September 3, 2008

Group Continues To Defend Constitutional Rights, While Denouncing Protesters Who Employed Criminal Acts


ST. PAUL – The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has coordinated legal counsel for Amy Goodman, host of the popular television and radio program DemocracyNow!, and two of that show’s producers who were detained during mass arrests surrounding the Republican National Convention (RNC). Goodman was released on misdemeanor charges three hours after her arrest, while the producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, were held longer and charged with felony intent to riot. Those charges were suspended pending investigation. The ACLU of MN is calling for all charges against Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar to be dropped.

"Arresting journalists to keep them from doing their jobs is a blatant violation of their constitutional rights and the right of the American public to be kept informed,” said Chuck Samuelson, Executive Director of the ACLU of Minnesota. “The arrest of several journalists during the Republican National Convention is a disturbing practice and a violation of their First Amendment right to gather the news.”

The ACLU is also taking on clients from the group of nearly 300 who were arrested on the first day of the RNC.

John Lundquist, an ACLU volunteer attorney with Fredrikson and Byron P.A., is counsel for Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

The national ACLU is calling for an investigation into the raids and mass arrests that have occurred during the RNC. Their statement is available online here:

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