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BTL:Use of Twitter in U.S. G-20 Protest Leads to Arrest; Erodes Civil Liberties
by Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions http Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 at 1:31 PM
betweenthelines@snet.net (email address validated) BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut

BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine

Use of Twitter in U.S. G-20 Protest Leads to Arrest; Erodes Civil Liberties

Interview with Martin Stolar, attorney representing Elliot Madison, operator of G-20 protest communications network, conducted by Scott Harris

Elliot Madison, a 41-year-old social worker and self-described anarchist from Queens, N.Y. traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa. in late September, where he set up a communications network for activists during protests held against the Group of 20 or G-20 Summit meeting. The protesters, representing a diversity of causes, demanded that wealthy nations more aggressively address the world's economic and environmental crises, and end U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and advocated for African debt relief. While the protests were mostly peaceful, there were running confrontations between the so called militant "Black Bloc" contingent who were accused of defying police and smashing windows.

Madison was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police on Sept. 24 at his Pittsburgh hotel room and charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communications facility and possession of instruments of crime. Madison was accused of using police scanners to disseminate information about law enforcement movements to demonstrators through the social networking site Twitter. After Madison was released on bail, the FBI conducted a 16-hour search of his house in New York city on Oct. 5, where they seized computers, black masks, financial records, books and posters. The search warrant stated agents were looking for evidence of violations of federal rioting laws.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Martin Stolar, an attorney representing Elliot Madison, who explains what's at stake for civil liberties in this case, and comments on the irony of the U.S. government arresting his client for using Twitter during political demonstrations, when use of this same technology is praised when employed by dissidents in nations like Iran.

Read more about allegations of police misconduct at the G-20 protests on the website of the Pennsylvania chapter of the ACLU at http://www.aclupa.org

Related links:

* Code Pink For Peace at http://www.codepink4peace.org

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
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