Sara Coffey is a volunteer with the National Lawyers Guild (she's not a lawyer). She's standing handcuffed in the middle of Iglehart Street in St. Paul. The police who surrounded a home there had warned her, she says, that if she tried to leave, she would be detained.
She tried to leave. Listen
Denis Moynihan, of the group,
Democracy Now, Free Speech TV, read an e-mail from those inside the house, saying they were (are) "media activists." Moynihan told me he was on his way to the house to pick up a colleague from a group called, Eyewitness Video, when he saw the police.
The neighbors watched the show, as did a few dozen media activists, posting material to YouTube and various independent Web sites. Curiously, the only mainstream media at the raid were MPR and Al Jazeera. I suppose I've left the door open for an obvious and cliched comment.
After about an hour of waiting, police officials on the scene told the ACLU that a warrant had been signed and would soon be delivered.
Some months ago, City Pages carried a story claiming police and federal officials were looking for people to infiltrate groups coming to St. Paul to protest the Republican National Convention. The raids on the eve of the convention would suggest they had some luck in that effort.
The raids have put the protest groups on their heels. "The problem for us now is the panic this is causing around the area," one organizer told me. "Phones are ringing everywhere, saying 'the police are coming.'"
what in the world is the reason for *this* raid? Seems like you're having a more interesting time after getting back home from CO.
Al Jazeera - well, they sure do get around. Although, they probably have as much interest as any of us in who's going to be in charge of our forces in the Middle East.
A woman on the scene turned to me and the AJ folks and said, "YOU people should be outraged at this."
The Al Jazeera guy said "we're doing our jobs here telling the story. We're not here to be outraged. If you're outraged, we respect that."
In the end, it should be pointed out that the cops didn't prevent us from covering the story, didn't make us stop filming or taking pictures, and were --a s near as I could tell -- very courteous to the woman they detained.
Bottom line: This is going to be a complicated story that is going to have a lot of legs to it. It's not time for reporters to be outraged, it's time for reporters to do their jobs.
"It's not time for reporters to be outraged, it's time for reporters to do their jobs."
I couldn't agree more. This is going to be really messy once all the facts come out. And especially right now, we don't know what we don't know.
Collins seems to have his facts jumbled on whio Denis Moynihan is. he is he CEO of FREESPEECH TV. He was there to pick up Elizabeth Press of the news program DEMOCRACY NOW, which is broadcast in St. Paul on local community cable access every weekday morning.
Check out this video that was streamed from a cell phone live at the time and you'll see Denis Moynihan identifying himself and what he was doing at the time. It starts about 1 minute and 28 seconds in.
(Collins notes: You didn't listen to the audio, Mark. I've corrected the organization that Denis is with. Everything else was correct as was stated. thanks for writing)
"It's not time for reporters to be outraged"
You see, by the time something happens to outrage you it will be too late. When a society is closing and becoming an authoritarian state as the US is, it progresses in small deliberate steps. At every step it feels reasonable and yet the end result is the same. A once free society becomes a closed dictatorship.
Make no mistake, this is the direction we are headed and they will keep pushing in this direction until they meet resistance. They have said exactly that, in so many words but you don't remember that do you? If you don't resist you will be enslaved, it's as simple as that.
What will it take for you to say enough?
My prediction is that this convention will be the most violent ever. Skinheads, white supremacists and other right-wing extremists will riot. Government agent provocateurs will incite them and the media will dutifully bleat that it is all the blame of those liberals. I sure hope I'm wrong.
thanks for making the correction about Moynihan.
The audio clip you posted has someone saying that there is a journalist from Democracy Now in there. If you watch the video that I linked to, you'll see that Moynihan said that the person he was coming to pick up was working with Democracy Now. A small point perhaps and totally unremarkable in the past, but we are in a different news reporting era.
What I find interesting about this discussion is that there was someone with a cell phone live video hookup recording what was said. We may find ourselves relying on these crazy citizen journalists over the next week. I don't know who uptake.org is, but bravo to them for trying to expand the way news is covered.
//What will it take for you to say enough?
You see us there covering the event? You see us telling you what's going on? THAT's what we do. What YOU do with that information is what's important.
We don't KNOW all the details of these raids yet and while I understand folks want the media go off all half-cocked, that's not really a productive part of the democratic process. The media's job is to try to find out the entire story, not what we -- or you -- think the story is.
Two sides of the story both are trying to use the media as its bullhorn. The responsible thing to do is to just find out what's really going on, and not feel pressured by either side -- or their supporters -- to choose in order to prove some worth in their eyes.
I'm not going to choose. yesterday morning, one side that apparently I'm supposed to endorse -- if I read your note correctly -- wouldn't answer my questions. Generally speaking, people who aren't willing to answer my questions, are people who don't want me to know something. And that's fine. That's their right. But you'll have to forgive me if I subsequently turn a deaf ear to their lectures on how I'm not doing my job by not merely repeating their hash.
Mark: The voice in the audio you refer to was Moynihan's.
I'm not sure what distinction is you're drawing between what's on the blog and what's on The Uptake. They're a fine organization and Noah did fine work, but if you listen to the audio on the blog, you have essentially the same information. So what is the distinction you're trying to make?
We're not talking investigative reporting on an on-scene event, we're talking about holding a microphone or a video cellphone up to someone who has some information, saying it. Live coverage of these sorts of things -- be it on a blog or a video site somewhere -- is not heavy lifting.
BTW, are you the same Mark Sherman who heads the Progressive Technology Project in Minnesota?
Any chance we could get some in-depth coverage of these raids on the radio? I'm an avid listener and haven't heard anything about them.