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NUJ ADM "No to police harassment!"

Marc Vallee | 27.03.2006 08:44 | Indymedia | London | World

If you type in the words “Police” and “NUJ” on BBC News Online you get these 3 hits back straight away. “Police seize G8 disorder tapes”, “Freedom of press under attack?” and “Indymedia server seized in raid”. These 3 headlines are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Police and the wider British state stopping us doing our job.

In the case of the first headline the Police went to court to seize footage from BBC Scotland, Scottish Television and Sky News of G8 protesters. As an NUJ spokesperson said then, "It needs to be seen that the press is at arms-length from the state and shouldn't be seen as a body that hands over material for information to the police just willy-nilly."

We know why this is important: we do not want to be viewed by protesters as just one more arm of the state, as this puts us in to a very difficult and at times dangerous position when working.

But let’s face it. The state does not need to go to court to take our material from us. Many members of our union have been held on the side of the street for long periods of time during a protest and then missed the deadline to file what they have. Many members have had film (memory cards) taken off them once being arrested for so called “public order” or “highways” offences.

Many of us have been “moved on” from an event that is taking place under threat of arrest. When you show your Press Card it becomes very clear that this often holds no sway with many police officers on the ground. This is always heightened when members are documenting the “wrongdoings” of the police. The Met has agreed new guidelines that will “prevent photographers being hindered in their work”.

But any reform, any code of conduct, falls down when the interests of capitalism are put at risk. One of the first things to go is “press freedom” and our basic right to do our job.

We support points made by several branches to ADM, for a union campaign against harassment, and for active defence of members refusing to hand over material.

By Marc Vallée, NUJ London Freelance Branch .(personal capacity)
From: the "Bulletin of the Socialist Party in the NUJ - ADM SPECIAL 2006".

Marc Vallee
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Nice one

27.03.2006 17:43

Not to mention those press photographers who offered the police images

And an NUJ Photographer who regularly posts to Indy being arested for taking pictures of a cop! (See press release)

And that an injuction has been granted banning photo's filming and recording of an animal rights demo, not sure how this aplies to media like indy or nationals or NUJ card holders

snap away