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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cowardly Republicans Order Reporter Arrested in House

The assault on the First Amendment reached new lows today, as Republicans in the House of Representatives ordered the arrest of an Academy-Award nominated filmmaker, seeking to make a follow-up documentary to his Gasland movie about hydraulic fracturing and its environmental dangers (also known as "fracking," but don't confuse it with Battlestar Galactica). The documentary journalist was attempting to film hearings in the House about this serious problem.  Apparently the Republicans were ashamed of their position on this issue, and didn't want the public to see it.

Josh Fox was taken off in handcuffs on Republican orders - they have a majority in the House.

First - once again, police need to stop acting like robots and show a little understanding of the law.  Is there no law enforcement officer in these United States who understands the First Amendment?

Second - no, this is also first - the Republicans in the House of Representatives who ordered this arrest broke a tradition at the very basis of our democracy: hearings are open to the public.   Even if they wanted to stop the filming, there was no need to arrest Fox.  He has the right as does any law-abiding American to witness and report upon an open House hearing.

I would like to see Barack Obama order his Attorney General to look into this - but I don't expect this to happen any time soon, any more than Obama has done anything about the violations of the public's and press's First Amendment rights in the continuing Occupy Wall Street protests.

It's too bad Ron Paul was in Nevada today, campaigning for this Saturday's GOP caucus.  Would he have spoken out against these arrests, gone up to the Capitol Hill police, spoken truth to them about the wrong that they we're doing to our country and our freedom?

At this point, the best we can do is all speak out against this.

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