Monday, September 01, 2008

Bolivia becoming Police State!

The weekend, before a much anticipated summit of Evo Morales' MAS political party in Cochabamba, Bolivia's national police have engaged in wanton intimidation of opposition groups planning peaceful protests during the summit. Suited in full riot gear and sporting semi-automatic weapons, police raided opposition political houses, arbitrarily detaining those inside, seizing computers, papers, and political pamphlets without warrants. Protesters peacefully assembling in the streets were corralled by police and arrested en masse. Those arrested in this preemptive strike on free speech were charged with "conspiring to riot" ensuring that these uppity protesters will be in jail during the MAS political summit, hiding any potentially embarrassing demonstrations from the spectacle of mass media attention. Additionally one prominent journalist Emma Buenhombre, known for her unapologetic criticism of government was arrested without cause during the sweeps. The Bolivian mainstream press is nearly silent on this outrageous exercise in political oppression by state security forces, what one can only assume to be an act of cowardice or complicity. Will the international press and general public not raise their voices in the name of liberty against this encroaching fascism by Morales' government closing its iron grip on Bolivian society!

Wait, one second. My eyes deceived me. Those events did not take place in Bolivia but in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota this weekend prior to the Republican National Convention. So I guess that wasn't fascism after all but just your regular freedom loving terrorist ass kicking. Huh, funny, ain't it?

You! can do something. Call St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0) and demand Democracy Now! staff Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, and Nicole Salazar immediately released as well as give them a piece of your mind.


Penny said...

Nicely done.

Bina said...

They're all out now, but it's a wonder they were even in in the first place. In the video where they're dragging Amy away, you can clearly see her press credentials hanging around her neck. And I'll bet her colleagues all had the same, too.

Can you say politically motivated, muchachos y muchachas?

MexFiles said...

Had the same thoughts you did about this, but you handled it better than I did... still, had to steal your fascism warning sign.