UPDATES: Free Press Calls for Charges to Be Dropped Against Amy Goodman, Independent Journalists September 2.2008
WASHINGTON -- Today Free Press, the national, nonpartisan media reform group, called on St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and local law enforcement officials to drop all charges against all journalists arrested while covering protests outside the Republican National Convention.
PETITION/SIGNATURES NEEDED To help raise plenty of signatures, please go to
free press dot net (there is plenty more on this available there as well.)
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, were released after illegal arrest at RNC yesterday.
Observers from the NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD took issue with police action:
"We think it's unconscionable. We think it's out of control," said Gina Berglund, an attorney and legal observer coordinator for the guild's Minnesota chapter. "The response by the police was completely out of proportion with what they were faced with." SEE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL LAWYER'S GUILD, MARJORIE COHN'S ARTICLE BELOW...
Some may want to contact the Mayor's re-election campaign to express indignation for the way non-violent protestors and journalists are being falsely charged and lumped with a few who are not part of them in their modes of protests and coverage:
Chris Coleman for Saint Paul
C/O Kris Fredson
P.O. Box 14447
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
E-mail Kris Fredson, Campaign Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Nation's John Nichols:
I was with Goodman earlier (Sept 1st) as she was reporting on the major anti-war demonstration. She and her crew were, as always, interviewing everyone they could in the calm, assured manner that has made the daily Democracy Now! program a widely-watched and well-regarded news programs on radio and cable television stations across the country.
Not only Goodman, but the entire Democracy Now team are professional journalists in the best sense of that term. Those who are simply assuming that they probably got what they deserved -- and who are, more generally, defending the Police here simply because some actual criminals engaged in destructive behavior -- are no different than those who justify anything and everything the Government does because there are some Terrorists out there and they're really violent...
From Democracy Now! Monday, Sept. 1st
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.
Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly 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 Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting.
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...
Video of Amy Goodman’s Arrest on you tube and to be placed at Democracy Now! Stay tuned for more details...You can also find plenty from Glenn Greenwald at Salon dot com with comments from readers.
See Revised NEW piece by Marjorie Cohn above For September 2, 2008 (right above Georgia Admitting to Cluster Bombs Item on this site...)