September 2, 2008Dear friends,Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was arrested yesterday, along with two of the show’s producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. The producers were arrested for simply doing their jobs as journalists: covering street protests. Goodman was arrested merely for asking why her colleagues were being arrested. All three were roughly handled. Although Goodman, Abdel Kouddous, and Salazar were released, charges against them are still pending, including felony riot charges against Kouddous and Salazar.In These Times demands that these charges be dropped. Goodman and her colleagues were clearly falsely arrested. We have seen such repressive tactics before, during the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004. Force was used then, as now, to quash peaceful dissent and to prevent journalists from revealing it to the public.Freedom of the press and the right to peaceful protest are enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Indeed, they are the cornerstones of our democracy. Anyone who affirms our democratic form of government must find such police tactics not only appalling, but an assault on our constitution. It is not the peaceful protesters and journalists who betray our deepest values; it is those who intimidate and suppress them.In solidarity,Joel Bleifuss Editor and Publisher In These TimesReturn to InTheseTimes.com
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.