Friday, September 19, 2008
St. Paul promises to drop charges against 40 journalists including Amy Goodman
by Larry Geller
If you depend only on our daily paper you may not have even known that there was police violence during the Republican National Convention and that 40 journalists were unlawfully arrested.
Today the St. Paul city attorney said that the journalists would not be prosecuted. Among the journalists were Amy Goodman and two other Democracy Now journalists.
Many of the arrests were quite violent and pain and injuries were inflicted. It’s now the journalists’ turn to pursue lawsuits against the city. Why not—the city has a $10 million insurance policy saying it can ignore the Constitution. Its damages and legal fees will be covered. Might as well go for it, I say. Perhaps the damages will exceed the $10 million and St. Paul will think more about whether it really pays to encourage police violence against ordinary civilians.
The YouTube video of Goodman’s arrest was the most watched YouTube video during the convention week. It has now been viewed over 830,000 times. [Nicole] Salazar’s video of her own violent arrest is also available on YouTube.
Charges against Portland Indymedia journalists have not been dropped. Portland Indymedia videographers Wendy Binion and Alex Lilly, as of Monday 22nd, are still facing charges and are "under investigation". Wendy Binion (videographer) is facing felony conspiracy to riot charges(the charges being dropped are misdemeanors). She was arrested in a park on her way to use a restroom after filming key note speakers(before the permitted march even started). She was clearly marked as Press with a press pass and clearly covered in media equipment. Her arm was fractured in her arrest even though she was shouting "I am press. I am not resisting". Alex Lilly(videographer & artist), as well as members of Glass Bead Media, are currently working on a documentary film in St Paul about the RNC and as a result are still under heavy surveillance and subject to harassment including raids and excessive detainment. There may be other independent journalists still facing
charges and similar harassment. Please do not forget them.
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