Community Organizer ALERT I
From Eddie Griffin
Friday, September 05, 2008
Our friend and colleague Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, was arrested at the Republican National Convention while trying to question the St. Paul police about the detention of Producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. The Democracy Now crew was covering the story of street protest at the RNC when they were arrested. Amy was charged with misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace officer.
About Democracy Now
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Link TV ch. 375); and on the internet. DN!’s podcast is one of the most popular on the web.
Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts.
Perils of a Free Press
During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, as was a photographer for the Associated Press.
Eddie Griffin comments
It seems like only yesterday we were criticizing the Communist Chinese for brutal suppression of protesters and journalists who covered their story during the Beijing Olympics. Should we be surprised that the same has happened in St. Paul, Minnesota?
Police states are not just endemic to China, Russia, Zimbabwe, and other countries where human rights have no meaning. We find our country equally as totalitarian under the US homeland security policy.
What is amazing is the fact we saw the protests and arrests on national television and never considered the fate of the demonstrators. Had it not been for the arrest of Amy Goodman, we would have silently acquiesced to the city and state’s right to detain.
No, this is not right. Ms. Goodman is one of the finest journalists in the business. We have often relied on her report, when all we received from the mainstream media was propaganda.
(See Amy Goodman’s report on the Corporate Media)
Democracy Now’s Call to Action
Today it is critical that you make your voice heard in the Ramsey County Attorney and St. Paul City Attorney offices. Demand that they drop all pending and current charges against journalists arrested while reporting on protests outside the Republican National Conventions.
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
Susan Gaertner for Governor
St. Paul City Attorney John Choi
Send copies to firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Organizer ALERT II
We all heard Republican Vice President select Sarah Palin devalue the role of community organizers. And since that time, several notable community organizations have been irate. Not even Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama could ignore the denigrating innuendo.
On Monday, September 8, community activists with blogs are going to make their voices heard. Barack Obama already has.
Obama To Palin: What's Wrong With Being A Community Organizer?
A Photo History of Community Organizers