The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;

ACLU Calls For Investigation Into Raids And Mass Arrests At RNC

Police Misconduct A Threat To Free Speech


charges of police misconduct during the Republican National Convention
in Minnesota, the American Civil Liberties Union called for
accountability for any unconstitutional actions there.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

"Conducting mass arrests and raiding
meeting places of innocent Americans exercising their constitutional
right to express political dissent are antithetical to the fundamental
values of our democracy. Free speech has to be safeguarded during the
Republican National Convention, as the workings of our democracy in the
streets are as important as those in convention halls. Allegations of
police misconduct must be investigated thoroughly and free speech must
be safeguarded for the remainder of the convention."

Teams of civil and criminal defense
attorneys recruited and coordinated by the ACLU of Minnesota filed five
lawsuits seeking to protect free speech and due process in the lead-up
to the convention. Attorneys assembled by the ACLU are currently in the
jails offering limited representation to hundreds of people who were
swept up in mass arrests in the Twin Cities.

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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