ACLU Renews Its Call For Investigation Into Civil Liberties Violations At RNC

September 4, 2008

Minnesota ACLU Takes Legal Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

ST. PAUL - In response to reports of widespread civil liberties abuses in connection with mass arrests, police raids on private homes and the detention of several journalists during the Republican National Convention (RNC), the American Civil Liberties Union renewed its call for an investigation into the actions of law enforcement there.

"Attempts by law enforcement to squelch lawful political speech and stifle the press have no place in our democracy and are unacceptable," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "Political conventions should be a showcase for free expression, not a venue for bullying and intimidation."
The ACLU specifically called for an investigation into possible violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, including:

  • the arrest of reporters trying to gather the news;
  • the mass arrest of hundreds of peaceful protestors;
  • the surveillance and subsequent raids on several activist groups and private homes; and
  • the confiscation by law enforcement agents of constitutionally-protected private property.

The ACLU affiliate office in Minnesota has assembled legal counsel for many of the reporters and peaceful protestors arrested since Monday. The ACLU of Minnesota has also filed a lawsuit in federal court calling for the release of boxes of literature that were confiscated during Monday's raids.

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