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Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman arrested at RNC protest

Posted at 6:39 PM on September 1, 2008 by Sanden Totten (33 Comments)

Hours after the main march ended, spurts of protest were still popping up throughout the city of St. Paul. Groups of dissenters made their way around downtown, often followed by cops . . . as well as by the media.

One crew in the midst of it was the group from the show Democracy Now! Details are still sketchy, but it's been confirmed that the crew, along with the show's politically outspoken host, Amy Goodman, have been detained. The stated reason seems to be the recent police favorite "probable cause for riot."

Was the 51 year old host really about to start smashing the state as the charge claims? Or was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time? You be the judge. You can hear the tape of her arrest here (language advisory! bad words). It's hard to tell what she did, but the crowd freaks out when it happens:

"They're arresting Amy Goodman?" "What are you guys doing!?! You can't arrest Amy Goodman!" "Let her go!" "We love you Amy!"

* UPDATE * Here is the video of her arrest. Note, all she appears to be doing is crossing police line.

Now though, Goodman and her crew have been released.
As for the arrests, she was charged with Obstruction. There are Felony Riot Charges pending against Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, her producers. A rough day for the whole crew, I imagine. And it doesn't make the police of St. Paul look too good either.

Amy Goodman was apparently not the only journalist arrested. The AP had a photographer taken by police as well. Maybe more were detained if you count citizen journalists and IndyMedia folks.

Of course, as we found out earlier this weekend, Amy Goodman isn't afraid to get in the thick of things . . . Check out this video of her from the Uptake (check out their site for more RNC videos). Not a bad hop. Has she considered a go at the US Olympic track and field team?

Comments (33)

This IS Hitler's Germany! Our police have become the Gestapo! Heil, Bush!

Posted by Kathy Jadud | September 1, 2008 7:29 PM

Welcome to fascist America.
If you think you still have rights,
you haven't been paying attention.

Posted by Thomas Mc | September 1, 2008 7:30 PM

If the loss of our 1st Amendment rights by these terrorists in the guise of the law doesn't make us revolt, what will?

Posted by Will | September 1, 2008 7:36 PM

Call County Jail at 651-266-9350 ext. 0 and demand their release! Also complain to Mayors Office at 651-266-8535. Arresting Journalist Must Not Be Tolerated!

Posted by sheila jackson | September 1, 2008 7:43 PM

I simply cannot believe this. Amy Goodman is a hero. I want my Democracy Now!

Posted by Janet | September 1, 2008 8:30 PM

I'm not paying taxes anymore.

Posted by Pat | September 1, 2008 9:02 PM

When one side makes war against the other and the other side does not reciprocate it is called a genocide.

When one side shares the same territory as the other when war breaks out we call this a civil war.

When we get both happening, we call this America.

Posted by Psychoticus Rex | September 1, 2008 9:17 PM

I think those dissenting and protesting should start
carrying tear gas and taser guns and 'doing it
to the police and ANYONE who interferes with them"
it would serve these Nazi/Fascist BASTARDS right.
They,like Bush/Cheney/Rice,et al,trample the US
Constitution daily.If the right-wing NRA-supporting
terrorists can tote guns so can the left wingers.

Posted by Butch Poe | September 1, 2008 9:26 PM

Amy Goodman has been hesitant to deal with the 'we are change' movement and has been all but silent regarding the plethora of evidence that 911 was an inside job. I bet this will open her eyes. Sometimes it takes first hand experience to realize the nightmare that we are facing is REAL. This is not something that will go away if we ignore it. Attention all gatekeepers: By not acknowledging the fact that a coup has taken place and that we are now in a police state, is to become the next victim of it.

Posted by Neomorte | September 1, 2008 9:28 PM

Free Amy Goodman, America's finest journalist! In Bush's America, real journalism is a crime. St. Paul-Minneapolis police are in danger of being seen as the Chicago police of 1968. I haven't been back to Chicago since '68 and I guess it's now too dangerous to go to St. Paul-Minneopolis.

Posted by Lew Friedman | September 1, 2008 9:31 PM

Demanding release and complaining to the majors office will not do anything. All you are doing is wasting their time. Secondly, she went where she was not suppose to go, did not just leave and therefore was arrested. If you are not suppose to cross the line, don't, it is that simple.

Posted by rawr | September 1, 2008 9:34 PM

How is it that you can say "You aren't supposed to go there." When this is a free country?

We have the right to go where we choose.

Also, Journalists are protected by the First Amendment and are supposed to be able to go where they need to go at their own free will.

Posted by The Dark | September 1, 2008 9:43 PM

Not "the dark" but maybe "the dim."

The police abolutely have the right to set limits on access to (even public) property.

You're not allowed to drive on the wrong side of the street, are you?

Posted by pmk | September 1, 2008 10:02 PM

Amy is known for speaking truth to power, which is what they arrested her for. That is the best weapon we have and the only one we need. Taking up weapons of any kind won't help our struggle at all. This detention is an opportunity for the media to expose injustice. Most of these protesters are likely a bunch of peacenics, and its ridiculous to think that they are planning any actions with weapons of any kind. These raids are completely unjustifiable.

Posted by Sarah | September 1, 2008 10:05 PM

Sanden is awfully glib about Amy Goodman getting arrested. One might think a journalist would be concerned about the arrest of fellow journalists and have a better response than making pathetic olympic jokes.

Posted by Josh | September 1, 2008 10:13 PM

Pray for the end of this senseless war and pray for the families of those who gave their lives for
"Bush's Oil War."
God have mercy on Bush and God save America.

Posted by Paul | September 1, 2008 10:19 PM

"Not a bad hop. Has she considered a go at the US Olympic track and field team?"

I find it disheartening that Minnesota Public Radio would make light of a clearly illegal act by the police against a journalist. This is police behavior as exhibited by facist states and authoritarian regimes. Isn't MPR alarmed that the press is now being targeted for detention?

First they came for IndyMedia, and I did nothing. Then they came for Amy Goodman, and I did nothing. When they come for MPR, who will speak for you?

Posted by Kevin | September 1, 2008 10:21 PM

Josh, Sorry about that comment. I wasn't trying to be glib about a journalist getting arrested. I apologize for the tone.

As for this story, we'll hopefully have a video interview we did with her camera man up shortly. Hopefully that will be able to fill in more of the details about what happened.

So far I have heard that the reason she crossed the police line was to tell the officers in back that the folks they had just arrested were part of her team.

Posted by Sanden Totten | September 1, 2008 10:24 PM

Amy was released, but so far the producers are still being held. Go here...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-kilkenny/amy-goodman-arrested-at-r_b_123051.html

The writer on MPR's column should show a bit more respect to a colleague who is obviously at the forefront of her craft. I'd like to see your list of interviews and compare it to Amy's (yeah...I thought so).

Posted by Dean | September 1, 2008 10:26 PM

I remember reading about the Democratic convention and how the cops were so laid back, even when confused protesters *expected* to be arrested for being outside 'Free Speech Zones' and whatnot.

How different things are for the GOP. I admit to being ignorant enough to vote Republican in the past, but guess which way I will NOT be voting after crap like this?

Posted by Joe | September 1, 2008 10:28 PM

Suppose a CBS anchor had been arrested instead of independent journalist Amy Goodman. Would it be reported by the corporate news media. Just think about it.

Posted by julian c. holmes | September 1, 2008 10:31 PM


People really don't like that line. Again, sorry. I admit it wasn't in the best of taste. Sometimes one takes a sarcastic tone because it's hard to know how else to talk about certain situations.

As far as the detention of a fellow journalist, the reason I posted this was exactly because I thought it was worth announcing that the cops had arrested a member of the media. I was first and foremost trying to get the audio and video out there.

Posted by Sanden Totten | September 1, 2008 10:32 PM

They are testing us to see how much abuse we will put up with.

Do you think that the security circus at the airport has anything to do with keeping you safe?

We are being trained to be good doggies.

If you do a little research, you'll find that most of the violent protestors are planted by the government to make the resistance look unreasonable thus giving them an excuse to crack down and wratchet up the fear.

Wake up sheeple!

Please listen to congressional candidate Kevin Barrett on Wisconsin Public Radio last week lay it out plain and simple.

Posted by Edward Rynearson | September 1, 2008 11:33 PM

Amy Goodman's producers have now been released as well. I'm sure they're exhausted from a long day. Too bad they couldn't film from inside the detention center. That would be a story to see.

Posted by Sanden Totten | September 1, 2008 11:51 PM

I phoned the jail, and they said that Amy Goodman had been released. Why was she ever arrested in the first place? Are we living in Nazi Germany?

Posted by Carl Parks | September 2, 2008 12:03 AM


Arrested for crossing a police line (at least that's what it looks like from the video).

As for the charges, Amy was charged with Obstruction.

There are Felony Riot Charges pending against Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, her producers.

Posted by Sanden Totten | September 2, 2008 12:12 AM

Dear Sanden, Amy will try out for the olympics as soon as you try out for journalism 101.

Posted by Al Zifel | September 2, 2008 1:38 AM

Outrageous. Amy Goodman is one of the best journalists in the US. She's been on the side of peace and justice all her life and has risked her life as well in places like Indonesia to report on atrocities experienced by those who don't have a voice. Email the mayor at http://www.stpaul.gov/index.asp?NID=309. The city owes her, her producers and other harassed journalists a public apology.

Posted by carrie in olympia, WA | September 2, 2008 3:27 AM

Record numbers of protesters were arrested and detained in NYC during the 2003 Bush/ RNC Love In. Reports varied, but many say the arrests were in the thousands. City cops swept up around 250 bikers in one mass arrest.

One group of around 50 protesters settled with the city of New York for a cool $2 million for getting themselves arrested outside the offices of the Carlyle Group, an investment firm with ties to the Bush family and an extensive portfolio of holdings in the military-defense sector.

I live in Charleston, WV where Jeff and Nicole Rank were some of the first to be arrested by Bush's free speech fascists. The Texas couple was charged with trespassing after being plucked from the middle of a Pro-Bush crowd on the state's capitol lawn back in 2004 for refusing to cover up homemade T-shirts with anti-Bush slogans. The out-of-court settlement to them was for $80,000, thanks to the ACLU stepping in and filing a lawsuit on their behalf.

Ms. Goodman and her producers should call the ACLU immediately and let them know what happened.

Someone should probably contact the Mayor and the Chief of Police in Minneapolis and tell them that this will end up backfiring on their fair city if they don't start using better judgment.

Posted by One Citizen | September 2, 2008 6:51 AM

Conservatives hate Americans because we are free

Posted by OH | September 2, 2008 8:31 AM

People who are shocked by this are supremely ignorant!

The "police concept" was creates specifically to maintain order (the Elite's) and protect private property, not to administer justice.

The police are not your friend, they serve wealth and power just like the rest of the Establishment.

The ACLU sucks, they are too busy defending Corporations as Persons, in effect, maintaining the injustice in America today.

All our problems can be traced to the source, to the absence of RESPONSIBILITY.

There is only one reason to incorporate... INDEMNIFICATION.

Case close!

Posted by Freedom Lover | September 2, 2008 9:24 AM

If we don't take to the streets, we'll get nothing but more of this. I wonder if the police were locals, or Blackwater thugs. This is outrageous. She's a journalist for cyring out loud!

Posted by alma kesling | September 2, 2008 10:08 AM

Members of the media used to be afforded great respect and press credentials meant the police left the person alone to do their job. We are now in a different, dangerous time. Members of the press in the Middle East are specifically targeted and killed trying to do their jobs. In the U.S. presently, members of the press are jailed trying to do their jobs. The only press that is safe and secure are the embedded press or mainstream media.

Look at the comments to the youtube video of Amy's arrest. The dumbing down of America into an ignorant, vicious, unquestioning mob is progressing rapidly.

Posted by Chuck | September 2, 2008 10:23 AM

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