Not my America

Update below

There are major violations of the Constitution and other laws going down in the Twin Cities this week, while the Republicans freak out over Sarah Palin and try to work around various hurricanes.

Law enforcement agencies include not just local police, but sheriffs, FBI, and Homeland Security. Many are decked out in full riot gear, patrolling the streets to intimidate citizens from using their right to assembly and speech.

Obviously, actual criminal behavior, including property damage, should be stopped and punished. Understandably, authorities want to also prevent any type of terrorist activity. But what’s happening is so over the top, that if we are still a democratic nation, it must be decried and prevented. This creeping police state is past the creeping stage and is in full out deployment mode. Wake up, people!

Preemptive raids and warrantless detentions for just planning a legal demonstration. Arrests of peaceful protesters, and of journalists trying to cover the events. Is this America?

Thanks to cell phones, cameras and the internet, a lot of this shit is being documented and posted on blogs and alternative news sites. Most is being ignored by the corporate media, too wrapped up in the Palin trainwreck and whether the levees in NOLA will hold this time.

Amy Goodman’s arrest today, recorded by several witnesses, actually got picked up by the Washington Post, which is heartening; we’ll see if further attention comes of it. At any rate, she’s been released, and tomorrow’s 2-hour Democracy Now! program should be pretty damn interesting.

Here are some sites that are providing good coverage of what’s going down:

Finally, if you have the stomach, here is a video of a young woman standing on the sidewalk holding out a flower as a squad of riot police march by. She is willfully and cruelly peppersprayed from no more than five feet distance — and a second time for good measure as she turns away in pain –for simply standing there, making her childlike, innocent gesture.

Update: Amy Goodman interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle about the arrests of her DN! staff and herself:

Also, Jane Hamsher posts about the new media involvement at the RNC, saying “the revolution will be twittered.”
(h/t to Glenn Greenwald)