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NUJ demands end to EDL targeting journalists

2 September 2011

The NUJ has demanded that journalists be allowed to do their job without being harassed or threatened during the demonstrations in London on Saturday 3 September.

NUJ members will be working during the protests and the union has documented many previous examples of journalists being threatened and harassed by far-right activists at English Defence League (EDL) events.

At previous events, there have been examples of verbal threats, intimidation and physical violence including an NUJ member being punched in the head.

There have also been instances of attempts to seize cameras and smash equipment and journalists have been targeted on far-right hate websites such as Redwatch.

The Casuals United group, one of the organisations supporting the protest on Saturday, have used their website to warn photographers:

"Whinging left wing idiots – you wanna film the protests for hostile purposes, you accept the anger you clowns."

Far right threats are designed to silence the media and stop NUJ members showing the true nature of the protests and protestors.

Journalists should be free to do their work without such intimidation.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:

"The atmosphere of menace and violence during far-right events create a serious threat to working journalists seeking to report on their activities.
"Attempts to prevent journalists working constitute a serious attack on press freedom and individual liberty which must not be tolerated."

The NUJ has produced guidelines to help journalists who are covering the activities of far-right groups like the EDL and the BNP.

The Metropolitan Police Press Bureau will have a helpline for photographers and other lens-based journalists whilst covering the EDL demonstration in London on Saturday.

The police helpline telephone number for the day is 07917 556 824.

Tags: , edl, photographers, bnp, journalists injured, press freedom, threats, redwatch