The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for September 6th, 2008

DemocracyNow producer arrested again in St Paul!

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Demonstrator in St. Paul

Demonstrator in St. Paul

“You shouldn’t be here!” said the police to the people with cameras and press badges.

“Why not?” one wonders. More that 800 people were arrested this week during the Republican National Convention, including dozens of journalists doing nothing but filming.

Now why would riot police arrest people with television equipment and press passes, throwing them to the ground and cuffing their wrists behind them?  Is this Beijing?

clipped from
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: [I]t really was a big show of force by the police. You saw these snow plows … a lot of horses, a lot of policemen on bicycles. And they kept blocking each bridge. And the march would move on. They’d block the bridge …
They threw a lot of concussion grenades, a lot of smoke bombs, pepper spray, some teargas …the police basically corralled everyone onto the Marion Street bridge, about 200 people. As soon as we were on the bridge, we realized that we were trapped …
[T]his was a very non-confrontational group of people who were doing this march … They never pushed the cops … They never did anything like that …
I had my Democracy Now! press pass and my RNC pass … we’re sitting amongst a group of about maybe six or eight other camera people, sound people, clearly all press. … I said, “I’m a journalist. I’m press. I’m here filming.” … He goes, “Well, you shouldn’t be here. You should have dispersed.” He arrested me … I told him, “You’ve been telling me to disperse since 5:00 … [if we had left] there would be no press for four hours of this march…
blog it

And one can only imagine what might have happened then.

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Written by Monte

September 6, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Politics

Execution date set despite recanting of witnesses

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I wrote of Troy Davis some time back; many of you responded, and it looked like fairness might prevail.  But now Amnesty International USA says that execution of Mr. Davis is imminent and the Georgia Supreme Court will not allow a new trial, despite the recanting of nearly all the witnesses and the absence of physical evidence. Details are below, from AIUSA. I urge you to add your name to those calling for justice.

Is it any of our business? You tell me:

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
Proverbs 29:6-8 (NIV)

Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

I’ve been close enough to injustice that I’m certain any of our sons could be in this situation, even if perfectly innocent (and two or three times that likelihood if we happen to be non-white).

If Troy Davis was my son, I’d be mighty grateful if you tried to help.


Troy Davis (photo: aiusa)

On Monday, March 17, 2008, the Georgia Supreme Court decided 4-3 to deny a new trial for Troy Anthony Davis, despite significant concerns regarding his innocence. This stunning decision by the Georgia Supreme Court to let Mr. Davis’ death sentence stand means that the state of
Georgia might soon execute a man who may well be innocent.
» Read AIUSA’s press release

Restrictions on Federal appeals have prevented Troy Anthony Davis from having a hearing in federal court on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him […]

Troy Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia; a murder he maintains he did not commit. There was no physical evidence against him and the weapon used in the crime was never found. The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.

One of the two witnesses who has not recanted his testimony is Sylvester “Red” Coles – the principle alternative suspect, according to the defense, against whom there is new evidence implicating him as the gunman. Nine individuals have signed affidavits implicating Sylvester Coles.
| Print a fact sheet on Troy Davis’ case
| Read more about innocence on Georgia’s death row
| Read the European Parliament Resolution on Troy’s Case
| Visit Troy Davis’ website

Read the report: Where is the justice for me?: The case of Troy Davis, facing execution in Georgia

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will hold a clemency hearing on Friday, September 12.

» TAKE ACTION! Send a letter to the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles

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Written by Monte

September 6, 2008 at 5:49 pm