Monday, September 01, 2008
AMY GOODMAN AND TWO FROM DEMOCRACY NOW! ARE ARRESTED AT RNC
It has already started, the expected repression at demonstrations around the Republican Convention. Amy Goodman and her two colleagues, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, were taken into custody while the police deployed excessive measures against demonstrators.
Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained...Even before the first demonstrations got underway, police in St. Paul have been conducting pre-emptive raids and making arrests at houses where those planning marches or civil disobedience were discussing details of the protests and assembling leaflets and signs.
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! 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.
Democracy Now! is asking people to call the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0), and Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535. Let them know that Goodman, Kouddous, and Salazar were acting in their capacity as journalists, and should be released immediately.
UPDATE: Raw Story reports the release of Amy Goodman and her two colleagues. Goodman was released after a charge of "obstruction" was filed against her. Kouddous and Salazar may face "felony riot charges", but they have also been released, while charges are pending.
EXTRA: Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! Producers talk about their arrest.