democracy now’s amy goodman arrested in minnesota for asking questions of police

Journalist Amy Goodman was arrested in Minneapolis for having the audacity as to inquire about two of her show’s producers that had been taken away by police. Chilling footage of her apprehension can be seen here:

Is this what it’s come to? Is this what we’ve let the United States become? When a woman as mild mannered as Amy Goodman is thrown against the side of a police van with her arms twisted behind her back for merely inquiring as to the whereabouts of her producers, something is dreadfully wrong… I just wish I knew what we could do about it… We should have taken to the streets five years ago, when “free speech zones” were first rolled out. But, we sat on our asses. Sure, some of us blogged about it, and a few wrote angry editorials, but no one, at least in any significant numbers, actually did anything. And, as a result, here we are today, watching as riot police physically intimidate people exercising their right to free speech, and take them into custody on flimsiest of trumped-up charges… In the case of Goodman’s producers, they were arrested for videotaping protests taking place at the Republican National Convention. According to Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, they were arrested on “suspicion of rioting” – a felony. (Goodman was arrested for “interfering with a peace officer.”) It’s likely the charges will be dropped eventually, but the damage has been done, and the message has been sent… Is it any wonder why we aren’t seeing more journalists doing their jobs these days?

Video of the clearly shaken Goodman, talking about the ordeal upon her release from police custody, can be found here.

And, as long as we’re on the topic, here’s a quote from a blogger on the ground in Minneapolis:

There is no doubt in mind, from the limited exposure I did get of the whole RNC scene, that we are in fact under Martial Law. There is no walking through downtown St Paul without coming to the absolute realization that we are not safe and most certainly not free.

So, how do we get our national media to sprout balls (figuratively speaking) and show some of this to the American people in full color, while they’re eating their breakfast tomorrow morning? Why the hell isn’t Amy Goodman on the Today Show? Or, for that matter, the evening news? How is this not more newsworthy than the newest diet fad?

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  1. mark
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Did no one find this as troubling as I did?

    If you did, here’s the contact information for the Today Show:

  2. Posted September 3, 2008 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I can say with certainty that “free speach zones” date back at least to 2000, having seen one at the Vice Presidential “debate” in Danville, KY that year.

  3. ytown
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    No. Just you.

  4. kjc
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Yes, I found it incredibly troubling. I’m glad you did too.

  5. Hillary
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

  6. Robert
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Don’t be too excited ytown. It won’t be dumb guys like you getting the top jobs in the Gestapo. It will be guys like me. I promise we’ll take good care of you though.

  7. Robert
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I guess it makes perfect sense that the generation who’s addicted to TV naturally thinks it is somehow going to save them from the tyranny which is now coming in the back door. I think I have some bad news for you folks. Freedom and democracy can only be won and preserved through the sacrifice and vigilance of ordinary people.

  8. Brackache
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Because people who fear government tyranny are paranoid kooks who should be ignored.

  9. Dirtgrain
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s terrible. I wonder why lawsuits from those wrongly treated haven’t help fix this problem. These people are allowed to sue the agencies responsible, aren’t they?

  10. Ed Singer
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Your problem is you still have a pre-911 mindset, Dirtgrain.

    Here’s my letter to Today.

    Hello. I’m a watcher of the Today show. I was watching this morning, hoping to see something about the demonstrations in Minneapolis and the arrest of journalist Amy Goodman. As there’s video of the arrest, it seemed like something that would certainly be newsworthy… She, if you don’t know, was arrested for inquiring as to the whereabouts of two of her producers, who had been arrested for filming demonstrations. The footage of the harmless Ms. Goodman being thrown against a police van, with her arms twisted behind her back, really made me wonder where our country is headed. Thank you in advance for your response.

  11. ytown
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    A liberal is someone who has never had anything bad happen to them. Once something goes wrong they scream for the police. Heaven forbid the police are proactive!

  12. Hillary
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Dirtgrain: That’s exactly what got the I-Witness people into trouble.

  13. Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    “A liberal is someone who has never had anything bad happen to them.”

    ytown, you exude stupidity a lot of the time but this has to be the stupidest thing you’ve ever spoken here.

  14. Meta
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Amy Goodman questions St. Paul Police Chief:

  15. CTLoz
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    If you really have your heart set on the Today show, their number is (212) 664-4249.

  16. Robert
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    As much as I like what I-Witness does, they have to be a little dim-witted to set up their base in St. Paul city limits. Did these ‘reporters’ ever ask themselves the question of why this RNC Convention is being held in St. Paul and not across the river in the much more adequate city of Minneapolis? When you call yourself a reporter, it might be a good idea to be observant and pay attention to details. That’s sort of what I thought would inspire a person to go into the field in the first place.

  17. Robert
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and if the purpose was to get the St.Paul cops behaving like the Gestapo guard they are, you use hidden cameras with live radio feeds. Then those pricks are fucked, and we’d all be enjoying watching a ton of firings right now.

  18. ytown
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Nice comment dude! Show me a liberal that’s been raped, assuaulted or robbed.

  19. ytown
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Permalink


  20. Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    ytown, I should not even have to comment on how absolutely disgusting that is. Rape is nothing to joke about.

  21. Robert
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I can see ytown point here. I got the distinct impression Amy Goodman was about to rape, assult and rob the delegates at the convention. Fortunately, the police were proactive.

  22. Brent
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I hate to take ytown’s bait, but I will. Mark me down as a liberal that has been assaulted and robbed.
    I’d honestly love to hear how being attacked and shot for $7 in my pocket should not make me liberal.

  23. Pissedpsi
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    This is terrifying. Amy Goodman is awesome. We should also be contacting our local public radio stations to pick up her program. If you’ve never listened, it’s all the news that you hear everyone else, only different.

    On a separate note, I have unfortunately witnessed the police in Ypsilanti behaving in much the same way. Challenge their authority, even in a perfectly civil, peaceful way, and you get handcuffed without explanation.

    We are free as long as we do what we’re told.

  24. ytown
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Dude you are soooo easy! Man, it is like taking candy from a baby to get you to comment!

    By the way, I wasn’t joking about rape. Nice way to change the focus.

  25. Posted September 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    It’s morons like you that have turned conservative thinking in the reactionary morass it is today.

  26. Bing
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    The media’s reaction to videos like this is so underwhelming, it’s hard to believe. Collectively we are still in total denial that our reality is not, in fact, the reality that has been crammed down our throats over the last 30 or so years. Our economy, our environment, our sense of community will continue to erode unless the middle class admits there is a HUGE problem (which I’m starting to believe it won’t – until we hit rock bottom).

    This “Country First” theme at the RNC makes me sick to my stomach. Are you flippin kidding me? I guess we’re not talking about American jobs, health, or education?!! Country First? All these hard working American folks that lost their homes – they didn’t even get a mention on day one of the RNC. I guess the RNC leaders must be talking about Iraq. That’s the Country that comes First. They had a whole auditorium hollering “USA” like a bunch of drugged up zombies. Seriously, almost half the country is behind these scoundrels. So many people in so much denial.

    There are pragmatic solutions to all of our problems. The sky wouldn’t be falling if these jackasses would just get out of the way of progress.

    There are a large group of people in this country that are firmly committed to being stupid. EVERYONE else HAS to vote in this election. It’s the only way we can stop videos like this from becoming everyday life.

  27. Posted September 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I think that “Country First” in fact refers to the country. Obama is largely seen as an urban phenomenon.

    The Republican Party has become a complete joke. This is thanks to the idiots that they have depended on for votes that have successfully eroded the basic precepts the party stands for. As a person that identifies himself as a Republican do to the ideas of small government, low taxes and great personal freedom, I find that the morons that identify themselves as “conservative” to be nothing but a group of folks that spend money like fools with no consideration for the future, create restrictive policies that limit personal expression, and tout a ridiculous form of violent diplomacy that denies the world the freedoms that we supposedly cherish.

  28. Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    ytown, you are such a comedian. Your take on liberals not being victims of crime is just hilarious.

    ytown, why don’t you post under your real name, so you can stand behind publicly with your opinions? It’s easy to post anonymously, to hide under an internet moniker. You’ve told us that you live in College Heights and you’re a U-M grad. Why not post under your real name? That way if you ever interact with your neighbors in a real social setting and not in this comments sections, we can know who you are.

    What do you say, ytown? I bet behind that antogonistic make-believe character we know as ytown lives a real person with real logs to throw in the campfire. I’m certainly not afraid of listening to a thoughtful conservative perspective, in fact I would welcome it as a change from the dominant liberal perspective on this site.

    I know you get your kicks out of pissing people off, but is that all there is to you? I thought Ypsi had better folks than that.

  29. Brackache
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    dude, I am liking you more and more. I am a neocon-hating, disgusted-at-the-Republican-party conservative republican myself. Now I’m a minarchist libertarian, I guess, who dabbles in anarchocapitalism for argument’s sake.

    Everyone else: You guys don’t have to reply to ytown, or anyone you don’t want to reply to, you know.

    A good rule of thumb for me is, if you are so mad at some anonymous person online that you want to find out who he is so you can kick his ass, it’s time to ignore him completely and come back to reality. It doesn’t mean the terrorists have won. It just means you’re not a moron.

  30. Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Brackache, I don’t want to kick his ass, or anyone’s ass for that matter. But maybe just buy him a beer sometime and have him contribute something meaningful. Thanks for calling me a terrorist fearing, out of touch with reality moron for wanting ytown to own up to his opinions.

  31. Brackache
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome, Geoff.

    Seriously though, I understand your actual intentions, but decided not to edit mine because it was meant for everyone in general who gets mad at ytown, not as a reply or rebuke to you specifically. Your wanting to know his true identity reminded me of my wanting to know someone’s true identity when I get mad at them online. Plus it’s funnier the way I wrote it, with the terrorist/moron thing. I was going to go with “retard”, but it made me feel bad. So, in sum, I did not insult you, and you should feel good about yourself.

  32. Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate that, considering I work in special education.

  33. ytown
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I just might Geoff, but honestly I don’t trust many of the people who reply to this site.

  34. Michael Schils
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    If you identify yourself, then you may feel compelled to actually read and think before posting your comments—that extra effort might not be worth the hassle for you.

    This article reports that this week in Minnesota, law enforcement has been apparently targeting independent media and that the local mayor declined to comment when this was brought to his attention. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is a democrat and has failed to condemn or even comment on the unprovoked “pre-emptive” police actions, which further shows that our new totalitarian police state is bipartisan.

    The local newspaper declared the local police conduct was “appropriate” and blamed the disturbances on outsiders. A commenter pointed out the irony of this justification as the people inside the arena are also overwhelmingly “outsiders from beyond the twin cities”.

  35. Robert
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Cousin Geoff is probably the most thoughtful, decent and civil person who posts on this site. He makes me sick…just kidding. Anyway, that’s how I saw his call on ytown to come out of the closet and go public. Cousin Geoff just values civility. I can respect that.

    Ytown is actually just referring to me when he says he doesn’t trust many of the people who reply to this site. He’s got good instincts, despite his obvious lack of everything else.

    And, thank you Michael Schils, for that info on St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. You may be the only other person besides Cousin Geoff who hasn’t put me on ‘ignore’. I think Coleman either cut some sort of creepy deal or is under some sort of duress. Someone ought to find out which and take that fucker to task. I’m assuming now the Minnesota State Police and maybe some feds took jurisdiction over the local law enforcement.

  36. Curt Waugh
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    ytown, after being (I believe) the first person to call you the troll that you are, you have really outdone yourself with this “show me a liberal” comment. If this is truly your view of the world, you simply don’t belong here. Go away.

    You have now shown yourself to be a dim-witted stain on what is otherwise one of the most intelligent, community-minded blogs around. While almost everyone here engages in some wonderful back-and-forth on important (or funny or chicken) issues, you have chosen to hide in your anonymity and spout what can only be described as vile filth.

    Please everyone, until this waste of humanity comes out from behind his tree and reveals himself, no more comments. I’m begging you all. I will stop, too. (OK, everybody can have one more.) I can’t believe that someone like this lives anywhere near me. It actually makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.

    And Robert’s correct, you anonymous prick, it will be the smart folks who will learn how to work the new bureaucracy, not you.

    Show yourself or shut the fuck up.

  37. Michael Schils
    Posted September 4, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Amy Goodman gives her account of the arrests.

    The most telling sentence regarding the motive behind the arrests,

    When I asked St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington how reporters are to operate in this atmosphere, he suggested, “By embedding reporters in our mobile field force.”

  38. Kim
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Amy Goodman is taking St. Paul and Minneapolis to court for violating her constitutionally guaranteed rights.

  39. Robert
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully she’ll win some of those millions that the RNC funneled to local officials as incentive to rig the state’s US senate election. They failed to destroy a sufficient amount of ballots to ensure spoiled rejects couldn’t make up the difference, so they really don’t deserve the payoff money. The only thing lower than a cabal of election rigging criminals, is an incompetent cabal of election rigging criminals.

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