For Immediate Release
ACLU Renews Its Call for Investigation Into Civil Liberties Violations at RNC
Minnesota ACLU Takes Legal Action
ST. PAUL - In
response to reports of widespread civil liberties abuses in connection
with mass arrests, police raids on private homes and the detention of
several journalists during the Republican National Convention (RNC),
the American Civil Liberties Union renewed its call for an
investigation into the actions of law enforcement there.
"Attempts by law enforcement to
squelch lawful political speech and stifle the press have no place in
our democracy and are unacceptable," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive
Director of the ACLU. "Political conventions should be a showcase for
free expression, not a venue for bullying and intimidation."
The ACLU specifically called for an investigation into possible violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, including:
- the arrest of reporters trying to gather the news;
- the mass arrest of hundreds of peaceful protestors;
- the surveillance and subsequent raids on several activist groups and private homes; and
- the confiscation by law enforcement agents of constitutionally-protected private property.
The ACLU affiliate office in
Minnesota has assembled legal counsel for many of the reporters and
peaceful protestors arrested since Monday. The ACLU of Minnesota has
also filed a lawsuit in federal court calling for the release of boxes
of literature that were confiscated during Monday's raids.