There was no reason for this rough treatment of the press, no call for it, and yet it happened. Here, in the United Kingdom, a nation that prides itself on being free and democratic, the police used physical force against journalists. It is the sort of thing that might happen in China.
Here we have, or are supposed to have, a free press, but this cannot happen if the police feel that they have the right to hinder reporters or restrict their access to stories, however, slight that hindrance, however small the story. Only with an unrestricted press can we hope to hold the government to account and the police should not have the power to take that away. No-one should. Clearly it is not only in China that the government wishes to control the media.
This has been going on for years, and will continue to go on, because despite what the CORPORATE MEDIA (i.e. not a 'free press', but privately owned business concerns) would like us to believe, we do not live in a free country, we live in one of the most under surveillance countries on the planet, replete with plans for national identity cards using biometric technology, some of which is currently already in use at a school or passport office near you, Airports notwithstanding.
Welcome to the brave new world our Grandparents warned us about.
This is all the more reason to make sure that we all do our bit to ensure the truth of any situation, however grim or amazing comes to the attention of the wider world, because once we let the police (i.e. The State) censor us by whatever means, we will be officially living in a Police State, no different from China.
The protester was already on the floor restrained, but was getting a good old fashioned hiding for the sake of it, the press guys were allowed on the other side and had all been accredited to do so, the police were attempting to stop them photographing the violence.
Can I just add a thankyou to the protesters who picked up the lens worth £700 that was scattered as the police violence escalated as a bag was ripped from a photographers shoulder and thrown by the police and for returning it to its owner in good order, who ever you were, thankyou !!
Press TOG 99