our small "d" democracy.
Joe Klein writes for TIME Magazine: "The story of the day out here in Minneapolis is the McCain campaign's war against the press. This has been building for some time. Those of us who have criticized the candidate - and especially those of us who enjoyed good relations with McCain in the past - have been subject to off-the-record browbeating and attempted bullying all year. But things have gotten much worse in recent days."