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Amy Goodman Questions Ramsey County Prosecutors on Jailing, Charges of Journalists
Thursday, September 4, 2008 :Two days after several journalists were arrested covering the RNC protests, including three staffers at Democracy Now!, county and city prosecutors held a press conference in St. Paul. Amy Goodman was there to question them about the crackdown on journalists.
This is Democracy Now, Breaking With Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency. From the streets to the suites. Over the past few days of the Republican convention, some 300 people have been arrested on the streets of St. Paul. The vast majority of them were swept up on Monday afternoon in a police crackdown on protesters. Many of those detained remained in jail for 36 hours before being released.
Among those arrested were several journalists covering the protests in the streets, including an AP photographer and three of us at Democracy Now! I was arrested along with Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. We were all released Monday evening. Two journalists with Pepper Spray productions, Joseph La Sac and Lambert Rochfort, remained in prison for two days before being released last night. Sharif and Nicole still face pending felony P.C. riot charges. I was charged with misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.”
On Wednesday morning, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner held a news conference here in St. Paul along with city attorney John Choi . After our morning broadcast, I headed over there with Nicole Salazar and I asked Gaertner about the charges.LISTEN ONLINE
I-Witness Video Collective Forced Out of Living Space After Second Raid by St. Paul Police in Five Days
Thursday, September 4, 2008 :Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of videomakers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention. On Saturday, police raided a home where members of the I-Witness Video collective were staying. Members of the group were detained for over two hours. The building's landlord forced the group to move out yesterday after police armed with batons and a battering ram entered their living space for a second time.
Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of videomakers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention.
On Saturday, police raided a home where members of the I-Witness Video collective were staying. Members of the group were detained for over two hours.
Police claimed they were investigating reports of anarchists holding hostages in the building. Members of I-Witness Video accused the police of blatant harassment and of using the bogus “hostage” claim to seek entry to their office.
Lawyers and legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild described what happened. While the kidnapping report turned out to be false, the incident had an immediate effect on the work of I-Witness Video. After the group held an impromptu press conference outside, the building’s landlord forced the group to move out. Democracy Now caught up with members of the I-Witness Video collective as they packed their belongings.
Eileen Clancy of I-Witness Video joins me now in our St. Paul studio.
Eileen Clancy, Founding member of I-Witness video.