Category "Free Speech Zones"

Everything Is OK Video Montage

February 19th, 2011 by Andy in Free Speech Zones, Video

This is spot on. These guys definitely get what is going on, and know how to effectively use street presentation to respond to it. Entertaining and engaging, and courageous in its reclamation of all public space as a true free speech zone.

But don’t worry. You’re government is in charge. Go back to shopping.

Amy Goodman and ‘Democracy Now’ Producers Unlawfully Arrested At RNC

September 2nd, 2008 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC
September 1, 2008
Democracy Now!
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 unlawfully 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 Sheriff 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.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

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. During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman’s Arrest

For more information contact… Denis Moynihan at 917-549-5000 or Mike Burke at 646-552-5107 (email -

(USTV Note - What is interesting is as of 11:28pm on Sept. 1st, YouTube lists 715 viewer ratings but only actual 216 views. How is that possible? Someone messing with the count?)

Update: Leslie Griffith reports on the situation regarding Amy Goodman’s arrest. Good quote from Jefferson in their, too.

Amy Goodman, who hosts one of the rare alternative news programs in the country, ‘Democracy Now,’ is not known for attracting attention to herself. She is not a Bill O’Reilly, shouting and screaming at anyone who disagrees. She is a journalist who loves diverse voices and putting events into perspective - helping American citizens get the information they need to make informed decisions. Yesterday, Goodman witnessed and experienced something very frightening that likely was not mentioned on your local news.

Read The Full Article

Futher Update: Amy Goodman files this report on why she believes she and her colleagues were falsely arrested.

Massive Police Raids On Suspected Protesters In Minneapolis

September 1st, 2008 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

We know the Corporate State engages in ‘preemptive war’ abroad. Now it’s preemptive arrests and dissent suppression at home. Welcome to the USSA.

The DNC in Denver was the site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.

Read more about American ‘freedom’, Bushevik-style, from Glen Greenwald’s site at It includes a number of video reports as well, which are continually being updated. And here are more updates from Glen Greenwald

Over at FDL , Lindsay Beyerstein spoke with the property owner whose house — the fourth one we now know of — was being raided while the raid was in progress, and Lindsay has details here. (”About an hour and a half ago 20 to 30 heavily armed police officers surrounded the house. One of my roommates said ‘I want to see a warrant’ and she was immediately detained”). Meanwhile, Indy Media of Twin Cities — an association of independent journalists in the area — just told me that several of their journalists have been detained while trying to cover these raids. Their site, with ongoing updates, is here .

The Uptake also has several reports of the various raids, including video of the raid at the property whose owner Bernstein spoke with as the raid occurred. That video includes an interview with a lawyer from the National Lawyer’s Guild who was detained and put in handcufffs , explaining that the surrounded house is one where various journalists are staying. Additionally, a photojournalist with Democracy Now was detained at that house as well . So, both journalists and lawyers — in addition to protesters — have been detained and arrested even though not a single violent or criminal act has occurred.

Christopher Kuttruff files this report as well with Police Raids on Protesters Mark Start of RNC

Update: Marjorie Cohn provides some more insight on where some of this originated from….

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back about their activities. On May 21, the Minneapolis City Pages ran a recruiting story called ‘Moles Wanted.’ Law enforcement sought to pre-empt lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the convention.

Read the full report Here

Cracking Down On ‘Unauthorized’ Dissent

April 16th, 2007 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

From the home country of George Orwell, Mark Thomas describes Britain’s ongoing descent into police state with this update of the “Serious Organised Crime and Police Act”, Britain’s new version of our so-called “Patriot” Act (with emphasis on the word “act”).

Welcome to the world of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

This is the law that requires you to get permission from the police to demonstrate in Parliament Square. However, what counts as a demonstration according to the police is one person with a banner or one person with a badge standing in Parliament Square for just one minute.

Being arrested for wearing a badge or a T shirt seems a tad Kim Jong Il to me.

These are strange times and we have a strange law- its a mix of Kafkaesque absurdism and British bureaucratic prowess which has lead us to the state where a woman was threatened with arrest for having a picnic in Parliament Square. Her cake had the word PEACE iced upon it and the police insisted this counted as an unauthorised political protest.

The law has seen Maya Evans arrested and convicted for reading out the names of Iraqi and British war dead by the Cenotaph.

Where’s V when you need him?

Read The Complete Post

Fox Commentator Threatens 9-11 Activist

August 16th, 2006 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Bill O’Reilly is a tool. This is the kind of stuff we have unfortunately come to expect from the Reich-wing of the political-media-corporate complex these days. So much for America, the product of the Enlightenment and the land of inquiry and transparency.

Bill O’Reilly, the host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, has suggested that Kevin Barrett, an outspoken 9/11 truth activist, belongs “in the Charles River floating down”.

James H. Fetzer, founder and co-chair of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan society of more than 300 members dedicated to exposing falsehoods and revealing truths about 9/11, said that the absence of response from the FCC, Fox News, and the national media speaks volumes about the state of the nation. “When public threats can be made to a citizen’s life for expressing his opinions on a controversial topic and neither the government nor the media respond,” he observed, “that is a sure sign we are living in a fascist state.”

Read The Full Article

Military Censorship of Political Websites

April 26th, 2006 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Websites blocked by political stripes for Marines in Iraq? This posting by Hunter on The Daily Kos is pretty disturbing, if true (which it seems to be).

Here is a snippet from an email sent by an anonymous US Marine to Wonkette

Unfortunately anonomizers don’t work out here (never have). Anyway, I had a few minutes today and thought I’d look and see what else was banned on the Marine web here. I think the results speak for themselves:

* Wonkette - “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Forum/Bulletin Boards/Politics/Opinion.”
* Bill O’Reilly ( - OK
* Air America ( - “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/ TV, Politics/Opinion.”
* Rush Limbaugh ( - OK
* ABC News “The Note” - OK
* Website of the Al Franken Show ( - “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”
* G. Gordon Liddy Show ( - OK
* Don & Mike Show ( - “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Profanity, Entertainment/Recreation/Hobbies.”

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable. Litigation to follow . . .

Read The Full Post

Singing Clash Songs Gets Man Detained By Anti-Terrorism Police

April 18th, 2006 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Working for the clampdown is right. Is it really coming to this?

LONDON, England (Reuters) — British anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by punk band The Clash, police said on Wednesday.

Police on his back. My guess is the taxi driver was most likely not named Travis. Good thing the guy wasn’t humming along to anything by Killing Joke. Getting to be about time for some of that Revolution Rock.

Read the Reuters report on CNN Here

VA Nurse Accused of ‘Sedition’

February 13th, 2006 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Laura Berg is a clinical nurse specialist at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, where she has worked for 15 years.

Shortly after Katrina, she wrote a letter to the editor of the weekly paper the Alibi criticizing the Bush Administration.

After the paper published the letter in its September 15-21 issue, VA administrators seized her computer, alleged that she had written the letter on that computer, and accused her of “sedition.”

So its starting to come to this?

In a press release, Simonson also said: “Is this government so jealous of its power, so fearful of dissent, that it needs to threaten people who openly oppose its policies with charges of ’sedition’?”

With the Bush administration, the answer is apparently ‘yes’.

Read The Full Report Here

Were Marchers Attacked By Biological Warfare Agents?

October 20th, 2005 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Did Bush administration attack peace movement with military grade biological bacteria? Dr. Bob Fitrakis of The Free Press takes a look at some disturbing evidence.

What do we make of the Saturday, October 1 Washington Post headline Poison Found in Air During Anti-War Protest?

Washington D.C. Public Health Director Greg A. Pane posed the right question in the Post article, Why that day? That’s what is not explained. Pane pointed that it was just this 24-hour period and none since.
The Post noted that Pane found . . . it was puzzling that the finding was from a day when the mall was packed with people.

Puzzling? Indeed. Biohazard sensors detected tularemia bacteria at the mall on Saturday, September 24.

Equally puzzling was an earlier Post report: Weekend protesters hit travel snags. The article reported that Amtrak trains from New York City were turned back, cancelled or delayed from heading to the nation’s capitol for the biggest peace demonstration since the Vietnam War era. Also, Metro subway cars coming into the capitol were disrupted by repairs.

Federal officials are still pondering the death of five people on U.S. soil and scores of others who were infected with U.S. military-grade anthrax in the fall of 2001.

The wholly implausible working hypothesis put forward by Pane is that the bacteria found in rodents, rabbits and other small animals just happened to occur on the same day the trains failed to run on time and more than quarter of a million people assembled to directly challenge the Bush regime’s illegal war in Iraq.

Coincidence theorists. You gotta love ‘em and their great faith in believing in the statistically improbable occurrence of events, rather than an alternative hypothesis: that friends of Bush (FOBs) planted the tularemia bacteria, just as they most likely sent anthrax to Democratic senators and the media.

Tularemia is one of six major bacterial bioterrorism agents, according to the Sherlock Bioterrorism Library serving the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.

The BBC notes that tularemia is one of the most infectious germs known to science, and that it takes just 10 microbes to bring on disease in humans.

Tularemia emerged as a plague-like disease during a 1911 outbreak of rabbit fever in Tulare Lake in California. The disease progresses rapidly in humans with patients suffering from headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle pains, loss of appetite and nausea. The disease progresses to inflamed and reddened face and eyes. The disease next attacks lymph nodes and glands, often with life-threatening complications.

Fortunately, tularemia is relatively rare in nature. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health there are generally five or fewer cases that occur each year naturally. The Kansas City Missouri Health Department tells us that most cases that occur naturally are found in south, central and western states, not Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, tularemia has been long used as a military biological weapon. We should consider the presence of tularemia a shot across the bow to the peace movement from an administration willing to cheat, steal, torture, lie and kill to further its political agenda. Karl Rove, the president’s brain, brags of his worship of Machiavelli and will do anything to keep his Texas prince in power.

Read the full article here…

Kicked Off Flight For A T-Shirt

October 20th, 2005 by Andy in Free Speech Zones

Kicked Off Flight For A T-Shirt
Sky News (,,30000-13448255,00.html

A woman has been ordered off a plane in the US for wearing a T-shirt showing an expletive next to pictures of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Lorrie Heasley said she had worn the shirt as a joke.
The 32-year-old wanted her parents to see the shirt when they picked her up at the airport in Portland, Oregon.

“I just thought it was hilarious,” she told The Reno Gazette-Journal. “I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war.

“Here we are trying to free another country, and I have to get off a plane - over a T-shirt. That’s not freedom.”

Ms Heasley said she planned to file a civil rights complaint against Southwest Airlines over the incident.

A airline spokeswoman said the shirt became an issue after several passengers complained when the plane stopped over in Reno.

Ms Heasley agreed to cover the expletive with a sweatshirt but this slipped while she was trying to sleep.

She was then ordered to wear her T-shirt inside-out or leave - she chose to leave.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

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