11/23/03 WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today denounced a classified FBI intelligence memorandum (see the link above), obtained by the New York Times, which gives police detailed instructions on how to target and monitor lawful political demonstrations under the rubric of fighting terrorism." (Emphasis added).
"....News of the classified (FBI) bulletin (about FBI crack-downs on dissent) also comes on the heels of an ACLU lawsuit against the Secret Service for the continuing practice of allowing pro-Bush protesters to remain visible to cameras during presidential appearances, and corralling anti-Bush protesters into pens or designated areas far from the media." See the link above for much more detailed facts.- Advertisement -
Given that background information from five years ago, in which the police actually crack down on citizen photography of police abuse as "illegal" and "intimidation tactics", it should be clear why Amy Goodman and her Democracy Now! photographers were arrested at the Republican National Convention, for the "crime" of giving news coverage to the peaceful protests at the scene:
And while the author intends no partisan statement, it also is fact that such unlawful arrests targeting free speech are more likely to occur at the Republican National Convention, such as where Amy Goodman's arrest occurred, than at Democratic ones. The reason for this has nothing to do with defending Democrats in Congress who, after all and alongside Republicans, voted twice for the police-empowering Patriot Act. It does, however, have everything to do with the fact that it is typically those "who are against us" (the Bush Administration's policies) who are targeted as "terrorists" than those who are "for us" (the Bush Administration):
Among the ACLU's "terrorist" clients are Amnesty International, Food not Bombs, United for Peace and Justice, the anti-war American Service Committee (a peaceful Quaker anti-war group), Greenpeace, Arab and Muslim groups as subjects of racial profiling, and more. Of course, the ACLU itself has also uncovered more than one thousand pages of FBI spying on the ACLU.- Advertisement -
The great concern here is that Americans at large, not only Amy Goodman and her photographers, are bound to become discouraged and not know what to do to stop such violations. Here are a few ways we can make a beginning to change things back to America, the Land of the Free as we once knew it and to take OUR country back----for which, after all, we PAY with our tax dollars and are fully entitled to!
a) Sign Credo phone company's petition to the Press to give full and unbiased coverage of this unlawful and un-American arrest
b) Write the press in your own home area and demand unbiased coverage. Make a clear statement to the effect that their credibility as unbiased news source is at stake, should they not cover this partisan and unconstitutional matter clearly and fully. Threaten not only to terminate your own subscription to the news entity, but tell them that you are passing word along to a team of concerned citizens in your area, asking that they do exactly the same as you: Demand unbiased and full news coverage of this and similar events, and tell them that they too will be terminating their subscriptions if this is not done.
c) Join a civil liberties group to help either amend or overturn the unconstitutional Patriot Act. I suggest the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights and The American Freedom Agenda. Credo is marvellous and full of integrity, too. Sign their petitions, pass them around absolutely everywhere to raise awareness and gather more signatures, and you will be part of the solution.
d) Write letters to the editor (of mainstream papers, the local papers and underground news sources) and post to blogs. Dial in to radio talk shows. Send group emails, asking that they be passed on. Raise awareness, everywhere you can! American liberals think that global warming and healthcare are the front burner issues, and while I agree, I must also say that free speech is slightly basic to even so much as discussing saving the whales et al. Repeat: Greenpeace is among those entities dubbed "terrorists" by the Bush Administration, in an official capacity, requiring the ACLU's legal help. If we think it stops there, we are just plain stupid. That's all there is to it.
e) Credo and Working Assets are part of the solution, since they (as a phone company) will not wiretap without court warrant. Ditto as regards Qwest. Sign up with them and you will protecting yourself, the power of the Judiciary as fundamental arm of government whose function is to put a "check" on runaway government power, and more.
The Patriot Act may very likely be involved in the arrest of Amy Goodman and her colleagues. The Act gives the police and FBI unilateral arrest powers without warrant or probable cause, and based on a definition of "Terrorist" which includes the word "activist". For further information, see www.aclu.org and punch Patriot Act Fact Sheets and Reform the Patriot Act into the search box. See also the Center for Constitutional Rights www.ccrjustice.com or www.centerforconstitutionalrights.com. The conservative Gun Owners of America are vociferous:
Former FBI agent Ted Gunderson has a movement going to overturn the Patriot Act, which he calls "a giant step toward a police state" : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PatriotSaints/message/297