Shareblue reporter, Mike Stark, was violently arrested last Saturday in Annandale, Virginia after dropping the F-bomb in conversation with police. Journalists and advocates across the nation are now expressing alarm and outrage at his arrest.
American freedoms have been on a rapid decline since 9/11 and the resulting Patriot Act, which was signed into law by George W. Bush. Aggression towards honest journalism later heightened under the Obama administration.
Nine individuals were prosecuted under the Espionage Act after Obama’s inauguration in 2009. All of them were either whistleblowers, or had spoken to the press. The Espionage Act was written in 1917, and was meant to prosecute German saboteurs during World War I, but none of the individuals who were prosecuted under Obama gave classified information to an enemy country (source).
Under the current Trump administration, we see journalists being sentenced to 70-years in prison for attending a protest. And now it appears swearing has become an arrestable offense, too.
Mike Stark has been following Ed Gillespie’s (R-Va.) campaign for months. After repeatedly dodging various questions presented by Stark, Gillespie’s campaign began to target and harass him. Shareblue states:
“Gillespie has repeatedly dodged questions from Stark about his increasingly racist campaign, uncomfortable endorsement from Donald Trump, and his use of his position in the Bush White House to do the bidding of his corporate lobbying clients.”
Below is a video of Stark’s encounter with police. Standing on the public sidewalk next to other citizens is Stark. There he was filming Gillespie’s vehicle that was traveling with the Annandale parade.
Police approached Stark accompanied by a woman who had complained about him the night before. They told Stark he had to move, and that he would not be allowed to ask the gubernatorial candidate any questions, to which Stark replied, “F#ck this.” Events that transpired are captured in the following footage: