imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The RNC’S Outrageous Assault on Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, and Alternative Media...

by Larry Everest Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2008 at 8:17 PM

Revolution Newspaper writer Larry Everest takes on the attack on alternative media at the RNC. This is what imperialist democracy looks like!

This week in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. authorities unleashed a vicious, orchestrated, and fascistic assault on alternative media covering the protests outside the Republican National Convention.

These attacks included the manhandling and arrest of internationally known journalist Amy Goodman, the brutalizing and arrest of two producers on the Democracy Now! team, pre-emptive raids—at gunpoint—on the I-Witness Video collective, the confiscation of media equipment, and many other arrests and mistreatment of journalists, both alternative and mainstream.

Goodman said, “This week, police are systematically targeting journalists.... Here on the streets of St. Paul, the press is free to report on the official proceedings of the RNC, but not to report on the police violence and mass arrests directed at those who have come to petition their government, to protest.”

These attacks mark a serious escalation of police state measures against critics of the government, taking place in the context of the rightward march of official U.S. politics generally and the fascist tone of the RNC in particular. All this has big implications for everyone who wants a more just world.


The authorities’ attacks on independent journalists began even before the protests started. On Saturday, August 30, two days before the first march, some 30 heavily armed police surrounded a private home where members of the I-Witness Video collective were staying. I-Witness had come to St. Paul to document police actions during the RNC protests, as they had during the 2004 RNC in New York City. Seven members of the group were detained for over two hours while the police tried to get a search warrant. A lawyer who came outside the house to liaison with the police was arrested.

According to I-Witness video’s blog (, once police obtained a warrant, they “stormed in, pointing an automatic handgun at the people inside. They handcuffed all the individuals inside, collected their personal information, and corralled them in the back garden.... After completing their search, the police finally uncuffed everyone and departed.” (All this even though the warrant didn’t have their address on it.)

The attack on I-Witness escalated on Wednesday, September 3, when the building’s landlord forced I-Witness to move out after police deployed a battering ram and again forced their way into the house, claiming they were investigating reports that anarchists were holding hostages.

This was a blatant attempt to prevent I-Witness from documenting the protests and police actions. (Following the 2004 RNC, 400 of the 1,800 arrests were eventually thrown out because video footage shot by I-Witness proved police were lying and trumping up charges against protesters.)

“Here we have a situation where if the cameras are all quieted, the police can get away with doing what they want,” Gena Berglund, of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, told Democracy Now! (September 2). “They can lie in their police reports, and no one can hold them accountable. And we believe that happens regularly.”

Eileen Clancy of I-Witness Video said, “I mean, this is an extraordinary amount of pressure to put on us. What happened yesterday really ratcheted up the stakes, because, you know they came in with a warrant, even though it had the wrong address, the other day. We had guns pointed at us. And then yesterday... they had loaded handguns.” (Democracy Now!, September 4)


Democracy Now! is broadcast on over 700 radio and TV stations, primarily in North America but also globally.

Here is Amy Goodman’s description of what happened to her and the Democracy Now! team when they tried to report on a break away march from the main protest on Labor Day. (“Why We Were Falsely Arrested,”, September 4)

“The police—clad in full body armor, with helmets, face shields, batons and canisters of pepper spray—charged. They forced marchers, onlookers and working journalists into a nearby parking lot, then surrounded the people and began handcuffing them.

“Nicole [producer Nicole Salazar] was videotaping. Her tape of her own violent arrest is chilling. Police in riot gear charged her, yelling, ‘Get down on your face.’ You hear her voice, clearly and repeatedly announcing ‘Press! Press! Where are we supposed to go?’ She was trapped between parked cars. The camera drops to the pavement amidst Nicole’s screams of pain. Her face was smashed into the pavement, and she was bleeding from the nose, with the heavy officer with a boot or knee on her back. Another officer was pulling on her leg. Sharif [producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous] was thrown up against the wall and kicked in the chest, and he was bleeding from his arm.

“I was at the Xcel Center on the convention floor, interviewing delegates. I had just made it to the Minnesota delegation when I got a call on my cell phone with news that Sharif and Nicole were being bloody arrested, in every sense. Filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films and I raced on foot to the scene. Out of breath, we arrived at the parking lot. I went up to the line of riot police and asked to speak to a commanding officer, saying that they had arrested accredited journalists.

“Within seconds, they grabbed me, pulled me behind the police line and forcibly twisted my arms behind my back and handcuffed me, the rigid plastic cuffs digging into my wrists. I saw Sharif, his arm bloody, his credentials hanging from his neck. I repeated we were accredited journalists, whereupon a Secret Service agent came over and ripped my convention credential from my neck. I was taken to the St. Paul police garage where cages were set up for protesters. I was charged with obstruction of a peace officer. Nicole and Sharif were taken to jail, facing riot charges.

(The YouTube video of Goodman’s arrest is available at: At last count, it had been viewed over 750,000 times.)

Other journalists, both mainstream and alternative, were targeted or arrested. The Glass Bead Collective, a video documentary group, was detained and its equipment confiscated. Two journalists with Pepperspray Productions were imprisoned for two days. AP photographer Matt Rourke, a New York Post freelance photographer, and three journalists from the University of Kentucky were also arrested, the latter charged with “felony riot.” On September 4, the last day of the protests, 18 media workers, along with some 400 protesters, were arrested.

These attacks on accredited journalists, alternative journalists in particular, are a serious leap in government efforts to censor news, smother broad popular discontent, and crush expressions of organized protest and resistance.

Journalists—whether mainstream or alternative—are supposed to be legally protected to report the news. Brutalizing and arresting them sends the chilling message that no one— not even nationally-known and accredited journalists—are safe, so what rights do ordinary people have?

“It was very clear who I was,” Goodman told media after her release. “I had all my credentials hanging from my neck. ‘Look -- these are my credentials,’ I said. A Secret Service agent walked up to me and said, ‘Oh really?’ and ripped my credentials off my neck”... Kouddous told the Committee to Protect Journalists that the same agent also confiscated his daily press pass.” (Jeffrey Allen, “RNC Media Intimidation Condemned,”, September 5)

Assaulting journalists is also aimed at suppressing coverage that ventures outside the increasingly narrow confines of mainstream reporting, including coverage of resistance against the U.S.’s crimes and outrages.

This IS what bourgeois democracy looks like.


The assaults on journalists, which the media reform group Free Press called, “an orchestrated round up of independent [media] covering the Republican National Convention,” were directed from the highest levels of government.

According to Gina Berglund from the National Lawyers Guild (Democracy Now!, September 2), the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security were all involved in the attacks on journalists; that there was a unified command, because it was a national security event and “there are joint powers agreements between Minneapolis and St. Paul that allow the Minneapolis police to operate under this unified command.” Even the kidnapping “complaint” that prompted the September 3 raid on I-Witness Video apparently came from the “RNC part of the policing.”

St. Paul Chief of Police John Harrington more or less openly argued that anyone covering protests—and not “embedded” with the police—was not really a journalist any more, they were criminals:

“In terms of the policy, reporters have rights, and what we have tried to do is try and create a balance of that. If we announce, if there is an unlawful assembly or we are in the midst of a riot, that if reporters fail to do that, if they are in the midst of the riot, we can’t protect them... But what I would say is that if a reporter is committing a crime while they’re there under their credentials, I think they become regular citizens... But, in general, what we’re trying to do is give reporters access. We have tried to give them, in fact, I think extraordinary access by embedding reporters in our mobile field force.”


It is crucial to defeat these attacks on journalists, by both exposing the criminal nature of the assaults and their arrests, and by demanding all charges against them be dropped. Media organizations including Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union have all issued statements condemning the attacks on journalists and calling for investigations.

The media reform group Free Press is circulating an online petition demanding an end to the attacks on journalists that gathered over 50,000 names in two days:

Democracy Now! ( has also issued a call for people to phone and email St. Paul authorities to demand all charges be dropped.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy