The RNC Police State

UPDATE: Hat tip to Sir Robin for staying on top of this

[Democracy NOW is] urging journalists and concerned citizens to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651-266-8535) and the Ramsey County Jail (651-266-9350) and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

Find out more at DemocracyNow!

So much for freedom of the press. Amy Goodman was arrested today.

From from Glen Greenwald

As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue — see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway — it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that “the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Today’s Star Tribune added that the raids were specifically “aided by informants planted in protest groups.” Back in May, Marcy Wheeler presciently noted that the Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force — an inter-agency group of federal, state and local law enforcement led by the FBI — was actively recruiting Minneapolis residents to serve as plants, to infiltrate “vegan groups” and other left-wing activist groups and report back to the Task Force about what they were doing. There seems to be little doubt that it was this domestic spying by the Federal Government that led to the excessive and truly despicable home assaults by the police yesterday.

So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from anyone. And it’s not difficult to see why. As the recent “overhaul” of the 30-year-old FISA law illustrated — preceded by the endless expansion of surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then the War on Terror — we’ve essentially decided that we want our Government to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and media class and, therefore, from the citizenry.

Nothing like this happened in Denver when there were literally thousands of protesters each and every day. After talking to one police officer downtown this week about a protest march, he said everything went well and the protesters “said what they wanted heard and left peacefully,” and I thanked him for protecting and serving our city. The protesters at the RNC aren’t even afforded the same opportunity to voice their opinions.

This is truly disturbing. The media should be covering this since they are also being targeted.  

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Go Blue says:

    St. Paul has been militarized:

    Here are several photographs taken from around St. Paul from this morning — before the march or any of the protests started — showing how militarized the city was. For whatever reasons, the brigades of police officers would periodically chant military terms and march around in formation (“Double Time!”), while helicopters hovered overhead and Humvees drove by frequently

  2. Skyler says:

    Amy is a good friend of mine, and one of the most talented journalists working today.

    Her arrest, and the arrest of her staff, came as a true shock to me.

    • Skyler says:

      This is truly disturbing. The media should be covering this since they are also being targeted.  

      Amy Goodman is so talented because of her principles, because she’s not a member of the standard media.

      I don’t think her arrest will elicit a response out of anyone, save, perhaps, the other talented progressives working around the country today.

  3. plus c’est la meme chose.

    COINTELPRO, the 2000 raids in Philly – it’s all the same, all the time.  Daily Kos investigative diarist dengre has been all over this, even before it started happening in Minneapolis / St. Paul.

  4. They arrested an AP photographer today, in addition to the three Democracy Now! journalists.  They hit CNN commentator and Dem. strategist Donna Brazile with pepper spray.  They’ve also apparently been targeting police watchdog groups.  Several other media organizations barely escaped arrest.

    And they’re coming out with the big guns on the charges, too.  The photographer and Amy Goodman’s two fellow newsmen were each charged with a felony count of conspiring to riot; in all, almost half of those arrested today were charged with felonies.

    Yet CNN’s site doesn’t mention Brazile being gassed, Google News doesn’t pull in the expected aggregate AP news total on their detained reporter…  WTF?

    • DavidThi808 says:

      The serious charges make everyone think there is something real there and makes the people arrested worry more about the charges. Keeps it quieter.

      Then once the RNC is over, they drop charges and at that time there is no story.

      • ThillyWabbit says:

        Now they have arrest records (though something tells me it’s not a first for Amy Goodman, she is an old school commie pinko hippie which is why we love her).

        Not only do they now have arrest records that should be expunged, but their first amendment rights were still violated. Amy Goodman could raise some serious moolah for PBS/DemocracyNow. Just ask Fred Phelps…he bankrolls his entire operation with the winnings from first amendment lawsuits.

        Note that I am NOT saying Amy Goodman is anything like Fred Phelps, but pointing out that if even the most egregious individual has his first amendment rights then so does the press.

  5. cologeek says:

    are reacting to incidents like these:

    http://www.twincities.com/rnc/

    I did not hear of any physical attacks on the DNC delegates, outside of the racist nutballs, there wasn’t any real threat to anyone in Denver.

    Now we have documented attacks on the Republican delegates, at the convention site but that is OK right Go Blue?  After all, if their Rethugs they probably deserve it.

    And your “right wing” MSM seems to be ignoring it completely.

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      Although I’ll wait until an independent analysis before I’ll believe they were throwing bleach on anybody. That sounds an awful lot like trumped up tap water.

      Of course a mass spectrometer is going to find salt and chlorine in tap water. Salt is naturally occurring and chlorine is added.

      Not that there is any excuse for dousing delegates with anything, even water.

    • Go Blue says:

      but that doesn’t excuse the use of excessive force and domestic spying against anyone, including the press. I’m not being hypocritical here, Im presenting what I found last night. This morning I read about the students who broke off from their protest march and attacked delegates the police; which is also wrong and punishable.

      But for Goodman, her staff, Donna Brazille and many others to be arrested and charged under false pretenses is even worse.  

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITI

      Still no mention of the arrest of journalists.

    • I’m condemning the pre-emptive actions on protesters, lawyers, and watchdog groups over the weekend, as well as ignoring press passes (Amy’s was apparently ripped off by one of the officers when she showed it to him…)

      Let’s not equate the two – that’s why we’re in the mess in Iraq in the first place: equating one thing with another completely unrelated thing.

  6. redstateblues says:

    Again, after all the fuss, whining and moaning, it turns out the DNC was a shining jewel compared to the first 36 hours of Minneapolis.

  7. cologeek says:

    Why is this arrest such a big deal when this one, http://abcnews.go.com/Video/pl… was pretty much met by you here on the left with the response from Aristotle:

    “In the ABC piece, all you see is edited footage of the cops shoving and arresting the reporter. At no point do we see what he did to provoke this, and at no point do we see anything that would even indicate that those bad ol’ Dems sicced the cops on him. We don’t even know what story he was covering at the time. Maybe there’s something else out there that answers these questions, but your diary fails when you don’t include it.”  

    In the video above Ms. Goodman obviously ignored instructions from a uniformed law enforcement officer to move away.  She was also handled much more delicately than the ABC reporter.  She certainly wasn’t pushed into a city street.

    So what is the difference?  Maybe the the fact that the ABC reporter was doing a report on Democrats meeting with lobbyists at the Brown Palace, and Ms. Goodman is an avowed anti-Republican.  As long as the brutality is against those who report on Democrats, there is no outcry from the left.

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      and I have been saying so.

      However, I have seen the abc story in the MSM and I haven’t seen the Goodman story there.

      Only now is the MSM beginning to report on the heavy handed tactics of the MSP police.

      I think the DPD was generally professional, the abc incident excluded, whereas the MSPP has been almost uniformly draconian.

      This has little to do with R v D and is more a testament to the preparation of the DPD.  The preemptive raids of the MSP pissed off the anarchists and set the stage for a fight.  

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