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OEN Condemns Police Action at the DNC and RNC

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OpEdNews has received numerous written and video reports of lawful citizens being illegally detained, arrested, and subjected to excessive force by local and federal authorities in St. Paul-Minneapolis and in Denver at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. 

Law enforcement authorities raided private homes, breaking through doors, windows and floors to gain entry into private residences, where citizens were gathered in peaceful, lawful assembly. 

Tear gas, pepper spray, smoke bombs, rubber bullets, percussion grenades, and batons were reportedly used on law-abiding citizens engaged in peaceful protest. Police drove their cars into crowds to disperse them.  We have reports that Ramsey City Jail refused arrestees or detainees access to lawyers, and that St. Joseph Hospital denied arrestees or detainees water.  

Preemptive search and seizure has been employed as a means to intimidate and prevent peaceful assembly and lawful dissent. Professional and volunteer journalists have been arrested, in an apparent targeted action to suppress coverage of police action.  Such actions were reportedly pre-approved by local city councils.   

OEN is a media site that works diligently to keep otherwise neglected or suppressed news in the forefront.  A free press is our last line of defense in a democracy against tyranny.  With the arrest of Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and her producers, a line has been crossed.  For fully credentialed journalists to be forcefully grabbed and arrested is an incredible breach of trust and law. 

This behavior by Denver, St. Paul and Minneapolis police, Ramsey County sheriffs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is fundamentally un-American and threatens the very fabric of our society.  If those who enforce the laws are free to violate those laws, there is no rule of law. 

Our constitutionally protected rights to peaceably assemble, to speak freely, to move without restriction, to protest and criticize our government, to be free of unwarranted search and seizure of our personal property, to be free of intimidation by those sworn to uphold the law are basic inalienable rights in a democratic society.  

A free press where reporters can engage in their journalistic duties without threat of arrest must be restored. In 1776, the Virginia Declaration of Rights proclaimed that "The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained but by despotic governments."  That we have come to such a crossroads should be a wakeup call to news organizations, and to all Americans.  

The editorial board of OpEdNews calls for an immediate end to these violations of citizens' Constitutional right to assemble and express dissent.  The right to the freedom of the press must be respected and restored.  We call for an investigation into all charges of unlawful and unconstitutional actions.  We demand full accountability for these outrageous police actions.

 Rady AnandaJan BaumgartnerCheryl Biren-Wright
Walter BraschJoan BrunwasserRob Kall
Amanda LangLinda MilazzoJohn Moffett

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Investigate those actions by law enforcement authorities to suppress dissent by peaceful protestors at the DNC and RNC.

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

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Democracy Now! reports that Amy Goodman, Sharif Ab... by Cheryl Biren on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:01:11 PM
Thank you so much, OEN editorial board, for a well... by Kathryn Smith on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:02:09 PM
...and an indispensable part of the participatory ... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:21:01 PM
From the front lines in St Paul. i just copie... by Michael Cavlan on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:16:54 PM
Thank YOU, Michael ~ that is the kind of action we... by Rady Ananda on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:34:56 PM
As long as we have Police Officers who are willing... by kato krause on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:05:37 PM
"The editorial board of OpEdNews calls for an... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:42:38 PM
No amount of evidence could persuade you.Where'... by Bob Gormley on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 3:14:13 PM
did that CNN video show except for peaceful demons... by WML on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 3:25:42 PM
Yes. I'm sure the board condemns unnecessary a... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 3:45:03 PM
Perhaps I "hoped" that... but I do not &... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 6:56:47 PM
Police started "preventive" arrests befo... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:25:56 PM
"Police started "preventive" arrest... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 11:14:10 PM
   The reign of Bushco and the police st... by Bob Gormley on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 6:15:00 AM
It was never there to begin with... but you can th... by Tom Murphy on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 6:45:59 AM
Tom, allow me to give some clearification. &q... by erik mouse on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 2:42:07 PM
you are obviously uneducated and blinded by the [h... by TRADESMAN on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 5:49:58 PM
who by the looks of his uniform will be fighting u... by TRADESMAN on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 5:58:04 PM
The OEN editorial unity statement was not onl... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:30:27 PM
is high praise, indeed.  Thank you, Frank.;-)... by Rady Ananda on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:11:03 PM
"There is no Right to Rebellion -- ... by boomerang on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:37:50 PM
After the demonstration of Police Cointelpro tacti... by richard on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:54:51 PM
  Related to my comment above, the following ... by richard on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:27:47 PM
There is no doubt in my mind, based on the dozens ... by Rady Ananda on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:15:43 PM
Former FBI agent and now the ACLU's National S... by Amanda Lang on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:15:25 PM
That's the point isn't it, to terrorize pe... by pft on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 1:27:27 AM
Amy Goodman Describes Arrest... by Amanda Lang on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:31:32 PM
I couldn't get that one to open as video, so a... by Aurora on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 11:30:40 PM
The police were only following standard procedure.... by Alan Williams on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 1:34:42 AM
I am here, witnessing this happen I know there is... by Michael Cavlan on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 3:39:50 AM
Hey, Cavlan the Street Medic! Does it feel like yo... by Tom Murphy on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 7:35:16 AM
Rob...    get rid of this guy.... h... by Bob Gormley on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 8:08:05 AM
Most individuals can see the absurdity of your (in... by boomerang on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 8:14:29 AM
Looks like some of the excellent RNC protest cover... by E. Nelson on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 8:29:03 AM
Comment from Ratings:   just to let you ... by peggyn on Friday, Sep 5, 2008 at 3:50:12 PM
 Exactly the outcome desired  http://www... by Nemo on Saturday, Sep 6, 2008 at 5:56:25 AM