If it wasn’t for blogs I would hardly have heard that nearly 300 people have been arrested while protesting the Iraq war and the Republican convention over the last few days. The city centres have been heavily militarised with large squads of police in full riot gear. There were even raids on houses where known activists resided on the weekend, before any protests were underway, and a well-known journalist was arrested as she was reporting on the police actions against the protestors.
Glenn Greenwald has several posts rounding up links and his own eyewitness descriptions of the protests and some arrests. [raids on Sunday] [Federal Government involvement] [the arrest of Amy Goodman]
After all, if you don’t want the FBI spying on you, or the Police surrounding and then invading your home with rifles and seizing your computers, there’s a very simple solution: don’t protest the Government. Just sit quietly in your house and mind your own business. That way, the Government will have no reason to monitor what you say and feel the need to intimidate you by invading your home. Anyone who decides to protest — especially with something as unruly and disrespectful as an unauthorized street march — gets what they deserve.
Isn’t it that mentality which very clearly is the cause of virtually everyone turning away as these police raids escalate against citizens — including lawyers, journalists and activists — who have broken no laws and whose only crime is that they intend vocally to protest what the Government is doing?
Greenwald notes an ironic contrast:
Yet how is our own Government’s behavior in Minnesota any different than what the Chinese did to its protesters during the Olympics (other than the fact that we actually have a Constitution that prohibits such behavior)? And where are all the self-righteous Freedom Crusaders in our nation’s establishment organs who were so flamboyantly criticizing the actions of a Government on the other side of the globe as our own Government engages in the same tyrannical, protest-squelching conduct with exactly the same motives?
Please add links to other articles discussing these raids and arrests in comments.