Shame on the State of Minnesota, my home for more than a decade:
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the arrest of at least seven journalists covering protests outside the US Republican Party convention and called for the release of three journalists still being held and for all charges against them to be dropped.
"It is shocking to hear of arrests and attacks on journalists in the United States, where freedom of the press is enshrined in the country's Constitution and has always been touted as one of the cornerstones of US democracy," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "All of our colleagues had the right to cover the protestors at the convention and have done nothing illegal. We are calling on police to release the journalists immediately and without charge." ... The seven journalists were arrested on Monday in the city of St. Paul, where the Republicans are officially nominating their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. They were arrested by police in the midst of mass arrests of protestors staging demonstrations outside of the convention.
Other independent journalists have been pepper-sprayed and even held at gunpoint during "pre-emptive" raids aimed at disrupting protesters, said US media reform group Free Press...
... The Newspaper Guild-CWA, a US affiliate of the IFJ, said it is joining with Free Press and other organizations in demanding that all charges be dropped against the journalists arrested while covering the Republican Convention and related protests in St. Paul, Minnesota.
"It appears that law enforcement over-reacted in its handling of mostly peaceful protests, in the number of people arrested, especially those that were covering the protests for purposes of reporting on them," the Newspaper Guild said in a statement. "The courts will determine whether the small number of apparently non-law-abiding protestors was properly arrested, but there is no justification for the broad arrests that included journalists."
Please sign the Free Press online petition calling for charges to be dropped against the journalists: Stop the Arrests of Journalists. Sign the Letter.