by Robert Wilkinson
When I first broke this story, a commenter inferred I was being paranoid. I was reminded of the old adage from my antiwar days in 69-70 that "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not being followed." Today we get the straight story from Ms. Amy Goodman herself on the exact events of the day. There was much more than what Leslie Griffith reported, included bloodied bodies and police brutality with reactivity not that far from Chicago 68. See you below the jump.
From TruthDig via TruthOut (both sites are linked on the right side of the page), Why We Were Falsely Arrested by Amy Goodman. The link takes you to the article.
St. Paul, Minnesota - Government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. As the Republican National Convention meets in St. Paul, Minn., this week, police are systematically targeting journalists. I was arrested with my two colleagues, "Democracy Now!" producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, while reporting on the first day of the RNC. I have been wrongly charged with a misdemeanor. My co-workers, who were simply reporting, may be charged with felony riot.
Here's a little more:
I was at the Xcel Center on the convention floor, interviewing delegates. I had just made it to the Minnesota delegation when I got a call on my cell phone with news that Sharif and Nicole were being bloody arrested, in every sense. Filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films and I raced on foot to the scene. Out of breath, we arrived at the parking lot. I went up to the line of riot police and asked to speak to a commanding officer, saying that they had arrested accredited journalists.
Within seconds, they grabbed me, pulled me behind the police line and forcibly twisted my arms behind my back and handcuffed me, the rigid plastic cuffs digging into my wrists. I saw Sharif, his arm bloody, his credentials hanging from his neck. I repeated we were accredited journalists, whereupon a Secret Service agent came over and ripped my convention credential from my neck. I was taken to the St. Paul police garage where cages were set up for protesters. I was charged with obstruction of a peace officer. Nicole and Sharif were taken to jail, facing riot charges.
The attack on and arrest of me and the "Democracy Now!" producers was not an isolated event....
I don't think it's paranoid to note that we live in a police state where men with badges can violate the law with impunity, letting the courts sort it out later. Here I want to thank Leslie Griffith again for breaking the story on TruthOut as reported here two days ago, along with a story on 40 years of Republican dirty tricks, some bordering on treason.
One thing many don't realize. This is not a matter of political opinion. The Constitution of the United States is the Supreme Law of the Land, and no judge nor Congressional Resolution nor Presidential Signing Statement can abridge that document. Certainly no jackbooted police thug has the right to circumvent it. It is the absolute rule of law in our country that defines the limits of all other laws. The First Amendment to that document reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Democracy is under attack by the police state, and has been for awhile. When will the courts restrain the felons attacking our reporters and those who lawfully protest an illegal government?
Copyright © 2008 Robert Wilkinson
p.s. For those who can't be bothered with our crisis of democracy affecting the world, I'll be posting more astrology articles soon, so stay tuned....