Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was among 284 people detained outside the Republican National Convention here as police clashed with demonstrators on the streets of St. Paul.
Goodman was arrested near the XCel Center, where the convention opened Monday, at approximately 5 p.m. Minnesota time.
According to a statement issued Dennis Moynihan and Mike Burke of Democracy Now!:
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.
Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.
I was with Goodman earlier Monday afternoon, as she was reporting on the major anti-war demonstration. She and her crew were, as always, interviewing everyone they could in the calm, assured manner that has made the daily Democracy Now! program a widely-watched and well-regarded news programs on radio and cable television stations across the country.
Moynihan and Burke, in their statement, say that:
Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.
They are urging journalists and concerned citizens to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651-266-8535) and the Ramsey County Jail (651-266-9350) and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.
The calls are important.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild are also on the case.
UPDATE-Here is video of Goodman's arrest:
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