There has been a rash of arrests and raids in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area as the Republican National Convention gets underway. Here’s one of the higher profile arrests:
ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here: 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. [From Democracy Now! | Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC]
For more information and videos, check out The Uptake, which has been covering a number of illegal raids and arrests, often with video phones. The quality isn’t great on most of the videos, but you can get a sense of what is going on.
Why the gestapo tactics?1
I submit that the people running the “Grand Old Party” are a group of petty, power-hungry thugs. I am not suggesting that the majority of Republicans are petty, power-hungry thugs but that the majority of American’s who vote or support the Republican party without consideration are supporting a party that no longer exists. The Republicans who stood for national security (undermined at every turn by Bush & Co.), fiscal responsibility (also undermined by Bush & Co.), and smaller government (can you say undermined by Bush & Co. boys & girls), doesn’t exist any longer. The Republican Party had turned itself into a reactionary, fascist, racist, war-mongering party that gives not one whit for the rule of law,2 for human rights,3 or for rational governance.4
They are thugs and are behaving as such. McCain runs negative and ad hominem attacks against Obama because he has nothing to offer this country but a vision of corporate greed and the stoking of various war engines. The coordinated attacks on journalists and peace activists smacks of GOP pressure on local law enforcement in order to keep people intimidated and unable to effectively communicate just how crazed and ruthless the GOP has become.
Next time a Republican claims that he or she loves this country, instead of just accepting their rhetoric, let’s look at their actions. I guarantee that the majority of Republicans in the Federal Government will have a track record that shows that they love their own power and their own pocketbooks a whole hell of a lot more than they love the idea of democracy, the Constitution, or America.
1. The Gestapo had the authority to investigate treason, espionage and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and Germany. A law passed by the government in 1936 gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial oversight. The Gestapo was specifically exempted from responsibility to administrative courts, where citizens normally could sue the state to conform to laws. (Wikipedia, “Gestapo”)
3. “. . . the interrogation methods Bush has authorized and continues to defend are flagrant violations of the Geneva Conventions and international conventions against torture and cruel and degrading treatment.” (World Socialist Website)