Government terrorism against American citizens reached a new height before and during the Republican National Convention, virtually unreported in our compliant media.

The British press reports, "Police have staged pre-emptive armed raids targeting protesters and alternative media around the Republican National Convention - including thousands of people demonstrating about war world poverty throughout the week."

"Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city," Glenn Greenwald wrote for Salon, "involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets."

"When you believe in war, sooner or later you bring it home. This is called a police state. The agents of the state, in the name of security, fight words and ideas with guns and teargas."

Even before the convention, one family had their "RV" bus confiscated on the freeway by Minneapolis Police, Minnesota State Troopers, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police, and University of Minnesota Police. The family was left standing, their daughter without shoes, beside their chickens and dogs, homeless on the highway, with no justification given. Weapons? The vehicle and home used to teach organic gardening and sustainability. Is this what our government really fears?

Local law enforcement officials arrested independent media reporter Amy Goodman and two producers from her award-winning news program, Democracy Now!, syndicated over 500 stations. Also arrested were Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke and several independent videographers. At least 19 journalists, including two reporters from the AP, were held by police. Other independent journalists have also been pepper-sprayed and held at gunpoint during "pre-emptive" raids aimed at disrupting and intimidating protesters. Cameras were taken and images erased that showed illegal police activity, in violation of federal law.

Nancy Doyle Brown of Twin Cities Media Alliance stated, "From the pre-convention raids to the ongoing harassment and arrests of journalists, these have been dark days for press freedom in the United States."

J.D. Tuccille, of the Civil Liberties Examiner, reports, "That's not to say that respect for free speech was ever perfect; more than a few politicians have penalized speech they really didn't want to hear in the past -- especially during wartime. But the corralling of demonstrators into "free speech zones" at the two major-party conventions, the preemptive raids to seize people who might be "troublemakers" and the mass arrests make it clear that vigorous political expression -- however annoying -- is now seen as a privilege to be exercised only in the manner and at the location permitted by the powers-that-be."

Welcome to the Brave New World.

Tom Bender