The Editor of Grayzone, Max Blumenthal was arrested over a week ago in Washington DC and was shackled by his hands and ankles for over five hours in one a cage along with other inmates over the weekend. His crime? To report from outside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC last May and to burst the US media bubble on how things really were in Venezuela after the US tried to organise a coup against the elected leader Maduro and install their own puppet who would sell out the country to vulture capitalists.
What a surprise there was nothing about this in the mainstream media. If the same thing had happened in Venezuela there would have been widespread condemnation in the pro-coup mainstream media.
The World Socialist website carried a report on it yesterday.
Here are some extracts from the WSWS report:
In a direct attack on freedom of the press, the editor of the news site the Grayzone, Max Blumenthal, was arrested by police on October 25 on a fabricated charge related to events that took place at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC last May.
As reported by the Grayzone, “A team of DC police officers appeared at Blumenthal’s door at just after 9 a.m., demanding entry and threatening to break his door down. A number of officers had taken positions on the side of his home as though they were prepared for a SWAT-style raid.”
Blumenthal was then “hauled into a police van and ultimately taken to DC central jail, where he was held for two days in various cells and cages. He was shackled by his hands and ankles for over five hours in one such cage along with other inmates. His request for a phone call was denied by DC police and corrections officers, effectively denying him access to the outside world,” the report said.
The Grayzone editor was eventually informed that he was accused of “simple assault” by a Venezuelan opposition member. In response Blumenthal said, “This charge is a 100 percent false, fabricated, bogus, untrue, and malicious lie. It is clearly part of a campaign of political persecution designed to silence me and the the Grayzone for our factual journalism exposing the deceptions, corruption and violence of the far-right Venezuelan opposition.”
As reported [ https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/16/vene-m16.html ] at the time on the World Socialist Web Site , a group of protesters occupied the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC in April and May, during and in the aftermath of the abortive coup of self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó. The protesters, who called themselves the Embassy Protection Collective, held a continuous vigil at the embassy in order to protect it from illegal seizure by US supporters of the failed coup conspirators.
The protesters had the support of the elected government of Nicolás Maduro and were invited to help keep the building open around the clock. At the peak of the affair, approximately 50 protesters were occupying and living inside the embassy.
In response to the occupation, a rival encampment of extreme right-wing supporters of Guaido’s US sponsors organized a de facto siege of the embassy in an effort to prevent people, food and supplies from making their way into the building.
As reported on the World Socialist Web Site, on May 16 hundreds of armed men in battle fatigues and helmets from the US Secret Service, DC Metropolitan Police and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service used battering rams to storm the embassy and evict the protesters.
Blumenthal was the target of a bogus charge and jailing against his rights because of his activity as a journalist. Throughout the occupation of the embassy, the Grayzone documented both the activity of the right-wing mobs that were assaulting and hurling racist invectives at the peaceful protesters.
The Grayzone reporter Anya Parampil and contributing writer Alex Rubenstein were inside the building and embedded with the protesters throughout the occupation. Max Blumenthal was also active on site in supporting the protest and extensively reporting on the events outside the embassy.
Among the reports filed by Blumenthal were coverage of the right-wing activists breaking into and vandalizing the embassy and their destruction of the embassy’s security system, while authorities stood by and did nothing. A critical aspect of the Grayzone’s reporting was the exposure of the coup regime’s “ambassador” to the US, Carlos Vecchio, and his corrupt relationship with the American oil industry along with his role as ringleader for the right-wing mobs attacking the protesters. .......