Renowned Journalist Faced Harrowing Legal Scare

As part of a wave of arrests surrounding a Dakota Access Pipeline protest in September, esteemed and controversial journalist Amy Goodman was charged with major felonies for, uh, reporting on the protest. On Monday, her case was dismissed. Nevertheless, this sort of mock execution should put First Amendment defenders on high alert and draw attention to what is obviously a sore spot for the North Dakota government authorities.

“Amy Goodman Is Facing Jail Time for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All.”
by Lizzy Ratner
The Nation
October 14, 2016 (Updated: October 17, 2016)

Update: Case dismissed! On Monday, October 17, District Judge John Grinsteiner rejected the “riot” charge that had been leveled against Amy Goodman for her coverage of a September 3rd Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Standing before the Morton County courthouse, surrounded by supporters, Goodman said: “It is a great honor to be here today. The judge”™s decision to reject the State”™s Attorney Ladd Erickson”™s attempt to prosecute a journalist–in this case, me–is a great vindication of the First Amendment.” And she added: “[W]e encourage all of the media to come here. We certainly will continue to cover this struggle.”


This Monday morning, shortly after the sun rises over the small city of Mandan, North Dakota, the award-winning journalist, and host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman will walk into the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center and turn herself in to the local authorities. Her crime: good, unflinching journalism.

Goodman had the audacity to commit this journalism on September 3, when she was in North Dakota covering what she calls “the standoff at Standing Rock”: the months-long protests by thousands of Native Americans against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The $3.8 billion oil pipeline is slated to carry barrel after barrel of Bakken crude through sacred sites and burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and tribe members fear it could pollute the Missouri River, the source not only of their water but of millions of others”™, should the pipe ever rupture. Their protests, which began in April and ballooned through the summer months, represent the largest mobilization of Native American activists in more than 40 years””and one of the most vital campaigns for environmental justice in perhaps as long. Read more.

The Art of Assassination

Artist Depicts Assassination Of Bush, The Queen In New Brazil Exhibition
by Curtis M. Wong
The Huffington Post
September 27, 2010

The Sao Paulo Art Biennial may be renowned for celebrating the best of Brazil’s avant garde, but international critics say one of this year’s featured exhibits — a series of charcoal sketches depicting the imagined assassinations of former U.S. President George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, among other world leaders — has gone too far.

One sketch in the controversial series, titled “Enemies,” depicts Bush kneeling on the ground while artist Gil Vicente presses a pistol to the former president’s temple. In other sketches, the Queen is apparently unaware of the artist pointing a gun directly at her back, while Pope Benedict XVI faces Vicente directly, his arms outstretched in a quizzical shrug. Other world leaders shown in Vicente’s 9-sketch series include former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, according to The Telegraph. [See below for more photos] Continue reading “The Art of Assassination”

China Shuts Down Social Networking as Tiananmen Anniversary Nears

China rounds up dissidents, blocks Twitter
by Christopher Bodeen
June 3, 2009

tiananmen_square_7Beijing (AP) — Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square this week, Chinese authorities have rounded up dissidents and shipped them out of town. Now, they’ve even shut down Twitter.

Along with their usual methods of muzzling dissent, the authorities extended their efforts Tuesday to silence social networking sites that might foster discussion of any commemoration of the events of June 3-4, 1989.

The action is a new sign of the government’s concern of the potential of such technology in an authoritarian society where information is tightly controlled.

“There has been a really intensified clampdown on quasi-public discussion of awareness of this event,” said Xiao Qiang, adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California-Berkeley, and director of The Berkeley China Internet Project.

“It’s a discussion about where China is now and where China can go from here. So the authorities are making a major crackdown to block user-generated sites such as Twitter and show there is no right to public discussion,” he said. Continue reading “China Shuts Down Social Networking as Tiananmen Anniversary Nears”