"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."


September 4, 2008

If the message of Minneapolis is that resistance is futile, then we reject it.  We will never accept as legitimate a regime that considers the suppression of dissent necessary for security in the United States of America.

We endorse, therefore, the call by the ACLU for a thorough investigation into government misconduct before and throughout the 2008 Republican National Convention.

We are appalled at what we have seen in the past week in Minneapolis-St. Paul:  police infiltration of political opponents, the detention of journalists investigating police misconduct, the confiscation of their equipment and notes, raids on citizens' residences and forced entries without warrants and without justification, violent assaults on journalists, arbitrary arrests of journalists, the routine use of riot-control weapons on peaceful crowds, the mass arrest of demonstrators without cause.

This is precisely what is prohibited by the Bill of Rights.

The freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, the right to live free of the fear of arbitrary searches and seizures — all Americans, of every political persuasion, should be able to agree that attacks on these have no place in our public life.  If they think otherwise, then they are tolerating those bent upon the destruction of the United States of America as a constitutional democracy.  Those who engage in such activities are domestic enemies of the Constitution.  Every officer of the federal government and many officers of state and local governments have sworn to resist such enemies.  If they refuse to do so, let them be removed from office.

Because of her prominence, the arrest without cause of award-winning journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (which all the world can see thanks to YouTube) has received the most attention in recent days.  But her arrest was no more outrageous than many other arrests made this week in the Twin Cities.  From close to where we live, videographers Joe La Sac of Tacoma and Lambert Rochfort of Seattle were also arrested for recording what police forces were doing.

Joe and Lambert were working for PepperSpray Productions of Seattle. Here's what Randy Rowland of PepperSpray Productions had to say yesterday:  "Lambert was swept up in a mass arrest of peaceful citizens who were surrounded by cops and all arrested.  Joe was arrested about the same time as Amy Goodman and two other journalists from 'Democracy Now!' were arrested.  In fact if you watch the footage of Amy Goodman standing in handcuffs, the fellow sitting on the ground at her feet is Joe.

"Lambert and Joe had covered the DNC in Denver, and were in St. Paul to cover the protests.  They both had their cameras with them when arrested and were clearly doing nothing illegal, just trying to get the story that corporate media tends to overlook.  There have been several other attacks on journalists there, including a raid on an indymedia hospitality center, and a raid on the house of a group that documents police brutality.  It goes without saying that there is no freedom of the press if reporters are jailed for covering the story."

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY calls on citizens who think that the U.S. Constitution is still the DNA of the American political system to take action — to work for the release of journalists and others who were arbitrarily arrested, to endorse one or more of the statements protesting these outrages, and to write to their local newspapers or find other ways to express publicly the view that the United States must not institutionalize police repression of dissent as a routine part of our political life.


"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."