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Amy Goodman, one of four journalists arrested at an anti-RNC protest, tells her story

Amy Amy Goodman, the host of the popular radio and television program "Democracy Now!" was at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul on Monday, interviewing members of the Alaska delegation, when her phone rang with alarming news.

“I got a call that two of our producers had been bloodied by the police,” Goodman said. “I did not stop running until I got to where they were.”

The producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, had been reporting on the protest of the convention that was the unfolding several blocks away. Most of the estimated 10,000 people in the march were peaceful. But, according to police, a group of about 200 had fractured off and were breaking windows, slashing tires and harassing delegates.

Police arrested 286 people, according to the Associated Press. Kouddous and Salazar were among them. Matt Rourke, a photographer with the AP, was also arrested.

News gathering is a constitutionally protected activity in the United States. But although Kouddous, Salazar and Rourke were wearing credentials that identified them as members of the press, they were held on riot charges. Salazar suffered a bloody nose after being dragged, face-down on the ground, according a statement released by "Democracy Now!"

When Goodman arrived at the scene 20 minutes later, she asked the riot police if she could see her producers, who were being held in police vehicles. “I just said, 'I want to talk to a commander,' ” said Goodman, who had her own press badge slung around her neck. “They didn’t skip a beat; they just started arresting me.”

The scene was captured on video -- a clip that was one the most-viewed videos on on Tuesday. In it, Goodman is seen pleading with the police while her arms are twisted behind her back and into plastic handcuffs.

All four journalists were released hours after being arrested. Goodman was officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace officer.

"Democracy Now!" plans to continue its coverage of the protests despite the police presence, which Goodman described as "overly aggressive."

"I was very angry. This was a violation of my rights," Goodman said. "But
it’s so much bigger than us. When the press is shut down, it's closing the eyes and ears of a critical watchdog in a democratic society."

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo of Amy Goodman by Michael Keel via Democracy Now!

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I doubt this post will appear, as the hypocrites in the media will "handcuff" it.

Kate Linthicun's lamentation per Amy Goodman's appropriate arrest reveals the abject hypocrisy of the leftist media: Here have Goodman demanding accountability whilst in the process of perpetrating mischief herself. She says,"it's so much bigger than us..."

That's right, the corruption of journalistic integrity by the leftist propaganda cabal (CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Rueters, AP) is big news -- interesting that this glaring issue is somehow ignored while sexist bigots are allowed to unfairly harass Sarah Palin.

Why can't the liberals allow the Republican Convention to proceed without t heir disruptions? I don't recall the conservatives trying to disrupt the Democratic Convention. What are they afraid of? Freedom of speech , it appears, is only permitted to the liberals (at least in their minds).

Why is the Media if it is fair and unbiased calling Democracy Now a protest group? Any group who destroys property while doing so called protesting is not a protest group they are Terrorists plain and simple.Those who run with Terrorists should expect to get into trouble.I'll bet the video did not show those people destorying property or fighting with those who were trying to stop their rampage.If you so called reporters would call these slimeballs terrorists as you should them maybe people would stop these slimeballs from getting out of hand before they start.No one who is carrying out a peaceful protest needs the weapons that police rounded up prior to the convention start but you so called reporters did not report them as terrorist as you should have so it looks like you got the bloody nose you deserved.

Ummm...they told her to leave and she didn't leave. Goodwin is being disingenious when she says "they didn't skip a beat." The mistake the police made in arresting her colleagues was recongized and corrected later, which would have happened without her wading into the police line as she did.

Goodwin should apologize for her arrogance and distracting the police when they had more important things to worry about than aggravated journalists.

I found it hard to believe that Amy Goodman would lie to the extent she did when being interviewed after her release. The widely available video of her arrest shows the police clearly ordering her to go to the side walk three times before she tried to push past the officer and was then arrested.

I couldn't be happier that four journalists were arrested as part of a police crackdown on violent protesters.

Tell me again why the police had to get involved in the first place?? Oh yeh, protesters started breaking windows and slashing tires. Last time I checked, those actions were against the law. And perpetrators should be arrested. The fact that four journalists were there, probably egging on the protesters with their cameras and giving protesters their 15 minutes of fame by making their films available to the evening news, should have consequences. And I don't think it's the job of the police, in the heat of "battle", to sort out the perpetrators. Let the judge do that.

Hope the four journalists spent a nice night in jail.

Amy, my fondest hope is that you become rich, beyond your wildest dreams!

Amy Goodman is an embarrassment to the journalism profession. Yes we are burdened with institutionalized ideology all through our college days, but when we graduate and go to work, there should be an ethical prerogative for our work. Goodman and most at the LA Times have abrogated ethics, much to the detriment of the LA Times bottom line. Won't you people ever learn -- honesty actually pays better than dishonesty.

The arrest of the journalists was an outrage. The police were completely out of control. There were admittedly a small group of protesters wrongly using violence. But that was no reason to take it out on journalists, peaceful protesters, and innocent bystanders. The people of the Minneapolis St. Paul region should be ashamed of their police as they systematically shredded the Constitution.

This is not 'liberal disruption.' This is the arrest and imprisonment of reporters. It doesn't matter whether you perceive the media to be leftist, rightist or whatever. Their activities in gathering news are CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED.

So now the Republikans, like those posting here, are rationalizing the arrest and jailing of journalists who disagree with them.

This is a criminal outrage in what used to be a democracy--and the fact that anyone who calls him/herself "American" would justify such an outrage against press freedom shows just how far we've fallen since Congress and a docile media allowed the Bush regime to hijack the White House with impunity back in 2000.

Welcome to the Fourth Reich!

To rural american: How is inquiring after her journalists and asking to see a commander "perpetrating mischief?" We MUST have freedom of the press! Since last week, dozens of independent journalists attempting to cover the RNC have been arrested and had their video equipment confiscated in "pre-emptive arrests" using conspiracy to riot as pretext. Further, these raids occurred in private dwellings with only a warrant. News-gathering organizations are protected by the Constitution (remember the Constitution?) and police must have a subpeona, not a warrant in order to confiscate equipment related to the jornalistic process. And Mr. Miller! Obviously you didn't watch the DNC! There WERE "conservative" (anti-abortion groups, anti- gay rights etc) protestors there! There were also much larger numbers of the folks you label "liberal" protesting the policies of the gutless, pandering Democrats we elected in 2006. By, the way some of them got arrested too, but the tactics being used at the RNC are much more heavy handed. People just like you are the reason Hitler went so far!

There was 'disruption' at the Democratic Convention....but there it was called 'REPORTING'.

"Here have Goodman demanding accountability whilst in the process of perpetrating mischief herself."

What mischief? As a member of the press she asked to see the commander. Instead, she was arrested. What she did was reasonable, what the police did was unreasonable.

This was an arbitrary roundup of people without cause or warrant. Did she show probable cause? No. Did she attack anyone? No. All she did was ask a question.

Apparently, in St. Paul, it is illegal to ask questions. The law be damned!

Although I enjoy Ms. Goodman's show, (the more opinions voiced, the better) I must admit that she brought the arrest on herself.
The police were worried about a riot starting, and plainly ordered her to return to the sidewalk several times.
The officer even escorted her back to the sidewalk and let her go. She turned around and tried to pass him again. That is when she was arrested.
If she had returned to the sidewalk and calmed down, she would not have been arrested.
I understand her frustration and anger, but her press credentials do not allow her to push through a police line without consequences.
In a high stress situation, adding anger and tension will only worsen things.
She chose to ignore the warnings, and was arrested.
She will be fine, and the world will hear her story.

Everyone keeps saying we are a democracy we are not. We are actually a republic because we elect representatives and the speak for us. So as much as we would like to think we are the leaders in democracy we are not. Arresting reporters for doing their job is wrong but interfering with the police doing their job is also wrong. I hope one day we will finanlly get down to the issues of our country and stop bad mouthing the candidates and find out what they are going to do to make our country safe, prosperous and regain the respect we once had in the world.

Dan -- you seem like a reasonable person, and you make a reasonable point about the substantial risk in crossing a police line. But why focus on Ms. Goodman's actions? Why not demand an explanation for the arrest of Goodman's producers? It was the police's initial abuse of force (some might say, an *illegal* use of force) that caused Ms. Goodman to engage in civil disobedience in the first place.

Wow. You folks who got the first posts in here are insane. Here's a little experiment: imagine you're cooking in your kitchen, your children playing outside, when you here one of them yell in fright. You run out and see police officers binding them in handcuffs and throwing them in the back of a van, your daughter being dragged across the street face down by the hair, leaving a trail of blood. You walk over and, calmly as you can, ask to speak to your children. The cop ignores you. You ask again, he turns to look at you severely then turns away pushing you lightly but saying nothing. You ask why they're being arrested and he tells you to stand away from him. You push past him to tell your children you'll get them out of this and three cops descend on and arrest you.

Does that sound like nothing? Does that seem like a fair scenario to you? That, except for her producers not being her children but her friends and colleagues, is what happened here. This was illegal. In every way that police action can be, this was illegal. This is as illegal as if they had shot her in the street. You people who posted that it was her fault, that the "liberal media" is criminal and deserves this treatment, you should be ashamed. I feel dirty just thinking that you are my countrymen. You don't deserve the rights you were born to and, apparently, you are too blinded by party loyalty to even jump to their defense. Your ancestors risked and bled and died to give you the freedom you live with everyday, and you spit on their sacrifice and mock your liberty for the cheap and empty a cohesive party message. You people are self-righteous, deluded twits, and when the day comes that some cop decides to piss on your feet for shits and giggles, I hope you have the good grace to be ashamed of what you wrote here today.

judging by the wingnut comments- far too many of you Rethuglicans still belong in fascist republics NOT healthy democracies.....
What is it about police states that fascinates you people anyway? Were you ALL beaten by your dads when you were kids?

If a "reporter" is disruptive and interfering with law enforcement in the midst of violent protest, the reporter has broken the law.

How about the rights of the thousands who were being terrorized by the anarchists. Let LE do their job and just report if that is what you claim is your job.

To all you whining about the "Liberal Media" and being happy about the police arresting journalists, well you would not even know about this incident if it weren't for journalists.

I could not believe the behavior of this journalist, The police did what they were suppose to do, they gave her three repeated commands to get on the sidewalk, and she did not even care, and so what did she think they were not going to take action, boy has she done lost her mind? it was a very fragile situation there and the police are not going to take any chances, Amy stop crying and grow up, had you just left, you would have been just fine, you can't just do what you please, I can't believe the immaturity that these people are displaying.

Someone else here said it best:

"...Press credentials do not allow her to push through a police line without consequences."

End. Of. Story.

She was not engaging in Constitutionally protected behavior. She was disobeying a reasonable, lawful order and distracting officers from their duty.

But honestly, I think she cracks a little smile when the officer finally grabs her. Like it was her plan all along anyway.

I do not know the circumstances of the arrest of her producers. It seems like they were not charged with anything. It is likely that the police acted incorrectly in their arrest, but I do not know.
I am gusessing that when the police began arresting the destructive protesters, there was probably chaos, and the producers were mistakenly rounded up with the guilty parties. But once again, this is only conjecture.
Police are of course humans, and subject to the same adrenalin, fear, and anger that all people experience.
I am not excusing their actions, as I believe those with athority and weapons need to be held to a higher standard than others.
If misconduct occurred, which seems likely, then those officers involved should face the consequences, and should perhaps be removed from crowd control duties.
My comment was in response to Ms. Goodman's being "outraged" by her own arrest.
Let me add that I have alot of respect for Ms. Goodman. Her radio show is open and honest. And while I don't always agree with her positions, I am grateful that her show often publicizes facts and perspectives that are ignored by more mainstream "news" shows.
She did what she felt was right, and for that she deserves respect, even if I disagree somewhat with her methods.

There is no longer a liberal press in this country. A free press went out of the window when media conglomeration took over this country and the bottom dollar deconstructed freedom of the press and the first amendment. Where was the liberal press during the build up of the Iraq war? Absent. No where to be seen but heard through their drum beating for the war. With the close alignment of the media and the leadership of this country, both Democrats and Republican, we are fortunate to have people like Amy Goodman and shows like Democracy Now to stop the growing ignorance and complacency of this country. She is beyond the label, "PRESS". She speaks the truth and truth is becoming harder for people to swallow.

I cannot believe this is happening in our once great nation. It saddens me to see such an erosion of civil rights.

@Jesse Tomblin: Please get your facts straight before you post. Democracy Now! is NOT a protest group. They are, per wikipedia, "a syndicated program of news, analysis, and opinion aired by more than 700 radio and television, satellite and cable TV networks in North America." The fact that you would label a widespread and respected news program "terrorists" is appalling.

@Russ Miller: The individuals in question (Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar) were doing nothing to disrupt proceedings, they were merely doing their constitutionally-protected job: reporting. The wrongful arrests are to blame for the disruption. The responsibility for this lies with the police, not democrats or republicans, but the fact that many republicans on this board are approving of these arrests is disgusting. If you believe these arrests are justified and that the press should not be allowed to lawfully report without being arrested, you have no right to call yourself an American.

If it were, in fact, "her plan all along" it's par for the course, as she's just reacting to another preplanned operation? Police seem to go into these things with the primary goal to clear people out and the disruptive ones just give them an excuse to do so. People have a right to protest and the police response is totally inappropriate and uncalled for. If there were acts of violence, isolate and arrest those responsible. Should be simple and the police should have adequate training in doing so it's ridiculous to justify anything more.

Oh and I did want to address this statement by John:

"The mistake the police made in arresting her colleagues was recognized and corrected later"

So that's enough? Too easy..."woops, sorry, won't happen again". It's time for change and thankfully there are people trying to make that happen before we're stripped of all rights.

Things may be recognized, but they're far from being "corrected".

Remember the times, remember the song, 4 dead in OHIO!
The far right are WRONG! It seems like what we are seeing is everything we got away from when this country was established.


"Why can't the liberals allow the Republican Convention to proceed without t heir disruptions?"

Because the right of the people to peaceably assemble is guaranteed by the 1st Amend. Sure, there were some demonstrators who got violent & they SHOULD be arrested but arresting Goodman & her producers for trying to cover the event? That's fascist, reminds me of the RNC in Manhattan 4 yrs ago when 100s of peaceful protestors were arrested, detained in inhumane conditions (no food, water or bathroom facilities) for 3 days & were released w/an falsely sincere apology from the NYPD Comissioner AFTER the conv was over.

Fascism, plain & simple. Those cops should be charged with misconduct.

Democracies foster a never-ending struggle between two rights: The government's obligation to protect national security; and the people's right to know, based on journalists' ability to access information. Governments sometimes need to limit access to information considered too sensitive for general distribution. But journalists in democracies are fully justified in pursuing such information.

Amy is one such journalist.

A free press is fundamental to an open democracy, in particular, our American democracy.

Folks, I'd like to welcome you all to what is but a glimpse of things to come...Welcome, to the "New World Order." Make no mistake slowly and systematically it's happening!

The capacity for the far right's self-deception is absolutely astonishing. The posts here show these rightists at the top of their game - repeating lies to contradict real evidence in the hope that their lies can override reality. It works all too often.

A quote from a right winger: "clearly ordering her to go to the side walk three times before she tried to push past the officer and was then arrested" - Huh? None of the above happen in the video. What video was this guy watching? Ordered her three times? What? Pushing past the officer? Huh? The officer dragged her across the line himself!

Wow - the people that used to be against government interference in the llves of citizens suddenly want the govt to stop citizens from protesting and the rest of the citizens from knowing about the citizens who protest. A little fear of the unexpected, the unplanned, the unscripted, is enough to get these guys to give up all the freedoms that our forebears died defending. Do we really want to give these guys four more years to dismantle the bill of rights?

It is ILLEGAL TO ARREST THE PRESS!!! RNC doing it's best, raping and silencing DEMOCRACY. I'm an independent voter that voted for Bush twice!! YOU KNOW IT'S FUNNY THERE WERE PROTESTERS AT THE DNC CONVENTION, YET YOU DIDN'T SEE THEM DOING THIS TO THEM!!!!

You can't ignore and violate people's rights just because there are some violent protesters. Go after the violent one's.

I found the videos of police aggression to be disturbing and the most scary stuff of the sort I have seen in my lifetime. What I am seeing here appears to be consistent with loss of freedom and a lack of free press I have been seeing in this country and it is clearly wrong, undemocratic, repressive, and if the trend continues everyone will lose, even the people who ignorantly think this is all in their best interests as they mistakenly and naively belive the many other lies.

This is free speech at it's most basic. Free speech is not supposed to be about whether a tabacco company can run an ad on a billboard, that is a mockery of what free speech is about. When there is an illegal war and corrupt government, that is when free speech matters. Free speech is about individual citizens right to peacefully protest and speak out.

You can't ignore and violate people's rights just because there are some violent protesters. Go after the violent one's.

I found the videos of police aggression to be disturbing and the most scary stuff of the sort I have seen in my lifetime. What I am seeing here appears to be consistent with loss of freedom and a lack of free press I have been seeing in this country and it is clearly wrong, undemocratic, repressive, and if the trend continues everyone will lose, even the people who ignorantly think this is all in their best interests as they mistakenly and naively belive the many other lies.

This is free speech at it's most basic. Free speech is not supposed to be about whether a tabacco company can run an ad on a billboard, that is a mockery of what free speech is about. When there is an illegal war and corrupt government, that is when free speech matters. Free speech is about individual citizens right to peacefully protest and speak out.

this is outrageous.....everyone thinking that the liberals want the media to be TRANSPARENT... "BULL-PUCKEY"

In January, 2008 UCSF ( #1 pharmacy school in usa) releases study showing gays 13x's more likely to get MRSA antibiotic resistant STAFF infections... . and the media pounces on UCSF stating that it is unfair to single out the homosexuals......
January 2008

Feb 08
July 08

REEKS OF CENSORSHIP!!! if you want freedom of speech then be prepared when the light is shining on you, and don't try to stop the spread of the truth...

I think everybody has confused a couple of issues.

Freedom of press is protected under the constitution. Exercising that right would involve covering stories, taking pictures, doing interviews, writing articles, etc. However, the constitution does not protect the right of a journalist (even with press credentials) to repeatedly disregard police instructions during a riot situation or shove her way through a police line. She was not acting as a neutral reporter exercising her constitutional rights. She worsened the situation by acting irrationally and should accept responsibility for the consequences that stemmed from her own actions.

I appreciate her concern for her producers, but am amused at the previous analogy to "Amy saving her children." Luckily, we live in America where (1) the government respects freedom of press and allows people to say whatever they want; and (2) these two producers that were wrongfully arrested were promptly let free.

This is like the hypocrisy of the Olympics. How can we criticize Russia for invading Georgia and ignore what China has done and is doing in Tibet and many of it's own people ?

The real reason why Russia invaded Georgia is because there is a struggle over the oil pipeline that US oil companies are trying to build in the region. Don't think that the political powers are actually concerned with the freedom of the people of Georgia. Nor are they concerned with your freedom either, but rather would like to find excuses to take away your freedom.

This is on the road to how China treats it's people what we see here. If you can't see that, I'm afraid you are suffering from a form of blindness.

I guess the midwest is not condusive to friendly conventions. Does 1968 Chicago ring a bell? I saw the video and it looks like the cops were not being very cooperative at all. Unloike the 1968 actions this was caught on tape.

Wow. There sure are a lot of pro-police beatings posters here. It's one thing to be indifferent; to actively champion police tactics like this – to say, for example, that innocent people "deserve" to be arrested for trying to report news – is something else altogether. It kind of boggles the mind. You're willing to unquestioningly promote the status quo? Wow. How brave you little men are.

Of course, if posting here makes you feel big, I suppose that's preferable to what you did before the internet (beating your girlfriends or whatever), but it's still unpleasant to be reminded that the world is full of wastes like you.

Vance Fishburne:
The officer says "Maam, sidewalk now" and takes her by the shoulder and leads her back. She turns around and begins to walk past him saying, "Sir I want to talk to..." That is when she is arrested.

I am definitely not a "Right Winger". I don't know why you make this a "us vs. them" conversation.
I consider myself mostly a libertarian except for my environmantal views, and I strongly support all civil rights.

What I don't support is violence or destructive protests.
Ms. Goodman entered a volatile situation where police were on high alert following violent, destructive acts.
In an effort to prevent further violence, they drew a line in the sand and said, "Don't cross this line". She crossed it. They had to stand their ground.

People make it sound like they opened fire on the crowd.
She was not beaten, her video camera wasn't taken, she wasn't "silenced". If this was really the fascist police state that you make it out to be, no one would have ever seen that video on YouTube.
Try protesting in China. You won't be seen for years.
And no one would say, "Sidewalk, Maam."
Do you think the police should have just gone home?

i had no idea rural america was educated enough to read a "leftest" newspaper. ...hey you know what....Amy Goodman must be a terrorist...why dont you republicans call her a terrorist and lock her up and rally your other moronic, racist republicans to rally behind you and elect another guys deserve the leaders you vote for and the kinda policy you get.. or dont.

To rural american -- how is AP part of a leftist cabal when its Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier -- who directs all their national political coverage -- is an evangelical Christian conservative who almost joined the McCain campaign, and when most of their current crew of journos are former College Republicans? How is MSNBC a part of a leftist cabal when Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan are prominent members of their team? How about CNN, who have Glenn Beck, Gloria Borger and several other conservatives as well as the amazing talent to avoid picking any bona-fide liberal for their talking head shows? Or ABC, whose leading producer Chris Vlasto is a staunch Republican and former colleague of Kenneth Starr and lets it show in their news coverage, and whose talking heads gushed over Sarah Palin's qualities just this Sunday? CBS? Not since Dan Rather left. Reuters? What political coverage do they do at all -- that foreign-owned outfit is fixated on business coverage.

i was arrested at an anti-war protest before. as a brown male i know what we are up against when we choose to stand up. i don't like cops, their institutions, etc., and yet i know enough about what they do and stand for that i wouldn't walk up to them in the way amy did. press or not - this is the u.s.a, and cops aren't to be messed with. it's a sad reality. amy, you've been forewarned. does mark coogan ring a bell?

Why are conservatives such idiots? The "leftist media conspiracy" is just a front by conservatives to immediately dismiss anything published against their cause. All major media outlets actually publish more stories aligned with conservative policy than liberal policy.

Noam Chomsky anyone?

She should be they used to do in South America. Then she would learn who runs the country.

Funny how Republicans wave their flags and try to represent themselves as true patriots. The only way they can do this with a straight face is by erasing the history of this great country. As a former history teacher, I refuse to let this happen.

We should remember that our country was begun by Revolutionaries, who organized dissent groups (Sons and Daughters of Liberty), who held protest rallies, who even destroyed property in order for their voices to be heard (Boston Tea Party). We should remember that the British soldiers responsible for the Boston Massacre also argued that they were merely trying to keep control over an unruly mob.

Clearly, had the Republican been alive in 1776, they would have not been Patriots. They would have been Loyalists and would have happily locked up all of our Founding Fathers.

Our Declaration of Independence is just as relevant now as it was then:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these [United States]; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present [Republican rule] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

The abuses and usurpations of the Bush administration are clear, and too many to detail here.
The time has come again for the people to stand up and demand change. It is our duty.

I think i saw the same video as everyone else. The cop is struggling just to push her away and save himself the trouble of arresting her, even twisting her arm and turning her body in the opposite direction. Gosh Amy, I've heard you countless times out of KPFA. You excoriate public officials and point out flaws in government bureaucracy. But today, the fault lies with you. No sympathy here. And Michael C. i encourage you not to site Wikipedia in describing Democracy Now. Please listen to them. You'll see they are truly way left-of-center.

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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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