I am haunted by two images from the first day of the RNC’s Minneapolis convention.  The first one is the video of of the woman holding out a flower to cops dressed in full riot gear being pepper sprayed at point blank range:

DemocracyNow! host Amy Goodman and producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous were also arrested. The transcript and video of the DemocracyNow! segment yesterday where they describe their arrests can be found here.

In a nutshell, these videos symbolize the violent attacks on freedom of speech/expression and freedom of the press that have accelerated under the Bush Administration.  The fact that they are happening at the Republican National Convention is damning.

Unfortunately, the mainstream press is not really covering this story.  If they do, they focus on the small handful of anarchists who broke windows and overturned trash cans and newspaper boxes.  MSM reports the use of pepper spray, but not the use of rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

They also don’t talk about the fact that this is a federally-coordinated “National Security Event”, involving the Dept. of Homeland Security, Secret Service, FBI, ATF and out of town cops from all over the country.  Who knows – maybe Blackwater was even there…

Much more info can be found at Firedoglake and at the Minnesota Independent

If you are as outraged by this as I am, then please consider taking action by calling the following individuals and demanding that they stop the police violence NOW and open investigations:

St. Paul Mayor, Chris Coleman:

651.266.8510 (phone)

651.266.8513 (fax)

Ramsey County Sheriff, Bob Fletcher: 651.266.8500

Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator (Minnesota): 888-224-9043

Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative, Minnesota 5th District: 202-225-4755

Let’s turn our outrage into action!