Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Democracy Now! but where???

Here we are, building Democracy in Iraq.

But, maybe we should start by cleaning up our own house.

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. Video of
her arrest can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who
were being unlawfully 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 Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and
Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being
held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the
office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the
immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed
to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey
County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

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.
Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the
United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting
and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of
Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate
journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs
on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ

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