Tuesday, September 2, 2008

St. Paul Police Trample First Amendment

Salon reported that well known journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was arrested on the street in St. Paul, MN as she was attempting to cover the Republican convention, and charged with "conspiracy to riot." See the YouTube video below.

Goodman was objecting to the arrest of her producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, who had her nose bloodied by the police. Democracy Now later reported that all three were released, with charges still pending ...

But - when are Americans going to stand up and stop our police from abusing our journalists? The First and Fourteenth Amendment prohibit government officials of any kind from interfering with the work of the press - which means that the officers who arrested and (in the case of Salazar) brutalized these journalists are not only criminals but traitors, blatant violators of the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land.

In the darkest years of the 20th century - when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were riding high - America stood strong as a citadel and beacon of freedom. What has always separated democracies from dictatorships is the insistence in democracies that all points of view can be publicly expressed. Journalists, as Jefferson saw, are an essential part of this process.

I would like to think that the Republicans would be as outraged as Jefferson and anyone who believes in freedom about what happened in St. Paul today to Goodman, Kouddous, and Salazar.

I call upon the Republican Party to help bring those criminal police to justice.

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