Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Reason Reporters Were Arrested at RNC?

Guess what? It turns out there were preemptive arrests during the 2004 RNC, similar to the arrests perpetrated against journalists just last month at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

However, in 2004, I-Witness Video, a media watchdog group that monitors the police to protect civil liberties, video-taped many of these preemptive arrests ("premptive"--is that a legal term? Sounds like Minority Report's Precrime...).

Anyhow, in 2004, I-Witness Video worked with the National Lawyers Guild to gain the dismissal of charges or acquittals of about 400 of the 1,800 who were arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, which ended up costing the city millions in lawsuits.

It's so darn pesky being video-taped breaking the laws you're supposed to be enforcing.

Now that we know that history, it makes a little more "sense" (and makes my stomach churn as I think on it) why MN police preemptively moved in on the I-Witness Video team at a house they were staying out 2 days before the 2008 convention started. What other purpose could they have had but to harass and scare the reporters into silence?

If the citizens of this country understood the ramifications of these and similar events, I doubt they'd be OK with the eyes and ears of their democracy being closed, arrested, or worst of all, owned and embedded.
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