Monday, September 1, 2008

Amy Goodman has been arrested!

(Also posted on Blue Mass Group.)

This afternoon, I watched today's edition of Democracy Now!, which included a piece about the St. Paul police conducting preemptive raids in advance of the Republican convention, targeting groups of protesters, journalists and videographers, including videographer, Elizabeth Press, who works for Democracy Now!.

I just received the following email announcing Amy Goodman has just been arrested.

I spent time volunteering for Democracy Now! last week in Denver, where I distributed information about the show at events around the city. Amy produced a 2 hour show daily during the convention in Denver, and planned to do the same this week during the Republican convention.

I hope you will consider placing the suggested call.


Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 1, 2008

Contact:
Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107, mike@democracynow.org

ST. PAUL, MN—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. Video of her arrest can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

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 they 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.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

##
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ABOUT DEMOCRACY NOW!
Democracy Now! airs on over 650 radio and TV stations, including
Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public
access, PBS, satellite TV stations (DISH network: Free Speech TV
ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Link TV ch. 375); on the World
Radio Network's European Service and on the Community Broacasting
Association of Australia service; as a "podcast", automatically
downloaded to your computer or portable audio player; and streams live
M-F at 8am EST at www.democracynow.org
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You can also view/listen/read all Democracy Now! shows online:
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4 comments:

rougegorge said...

Here's Elizabeth Press' own account of her detention & Update: Goodman, Salazar & Kouddous Released!
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/1/democracy_now_s_elizabeth_press_detained

and

Update: Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RN

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2008/9/1/update_democracy_now_s_amy_goodman_sharif_abdel_kouddous_and_nicole_salazar_released_after_illegal_arrest_at_rnc

This is beyond frightening!
And I thought the response during the RNC in NYC 4 years ago was overzealous! My friend's son was arrested there 4 years ago... for his current blog entry on the subject:
http://joshuakahnrussell.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/the-party-crashers/

rougegorge said...

Glenn Greenwald has some information and links to additional relevant videos of police brutality and extreme militarism:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/01/protests/index.html

rougegorge said...

It seems that the RNC learned from their experiences 4 years ago... the videos taken at the time were used in evidence to disprove and drop most of the charges and claims made by the police department against the people that were swept up. So, this time around, they are preemptively arresting and intimidating video eyewitnesses. See this update on the situation from the Democracy Now blog:

I-Witness Video Collective Forced Out of Living Space After Second Raid by St. Paul Police in Five Days

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/4/i_witness_video_collective_forced_out

Nancy said...

My apologies for the delay in your comments being published! I had been receiving email notification alerting me to new posts. The first one came through, but the other two were not in my email, and I only noticed them just now when I noticed an alert on the site. I'll explore what happened now.

Again, sorry for the delay!

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