Democracy

Jailed for Blogging

Juan Cole reports that Omid Memarian, an Iranian writer, journalist, weblogger and social activist has been arrested, making him the fourth journalist to be arrested in an apparent Iranian crackdown on reformist journalists and webloggers who are seen as enemies of the regime. Cole urges people to complain to the Iranian government or their interests section in Washington, DC.

No

They Fought the Law and the Law Won

"As Republicans inside Madison Square Garden praised the NYPD for keeping order," writes Michelle Goldberg, "grim stories of preemptive, arbitrary arrests, filthy jail conditions and long detentions without access to attorneys circulated among protesters, lawyers and quite a few ordinary New Yorkers who were arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. ...

No

Block the Vote

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights leaders say the Republican Party is mounting a campaign to keep African-Americans and other minority voters away from the polls this November. "In recent years, many minority communities have tended to align with the Democratic Party," states a new report cosponsored by the NAACP and People for the American Way.

No

Pre-Emptive "Traitor" Baiters

"Federal agents and city police are keeping tabs on people they say might try to cause trouble at the Republican National Convention, questioning activists, making unannounced visits and monitoring Web sites and meetings. ... The intelligence unit of the New York Police Department ...

No

This Song Was Made For You and Me

The Richmond Organization, a humor-challenged corporation that owns the copyright to Woody Guthrie's classic folk song, "This Land Was Made For You and Me," is suing over a hilarious parody that uses Guthrie's song to lampoon George W. Bush and John Kerry. Columnist Dan Gillmor points out that the company is "dishonoring Woody Guthrie's memory, not that it seems to care.

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Not-So-Democratic Convention

"One cannot conceive of other elements [that could be] put in place to create a space that's more of an affront to the idea of free expression," said U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, after touring the Democratic National Convention's "free speech" protest zone in Boston. The zone is "bordered by cement barriers, a double row of chain-line fencing, heavy black netting, and tightly woven plastic mesh," with "coils of razor wire" along elevated train tracks.

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