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Fighting For Justice, For Freedom Of the Press in Philly, Where Police Arrest Journalists

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/15/09

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In response to the arrest of OEN reporter Cheryl Biren, I spent much of the day yesterday speaking to different functionaries in Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter's office, DA's office, different police departments, legal, peace community activists-- until about 11:30 PM last night.
I was up by 7:30 continuing the process.

Please do all you can to get the word out this. The more I talk to people the more I am convinced that this was an intentional effort by the police to silence the press. From the reports I've received, what happened to Cheryl was not the normal way things are done. I believe it was the work of a rogue cop-- maybe a rightwinger who was angry he couldn't be in Washington with the other teabag protesters, so he took it out on Cheryl Biren.


I am not certain that the Philadelphia DA's office, headed by Lynne Abraham was involved yet. I am waiting to hear back from them and am giving the benefit of the doubt, working on the assumption that some kid just out of law school-- an assistant DA made the decision to charge a reporter taking photos with criminal conspiracy.

I understand that the Philadelphia Police Department's Civil affairs unit does not do the arrests. They monitor and manage protests with the potential for civil disobedience until it is time for arrests. Then the regular police come in and mop up. They come in plain clothes, without name badges. This doesn't make sense to me. I can see them wearing plain clothes to blend in with the mall shoppers. But when it is time to do the arrests, they put on plastic gloves in preparation for physical contact. Why can't they put on identifying name badges-- so abusers of police power can be identified.

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A travesty of justice took place on Saturday at the Franklin Mills Mall. If you do a search for journalist arrested, you see reports in the far east and Africa, and in Philadelphia. This must not stand. Tell your local paper, your local TV station to cover it. Contact Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, Dylan Ratigan and Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer and even O'Reilly. Tell them that a free press is at stake and they need to raise the alarm. A brave woman did the job the rest of the media at Franklin Mills failed to do. She documented arrests and was roughly grabbed and jailed for reporting the truth.

This kind of arrest doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough to scare journalists. This is an outrage. Cheryl Biren should have all charges dropped and be given an apology by the city of Philadelphia. And the officer who arrested her should be disciplined.

Will you take a step for justice? Make some calls. Send out some emails.

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more about the Cheryl Biren arrest:

Cheryl Biren, Freedom of the Press and Abuse of Police Powers by anthony wade

The Photos OpEdNews Journalist Cheryl Biren Took Before Being Arrested by Philly Police

OpEdNews Reporter Arrested While Photographing Protest
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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