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Opposition to far-right threats & attempts to silence the media

13 March 2019

We the undersigned journalists and media workers are deeply concerned about members of far right and fascist organisations trying to silence reports of their activities.

The latest episode was former EDL leader and now UKIP advisor ‘Tommy Robinson’s’ harassment of journalist Mike Stuchbery. Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - awoke Stuchbery twice in one night earlier this week - first at 10.45pm and then again at 5.00am on Tuesday morning – by aggressively banging on his front door. The harassment followed the journalist’s investigative reportage.

Stuchbery called the police who he says claimed they would arrest him.

The incident follows the mass protest that Robinson organised outside the BBC’s Salford studios last month, about Panorama’s forthcoming exposé. He has also made serious threats against several journalists via Facebook streaming.

A member of the far right also threatened a journalist in Leeds during a ‘Yellow Vest’ gathering in January.

Intimidation, threats and violence carried out by far-right protesters systematically targeting the media, especially photojournalists, are becoming more frequent. And as the Stuchbery incident shows, some such as Robinson now believe they can intimidate journalists at their homes.

We will always call out this behaviour and report criminal activity to the police. We advise all media workers to seek protection in the National Union of Journalists. We also encourage them to join, and report on, anti-racist protests at every opportunity.

Signed:

Michelle Stanistreet - NUJ general secretary
Gary Younge - editor-at-large, The Guardian
Paul Mason - journalist
Michael Stuchbery - journalist
Gerry Gable - editor, Searchlight magazine
Mo Ansar - commentator and broadcaster
Mohammad Shafiq - commentator and broadcaster
Pete Lazenby - northern reporter, Morning Star
Louise Raw - journalist
Leah Sinclair - online editor, The Voice
Steve Bird - NUJ NEC newspaper representative and FoC FT Chapel
Julia Armstrong - South Yorks NUJ branch chair
Mike Simons - journalist
Tim Lezard - NUJ NEC representative
Peter Chapman - FT journalist
Janina Conboye - FT journalist
Jess Hurd - photojournalist
Tom Wall - journalist
Alan Lodge - photojournalist
Alan Gibson - NUJ NEC representative
Phil Turner - journalist
Tim Sanders - cartoonist
Sophie Heawood - journalist, The Observer
Torcuil Crichton - journalist, Daily Record
Adrian Lobby - journalist, The Big Issue
Paul Jones - journalist, Daily Gazette
Tom Coburg - journalist, The Canary
Robert Rea - journalist, BBC News
Greig Watson - journalist, BBC
Martin Sawyer Mloj - journalist, Suffolk Magazine
Paula Tooths - journalist, A Hora News Agency
Steve Kormanackyj - journalist, Byline Times
David Sillars - guest lecturer, Department of Journalism, University of Glasgow
Aaqil Ahmed - journalist
Richard Fearn - journalism lecturer
Carl Eve - journalist, Plymouth Herald
Frea Lockley - The Canary
Louise Bolotin - journalist
Rebecca Cooney - journalist
Nick Morrison - journalist
Steve Rose - journalist
Alexander Tiffin - journalist
Alia Waheed - journalist
William Ham Bevan - journalist
Dan Kaszeta - journalist
Nicola Spurr - journalist
Joe Lo - journalist
Andrew Draper - journalist
Rory Jiwani - journalist
Darius Bazargan - journalist
Rebecca McManus - journalist
Janey Godley - journalist
Mark Simri Napier - journalist
Rosh Kelly - journalist
Sam Leith - journalist
Rhiannon Bevan - journalist
Becky Slack - journalist
Lauren Ingram - journalist
Hazel Brown - journalist
Bob Singleton - journalist and press photographer
Robert Miller - NUJ life member
Phil MacGiollaBhain - journalist
Andrew Pate - journalist
Rachel Broady - journalist
Babs Cook - journalist
Warren Manger - journalist
Morning Star NUJ chapel

This letter was published by the Independent.

Tags: , far right, fascism, journalist safety, journalists attacked, journalists in the uk, journalists intimidated, press freedom