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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Camera Shy

posted by on August 31 at 14:03 PM

This photo is an detainable offense: Attorney Gena Berglund.

A Minneapolis-based attorney has asked Hennepin County district judge Mark Wenick to sign an emergency injunction to stop police from seizing video cameras and other recording equipment from journalists during the Republican National Convention.

Attorney Gena Berglund, of the National Lawyers Guild, says Judge Wernick claims to be “too busy with probable-cause hearings” to sign the injunction.

Police have been seizing video cameras and other recording equipment from video bloggers throughout the summer—seven affidavits of different instances—and in the past few days.

Just yesterday, say Bergland and a lefty organizer named Michelle Gross, police conducted a raid on a house and seized video equipment from a Eyewitness News, a New York-based video group. (Their footage from the RNC in New York in 2000 helped acquit 400 people who were arrested during protests.)

Berglund adds that right now, a team of videographers, who were on their way to this very press conference, are being detained by police on a streetcar just a few blocks from Minneapolis City Hall, where the conference is still underway.

(Sgt. William Palmer, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis police, says he hasn’t heard anything about this.)

“The police just stopped the car on its tracks and have them trapped in there,” Berglund says, her voice shaking. “I’m very angry and my clients are very angry,” she said. “This has to stop.”

(Maybe those photos I posted a couple of minutes ago could’ve landed me in more trouble than I’d thought.)

The delayed Anointment of McCain is becoming less interesting by the second.

What the hell’s going on between the police and everybody else? Is this just saber-rattling in advance of the protests? Does the GOP not want to be filmed?

Are they not feeling pretty this week?

RSS icon Comments


I confused ... you'd expected something different from the Republican Party?

Posted by Gordon Werner | August 31, 2008 2:04 PM

And the US has the gall to complain about China's freedom of press

Posted by chino | August 31, 2008 2:47 PM

They were doing this all over Denver as well, so it's not just the Republicans.

And, y'know- This Is Why We Protest, People.

Just because the press is being subjected to this kind of treatment does not make it new.
If you've ever been actively involved with a protest, you've either witnessed or experienced surly officers confiscating photo and video cameras, and those with them arrested.

Welcome to the world.

Posted by sme | August 31, 2008 2:52 PM

Maybe the internet should fight back and launch a huge DOS war against the convention and the city.

Posted by kinaidos | August 31, 2008 3:12 PM

welcome to the death of the first amendment.

Posted by former editor | August 31, 2008 3:45 PM

Um, it's I-Witness, not EyeWitness. Sounds like they also hit the local police misconduct activists (Communities Against Police Brutality) as well.

Posted by unwelcomed | August 31, 2008 6:01 PM

A war economy supported by assholes like Dan Savage results in repression-who woulda thunk?

Posted by Dan warmonger Savage | August 31, 2008 6:15 PM

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