Well, the fun just keeps on coming up in Minneapolis-St. Paul. By fun, I of course mean the evisceration of any notion of freedom of assembly in the United States of America. 280 people were arrested yesterday during a police action outside the Republican National Convention that included the use of rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray. Among them were prominent independent journalist Amy Goodman, host of the radio program Democracy Now!, two of her producers and an Associated Press photographer, who were all covering the melee. All were released last night. Watch the video of Amy Goodman being arrested above. You can watch a clip of Democracy Now!’s coverage of their own arrests below.
Tellingly, 120 charges are now pending following 280 arrests. This showcases the favorite tactic of the police: make an illegal arrest, remove unsightly protesters from the area for “security” purposes, and then release those people when they are safely out of earshot of anyone watching/listening. If that doesn’t stifle free speech, I don’t know what does.
Here is the transcript of the video above:
DENIS MOYNIHAN: Release the accredited journalists!
AMY GOODMAN: Where’s the reporters? Sir?
POLICE OFFICER: Ma’am, get back to the sidewalk.
DENIS MOYNIHAN: Release the accredited journalists now!
AMY GOODMAN: Sir, just one second. I was just running from the convention floor.
DENIS MOYNIHAN: You are violating my constitutional rights. You are violating their constitutional rights.
POLICE OFFICER: Sidewalk now!
AMY GOODMAN: Sir, I want to talk to your superior—
POLICE OFFICER: Arrest her?
AMY GOODMAN: Do not arrest me!
POLICE OFFICER: You’re under arrest.
POLICE OFFICER: Hold it right there. You’re under arrest. Stay right there. Back up. Back up.
POLICE OFFICER: Everybody, you cross this line, you’ll be under arrest, so don’t do it.
CROWD: Let her go!
DENIS MOYNIHAN: Amy, we are going to get you out of here very soon.
AMY GOODMAN: This is outrageous.
DENIS MOYNIHAN: Yes, we have people working on it.
AMY GOODMAN: Nicole has a bloody nose. And I think that Sergeant McKinty said he—they won’t put me on [inaudible] if Nicole’s not there.
I’m also happy to see that the storm troopers up north are keeping hydrated with their camouflage camelbaks. I wonder if those are police issued or if they were provided by the RNC? I’m sure it gets pretty sweaty in all that swat team gear and they have been running all over the city oppressing free thinkers.
Just think, this is all happening at a convention that is barely even occurring. What would have happened if Herr Bush and Herr Cheney had actually made their scheduled appearances? I shudder to think.
So, what else can I say? You must watch the video above, but better yet, watch all the footage (and read a full transcript) from this and the other unconstitutional arrests of these journalists over at Democracy Now! (permalink)