Rage Against the Machine

In a September 3, 2004 story, “despite assurances from New York City police that arrests of journalists would be minimized, numerous credentialed and uncredentialed journalists were detained during the Republican National Convention – some for extended periods of time.


In anticipation of such detentions, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press established a hotline to provide cost-free legal assistance to journalists covering the convention, as it has at every national political convention since 1976.”  


St. Paul, MNDemocracy Now! host Amy Goodman was arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota on September 1, 2008 at approximately 5 p.m.  AP photographer Matt Rourke also was arrested Monday but his arrest did not provoke the same on-line rage.  

Dawn Zuppelli is a journalist with Rochester IndyMedia, the group that has a definite left-leaning point of view based upon its Twitter feeds.  On September 1, 2008, Zuppelli provided details to the Daily Planet on the arrest of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. 


Following the conclusion of a legally permitted afternoon march, Dawn Zuppelli reported that she started following 80 participants through the streets of St. Paul, often along Wabasha Avenue, as police moved the young people, said Zuppelli, “from place to place.”  The 80 participants were finally surrounded and ordered to disperse by police and National Guard. 


No one has asked why, with a police force numbered at 3000 for the RNC, the National Guard was called in.  By all accounts, the 3000 strong force well outnumbered the “anarchists.”  


Zuppelli said she was standing on the sidewalk when police ordered journalists to move back.  She said there was no place to go, as police used pepper spray, “pepper balls,” tear gas, and canisters making loud noise and smoke.  Consequentially protesters, Zuppelli, and other journalists were pepper-sprayed.  Wearing a press badge, she did not resist police orders to move but continued filming.  Protesters and journalists were taken to a parking lot on Jackson, and then two Democracy Now! producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, were arrested while covering the street demonstration.


According to the Denver Post, Goodman said she heard of the arrests when she was on the convention floor.  When Goodman attempted to get them released, protesting that the arrest of journalists in the process of reporting is an unconstitutional violation of free press rights, she was arrested.  From having read Ms. Goodman’s account of all this, she seems to have majored in drama, with only a minor in journalism.


Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They were held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul until their release.  Amy Goodman, described as a lefty media star by long-time Minneapolis print journalist David Brauer, was arrested for obstructing legal process, a misdemeanor.  According to MinnPost, Goodman’s Democracy Now! producers did not contact Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which had worked with authorities weeks in advance to establish procedures to free credentialed journalists, according to Executive Director Lucy Dalglish, and they still faces felony riot charges.


FROM THE WEBSITE, Reclaim The Media    

Strib Forgets About Free Speech

 “In a bizarre editorial on Tuesday, the Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune owned by out-of-towners from Avista Capital Partner, a New York City private equity firm specializing in energy, healthcare and media investments, hailed the police crackdown as “appropriate,” blaming unrest on outsiders from beyond the Twin Cities.”


“Many of those arrested in St. Paul weren’t carrying IDs or wouldn’t give their names. Those who were identified came from Lexington, Ky.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Portland, Ore., and dozens of other U.S. cities,” they wrote. “These weren’t the sons and daughters of Highland Park and south Minneapolis.”

“Other than a brief story about Amy Goodman’s arrest, the paper has failed to report on the apparent targeting of independent reporters, even though groups like the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have sounded the alarm.”   (http://reclaimthemedia.org/journalistic_practice/goodman%3D6151)

September 2, 2008 ]

ST. PAUL– Democracy Now!  host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested.” 

Ramsey County is in St. Paul.  Ramsey County Sherrif is Bob Fletcher.  Hennepin County is in Minneapolis where they have there own elected sheriff.  Each city also has its own police chief.  Democracy Now! people must not have gotten briefed what city they were in.  Why would the Minneapolis Police charge Kouddous and Salazar?  The facts are not being accurately conveyed by these “journalists.”  Dawn Zuppelli at least was able to figure out in her story all of this occurred in St. Paul.  Was the day coming when journalists had to pass a test to be licensed?)

Is this not Goodman’s second arrest in St. Paul?  Was she reported to have been arrested on the 900 block of Ingelhart in St. Paul on Saturday?  Why does not the arrest of AP photographer Matt Rourke provoke the same outrage?  The Minneapolis Star Trib however is not telling the public about Democracy Now! and whether this is all a publicity stunt?  Maybe because the reading public has shown so little empathy for the financial crisis in the print media here and throughout the nation.  That financial crisis was the real threat to democracy.  Now!    


According to MinnPost, police are preparing for trouble at tonight’s concert at the Target Center in Minneapolis by Rage Against the Machine.  This political rap metal band played a free concert in Los Angeles in 2000 near the Democratic National Convention, when a riot erupted.   


On the fourth day, all these guests in town are starting to smell like fish.   And tomorow night will not arrive too soon.  



1 comment so far

  1. paperlessworld on

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