Democracy Now's Amy Goodman talked to Luce Guillen-Givins who is one of the first people ever to be charged under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal PATRIOT Act. Guillen-Givins and 7 other members of the group RNC Welcoming Committee, known as the "RNC 8", were formally charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. Criminal complaints filed reportedly do no allege that members of the RNC 8 personally engaged in any act of violence or damage to property. "Instead, authorities are seeking to hold the eight defendants responsible for acts committed by other individuals during the opening days of the Republican National Convention," reports Democracy Now.

"I think the significance is that this is one more step in the process of criminalizing dissent," Guillen-Givins. "It's the fact that we do have a right to protest. Any prosecution under a PATRIOT Act or any similar legislation infringes on those rights."

A full transcript of Amy Goodman's interview with Luce Guillen-Givins is available here.

This video is from Link TV's Democracy Now, broadcast Feb. 18, 2009.

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