Saturday, September 6, 2008

60,000 letters Protesting Journalist Arrests Arrive in St. Paul City Hall

Letters Protesting Journalist Arrests at RNC Delivered (Friday) in St. Paul
(also note that National Lawyers Guild also spoke out--see President's Press release at MarjorieCohn dot com)

By Dave Astor

Published: September 05, 2008 12:10 PM ET

NEW YORK Independent journalists and local advocates this morning delivered more than 60,000 letters to St. Paul City Hall, according to the Free Press media-reform group.

The letters call on Mayor Chris Coleman and law-enforcement officials to drop all charges against journalists arrested while covering protests outside the Republican National Convention,

Those arrested Monday included "Democracy Now!" host/King Features Syndicate columnist Amy Goodman, two producers from her show, and Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke.

"The targeting and harassment of journalists that we've seen during the RNC sends the message that the Twin Cities don't value the essential role that journalists play in a democracy," said Nancy Doyle Brown of Twin Cities Media Alliance in a statement. "From the pre-convention raids to the ongoing harassment and arrests of journalists, these have been dark days for press freedom in the United States."

Among the other media groups that have criticized the arrests are the Society for Professional Journalists, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Reporters Without Borders, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the National Press Photographers Association.

An earlier E&P story about the arrests can be seen here. Meanwhile, a 49-second YouTube video of Goodman's arrest has now been viewed more than 700,000 times.

For the link to the article and video, go to editorandpublisher dot com

Dave Astor ( is a senior editor at E&P.

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