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Lawsuit Challenges Police and Secret Service Crackdown on Journalists
#1
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/05/05-7

Published on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Center for Constitutional Rights Lawsuit Challenges Police and Secret Service Crackdown on Journalists Covering Protests at Republican National Convention


ST. PAUL, MN - Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) with co-counsel De Leon & Nestor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and officers, the municipalities, the Ramsey County Sheriff and unidentified Secret Service personnel. The lawsuit challenges the policies and conduct of law enforcement during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in 2008 that resulted in the unlawful arrests and unreasonable use of force against the plaintiffs, three Democracy Now! journalists: Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar.

[Image: democracynowstaff_rnclawsuit_0.jpg]The lawsuit challenges the policies and conduct of law enforcement during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in 2008 that resulted in the unlawful arrests and unreasonable use of force against the plaintiffs, three Democracy Now! journalists: Amy Goodman (center), Sharif Abdel Kouddous (right) and Nicole Salazar (left).

Said award-winning journalist and plaintiff Amy Goodman: "We shouldn't have to get a record to put things on the record. This is not only a violation of freedom of the press but a violation of the public's right to know. When journalists are arrested, that has a chilling effect on the functioning of a democratic society."

Goodman v. St. Paul seeks compensation and an injunction against law enforcement's unjustified encroachment on First Amendment rights, including freedom of the press and the independence of the media. Attorneys say the government cannot limit journalists' right to cover matters of public concern by requiring that they present a particular perspective; for instance, the government cannot require journalists to "embed" with state authorities. Goodman further asserts that the government cannot, in the name of security, limit the flow of information by acting unwarrantedly against journalists who report on speech protected by the First Amendment, such as dissent, and the public acts of law enforcement.

"The media are the eyes and ears of the American people-that is why there are laws to protect them," said CCR attorney Anjana Samant. "Law enforcement and Secret Service agents are not exempt from those laws in their dealings with un-embedded journalists who are documenting peaceful protestors or law enforcement's use of force and violence against those protestors."

"The protests on the streets outside the convention center are just as important to the democratic process as the official party proceedings inside," said journalist and plaintiff Sharif Abdel Kouddous. "Journalists should not have to risk being arrested, brutalized or intimidated by the police in order to perform their duties, exercise their First Amendment rights and facilitate the rights of others to freedom of speech and assembly."

"The video of my arrest and of Amy's mobilized an overwhelming public response," said journalist Nicole Salazar. "The public has both an interest and a right to know how law enforcement officials are acting on their behalf. We should ask ourselves what kind of accountability exists when there is no coverage of police brutality and intimidation."

For more information on the case, visit CCR's legal case page.
© 2010 CCR
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#2
Published on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Democracy Now! Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! Producers File Lawsuit Over RNC Arrests


Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman along with producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar are filing a federal lawsuit today that challenges the police crackdown on journalists at the Republican National Convention in 2008.
The suit is filed against the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, the Ramsey County Sheriff and unidentified Secret Service personnel. The lawsuit challenges the policies and conduct of law enforcement during the RNC that resulted in the arrests, one of dozens among journalists arrested in St. Paul.
The lawsuit seeks compensation and an injunction against law enforcement’s unjustified encroachment on First Amendment rights, including freedom of the press and the independence of the media.
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© 2010 Democracy Now!

Here is a 49 second video of Amy Goodmans arrest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#3
As I heard it, military intelligence targeted groups for surveillance in Minneapolis and then funneled the info to law-n-order types further down the food chain for execution. Criminal conspiracy to circumvent the US constitution?
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#4
I'm sure there were more than Military Intelligence operatives involved.This really is an important case,and we will see if the Constitution is really still the backbone of our society.It will also be interesting to see how the MSM reacts to this.Will they support one of their own?Should they care about reporters getting busted for doing their job?My thoughts are that they will not cover this important case.I hope Amy doesn't agree to a settlement out of court.
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#5
Keith Millea Wrote:I'm sure there were more than Military Intelligence operatives involved.This really is an important case,and we will see if the Constitution is really still the backbone of our society.It will also be interesting to see how the MSM reacts to this.Will they support one of their own?Should they care about reporters getting busted for doing their job?My thoughts are that they will not cover this important case.I hope Amy doesn't agree to a settlement out of court.

They [MSM] don't consider these 3 'their own'. Their own do as told from up on high [PTB]. They will ignore the story, if they can. Few who do not watch/listen to DN! would have ever heard of Amy Goodman or either of the others. There are, and as long as I remember, have been two Americas. One part that questions nothing of the mythology and drinks the 'cool aide' every day; and those who believe little to none of the mythology and propaganda and try not to drink or eat anything tainted [in all senses of that phrase].
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#6
I hear you Peter,but remember there was also at least one AP journalist that was also arrested.It's been over a year now since this happened.I get the feeling that a lot of work has gone into the defense for this case.Hopefully,there might be some bombshells forthcoming,as in Helens observations.

Quote:As I heard it, military intelligence targeted groups for surveillance in Minneapolis and then funneled the info to law-n-order types further down the food chain for execution. Criminal conspiracy to circumvent the US constitution?
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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