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An Attack on Journalists IS an Attack on Free Speech Itself. Need any more be said?
Amy Goodman was not the only journalist to be arrested at the Republican National Convention for the “Crime” of giving news coverage to non-violent protest. See numerous examples of journalists giving coverage to that same event who also were arrested and/or subjected to police violence for the "Crime" of giving news coverage of protests at the RNC:
To wake the sleeping giant which is the American citizenry, we must use our pens to rebut the common assumption:
"It will never happen to me/you/in my locale".- Advertisement -
This is very short-sighted.
When journalists giving news coverage; and those meeting peaceably in their own homes to discuss peaceful political advocacy; are subjected to police batons, pepper spray, arrests and police violence; then you'd better believe free speech itself, not merely journalists and protestors, is under attack.
This will affect everybody, and not "only" those assumed to be vulnerable.
As if that word, "only", should be enough to stop Americans from acting, or caring. Because unfortunately, the assumption of immunity---a perfectly innocent assumption----is what blocks proactivity. That's where we can and must use our pens to counter the illusions which stop Americans from changing things.
If the Patriot Act allows police and FBI to enter our homes without knocking, all based on no warrant or probable cause but their own "self-certifying that they are acting in good faith" (according to law professor Stephen Schulhofer in the book "Liberty Under Attack"), then we Americans at large are vulnerable. Not "merely" protestors and journalists! To overturn or significantly amend the unconstitutional Patriot Act is one of the key cornerstones to restoring American freedom, and to stopping the police assault on free speech. More about this later in this article.
Here are a few good examples of what has been happening to American citizens post-911:http://www.rightsmatter.org/multimedia/ The ACLU of Massachusetts posts specific examples not of groups, but of individuals who are affected by the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act. Imagine...bird watchers and do-good-ers not partaking in protests or any political activity, being queried as "terrorists" by the FBI, on a repeated basis? Imagine...being shackled and jailed for purely racial reasons? Imagine…the FBI calling you at your workplace because of a contribution you made to an entity falsely dubbed as a “terrorist” organization?
http://www.opednews.com/articles/OEN-Condemns-Police-Action-by-OpEdNews-Editorial-080903-316.html Opednews has received more than a few reports, both photographic and verbal, of police entering homes and arresting/raiding where people are peaceably assembled in their own private residences. More above.
http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=9037 Volunteers with Food Not Bombs have been charged with felonies which could earn them the maximum jail sentencing allowable by law, for the crime of feeding vegetarian food to the homeless. Okay, the charges concern protesting but the fact is documented that this organization does not engage in violent protest, and is in fact a peace-oriented group. Homes were raided, more….a must-see.
http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=9035 Linked in this report are two FBI documents, one of which is titled “International Terrorism Matters” investigating the Thomas Merton Peace Center for organizing an Iraq War Peace Rally. The other document details FBI instructions to the police for going after protestors based on the fact that they are inclined to wear sunglasses and other such non-violent “terrorist” nonsense. Many other links in this short and excellent report are absolute must-reads. Very well done!
WHAT CAN WE DO?