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Freedom of the Press Detained by the Security State in MN

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution 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.

Three distinct portions of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution appear to have been violated yesterday, when journalist Amy Goodman and two of her Democracy Now! news producers were arrested for covering demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman was clearly just talking to police officers:

That’s freedom of the press violated right there. Freedom of assembly has been twisted as protesters are shuffled into segregated Free Speech Zones to protest the Republican National Convention away from the subject of their petition. When freedom of the press and freedom of assembly to voice grievance are curtailed, speech is no longer free but contingent on subject matter. If you have happy talk, you’re free to go. If you’ve got a grievance, move along or else.

I have no sympathy for the assholes who use the cover of otherwise peaceful protests to engage in pointless violence against other people. No matter where they say they fit on a left-right spectrum, such thugs would be the worst of fascists if put in any position of power. But that’s not what was going on in this instance. Peaceable assembly and free speech have a constitutional mandate, and the detention of journalists who cover such assembly and speech should never be tolerated.

I await a prompt and thorough investigation of these constitutional violations by the police of the Twin Cities, by the Secret Service that is overseeing operations during the RNC, and by the FBI.

I’m not going to hold my breath.

3 comments to Freedom of the Press Detained by the Security State in MN

  • Tom

    This is no surpriae. What do you expect from a police state! This is what the Bush/neocon administration is all about. “We” arrest you for your own protection. All free speech needs to be in the designated free speech zones. Heavily armed and club holding police officers are there to assure that there is no other message except that which the OFFICIAL REPUBLICAN PARTY authorizes. In other parts of Minnesota an entire busload of protesters were on there way to the city when the police pulled the bus over and arrested everyone on board – indeed, if anyone tried to leave the bus they were cuffed and separately taken away. People’s houses were surrounded until the police could get a warrant, at which time (even if the warrant had the wrong address, as in one case i read about) the house and everyone in it was searched.

  • Travis

    Keep standing up for what you have, as the United States of America (to my limited knowledge) is unique in that it has a constitution written by citizens (not a$$holes), who came from an oppressive dictatorship rule.

    USA’s citizens have explicitly WRITTEN DOWN rights as part of their genesis, that were never meant to be enforced by the solitary lone citizen, but by the new government on their behalf.

    If you are a citizen of the USA, please keep pushing for your ALL of your rights! I feel that the day USA citizens finally give up and allow a dictatorship rule over them, the chances of normality for the rest of us sane men and women out there are grim.

    I don’t know everything there is about the “holy crusades”, but I have heard some of the atrocities committed by evil people (unleashed by those in power to lead wars against mostly civilians!).

    I can’t help but feel that this “war on terror” is showing the trademarks of the same evil. Search through history and see if what I am saying is true or not.

    I am reminded of a picture I saw once… “Go back to sleep, everything is under control”.

  • Tom

    Unfortunately Travis, the United States has allowed itself to sink to the status of world bully, lead by complete thugs with no morality at all and its citizens have by and large abandoned their responsibility. We have become, sadly, a nation of sheep who let all manner of scandal and evil, illegal actions and decimation of our rights happen continually by our 8 year old “secret government” run by corporate America. We deserve what we put up with, so don’t expect too much to change since the entire country seems to be populated by spineless idiots who basically don’t care that we are being raped, that our reputation in the world is ruined, that our money is worth less (and heading for worthless), that our “values” are basically delusional rubbish bordering on propaganda (and that in reality we don’t follow them), that our military and police are not here to protect us any longer but now are concerned with stiffling free speech, peaceful assembly, and journalism. Our Constitution has been relegated to a museum and is no longer enforced. Our rights continually erode so that the rich and powerful can stay that way. Besides evolving into a police state, we’re also becoming an enforced theocracy.

    Sorry to let you down.

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