2 letters to Minnesota

06Sep08


Regarding the recent arrests of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, I wrote the following letters. Anybody is welcome to use these as you see fit. I’m sure they’d appreciate as much support as they can get. Address as follows and CC as indicated:

Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
RCA at co.ramsey.mn.us (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

Susan Gaertner for Governor
info at susangaertner.com (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

St. Paul City Attorney John Choi
john.choi at ci.stpaul.mn.us (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

***

Attention John Choi:

I write to ask you to dismiss the “obstruction of a legal process and obstruction of a peace officer” citation against Democracy Now! producer Amy Goodman.

I’m honestly shocked and saddened by law enforcement activities during the recent Republican Convention. My previous high regard for Minnesotans is now seriously compromised. I’ve long thought your state was cordial and tolerant of political diversity. It now appears that I’ve been sorely mistaken.

I have a hard time understanding how St. Paul law enforcement officers justify brutalizing journalists for merely asking questions and covering newsworthy events. And yes, I do consider Goodman’s arrest to be brutal and purposely intended to intimidate the rest of us from simply voicing our opinions.

Has journalism now become a crime? If so, I seriously fear for the future of this country.

I nevertheless remain hopeful that, as a practicing attorney, you sincerely support the constitutional right of the press to gather and report information. As a citizen of this country, I depend on the good judgement and fairness of public officials like you. I equally depend on an independent media free from government threats and coercion.

Please do the right thing and drop all the charges against Goodman and other journalists.

Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.

XX
Asheville NC 28801

***

Attention Susan Gaertner:

I write to ask you to drop all charges against Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar.

I’m honestly shocked and saddened by the law enforcement activities during the recent Republican Convention. My previous high regard for Minnesotans is now seriously compromised. I’ve long thought your state was cordial and tolerant of political diversity. It now appears I was mistaken.

I have a hard time understanding how Ramsey County law enforcement officers justify brutalizing journalists for merely asking questions and covering newsworthy events. And yes, I do consider these arrests to be brutal and purposely intended to intimidate the rest of us from simply voicing our opinions.

Has journalism now become a crime? If so, I seriously fear for the future of this country.

I nevertheless remain hopeful that, as a practicing attorney, you sincerely support the constitutional right of the press to gather and report information. As a citizen of this country, I depend on the good judgement and fairness of elected officials like you. I equally depend on an independent media free from government threats and coercion.

Please do the right thing and drop all the charges against these and other journalists.

Thanks very much for your attention to this matter.

XX
Asheville NC 28801

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