Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman arrested while trying to come to the aid of her colleagues during a large anti-war protest on Monday

The corporate media are the same everywhere. Somehow there is great reluctance to highlight popular people’s protests including anti-war protests. Instead the news is invariably presented from the perspective of those in power or from the vantage point of Big Business. And war is generally good for Big Business in the United States’ media-military-industrial complex. It drives up the price of oil, promotes weapons sales, improves media ratings and boosts the popularity of “war-time” presidents, at least initially.

And when independent media journalists such as Amy Goodman try to counter the propaganda, lies and spin, they are harassed, persecuted – and even arrested. (She and her colleagues were later released.)

This is an account of a large anti-war protest during the Republican Convention that you wouldn’t have found reported over the major global media stations.

It’s from Juan Cole’s excellent Informed Comment blog:

Thousands of protesters rallied against the Iraq War at the Republican Convention on Monday.

The thousands of protesters were almost all peaceful. I had US cable news on all day off and on, and never saw anything on it about the protests. Some teenager was pregnant, which is not their business or mine, but that was what they were talking about. Protesting the Republican Party’s warmongering and lethal corruption for the past 8 years– a record that has made it impolitick for George W. Bush to attend the conference of the party he still technically leads– now that was unworthy of public comment.

A few at the rally were accused of breaking windows or throwing bottles at the police. 284 arrests were made.

The press accounts suggest that in some instances police acted overly aggressively (i.e. unconstitutionally), moving in on protesters who were peaceful.

Over the weekend, police seized printed materials and protest plans from some of the organizers and arrested a handful, charging them with conspiracy to commit civil disorder. Gee, you could have arrested Martin Luther King every day of the week on that charge.

That something was very wrong with at least some of the police response in Minneapolis is demonstrated by the arrest and manhandling of Amy Goodman and two of her staff members. They were there as press. They were not throwing anything. I know them, and have been on the show numerous times. They are honest, committed people, and if they say they were wrongly treated, they were.

Over the weekend, Democracy Now! reporter Elizabeth Press had been arrested, apparently for planning to film police response to the protests.

This site gives Amy’s side of the story:
‘ 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.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action. These will also be available on: Democracynow.org.

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.”

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped.’
Ever since Bush and his gang came to power, there has been a concerted attempt to destroy the First Amendment right to peaceful assembly.

New York City recently settled with antiwar protesters illegally arrested in spring of 2003, paying $2 million. Those protesters, remember, had been trying to avert the catastrophe that was the Iraq War, or at least not have it go without public expression of dissent.

Ironically, Democracy Now! is among the few news programs that tries to deliver real news to the American public, not the babysitting pap that passes for such so often in the corporate media. Of course, in our Bushwellian State, its staff would have to be arrested for committing News.

Hang in there, Amy.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Corporations exist with a sole objective, that is to make “profit” and maximize it. It is not only media corporations in USA that fail to report the suffering masses under ruling elite, it is the same in every developing country, like Malaysia. Report like that will irk the powerful political elite and draw punishment soon or later for the company, so why bother to challenge the powerful in the name of justice?

  2. Media corporations exist to make “profit” not telling the “truth” or seek “truth”, it is understandable they will appease what ever regime that are in power in obtaining insider information.

  3. Ms. Goodman doesn’t care about a lot of people. She doesn’t care about North Koreans who starved to death. Not the starving people of Zimbabwe. Not the 300,000 Shiites who are buried in mass graves thanks to Saddam Hussein. Not the Iraqi Kurds who died from chemical attacks. Not the poor people of flood ravaged Myanmar. Not the girls and women who were not allowed to work or go to school under the Taliban in Afghanistan. No mention of how Che Guevara killed people for a living. Hardly a mention of how Stalin killed 20 million of his people. And Mao, perhaps 50 million. Unfortunately, the only way Mona could get coverage on Democracy Now is to sneak into Israel and blow herself up on a bus. This is what Amy Goodman calls, “Resistance”.

  4. Hi Anil,

    >>This is an account of a large anti-war protest during the Republican Convention that you wouldn’t have found reported over the major global media stations

    I believe it was on prime time CNN (US).

  5. You are spot on. Look at our EX-PM today blog playing racist game again just because he cannot tolerate the present PM and DSAI , he want to create chaos so that he will be able to be king maker or come back to power again. I wonder a great man like him why want to be MAO Tze Dong ( great in the begining but cause great disaster to the people at the end part of his life )and not Deng Xiaoping

  6. world leader in democracy?

    no better than malaysia. only good thing about democracy in US is that idiotic war mongers like bush can kill and maimed in the interest of america for 2 terms only. good riddance bush and pray harder that karma wont afflict you and your family for all the murders you have committed in Irag and elsewhere.

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