Capital Times columnist arrested

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Posted by on September 02, 2008 at 19:15:17:

Columnist Amy Goodman arrested outside GOP convention

ST. PAUL -- Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was among more than 100 people detained outside the Republican National Convention here as police clashed with demonstrators on the streets of St. Paul.

Goodman, a columnist for The Capital Times and frequent visitor to Madison, was arrested near the Xcel Center, where the convention opened Monday, at approximately 5 p.m.

According to a statement issued Dennis Moynihan and Mike Burke of Democracy Now!:

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul.

This reporter was with Goodman earlier this afternoon as she was reporting on the major anti-war demonstration. She and her crew were, as always, interviewing everyone they could in the calm, assured manner that has made the daily Democracy Now! program a widely-watched and well-regarded news programs on radio and cable television stations across the country.

Moynihan and Burke, in their statement, said that:

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

They were urging journalists and concerned citizens to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651-266-8535) and the Ramsey County Jail (651-266-9350) and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild were also involved with this case and others involving those detained outside the convention.

(Capital Times)

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