Monday, September 1, 2008

Police state? Not quite, but Dissent has been Outlawed

I have been listening to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! for years. She has been one of the few independent voices in a media landscape that has become the playground of corporate shills and an echo chamber for right-wing talking points.

Ironically, Goodman is one of the few journalist reporting on the KGB-like tactics employed by the Minneapolis police and the county Sheriff's Department under the direction of the FBI as they invaded the homes of vegan and leftist groups in Minneapolis in anticipation of the Republican National Convention. These are people who have not broken the law. Their homes were invaded by SWAT teams in full combat gear. They were forced to lie handcuffed on the floor for 45 minutes or more without being charged with a crime or told why. The purpose of these raids is transparent: they are intended to send a message to others who might be planning to exercise their First Amendment right to peaceful assembly.

Amy Goodman has been arrested at the perimeter of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Watching her being handcuffed and led into a van reminded me of scenes from Beijing involving would-be protesters at the 2008 Olympics.

Who will report now on the police outrages in Minneapolis? They have silenced an independent voice. It is time now for all our voices to be heard.