Threats to media at weekend demonstration condemned by NUJ

  • 22 Mar 2021

NUJ members have informed the union they faced threats and harassment on Saturday at the Covid anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine protest that saw thousands march through the capital.

Photographers and videographers were verbally abused and threatened, including death threats. Several journalists removed their masks in the crowd to avoid being targeted and others said they considered leaving the event for fear of violence.

Protestors tried to block people from working, taking photographs of journalists and sharing with other protestors to coordinate the harassment of media workers. The low-key police presence in a demonstration with clear hostility towards reporters left the media feeling especially vulnerable.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Throughout this pandemic, reporters and photographers have continued doing their jobs as keyworkers, ensuring the public remains fully informed and documenting important events during an unprecedented time. It is wholly unacceptable that in carrying out this vital work that reporters and photographers are being abused and threatened.
"The policing of demonstrations and protests must ensure that journalists are able to do their job safely and without fear of attack, and that those who seek to curtail the right to report should be dealt with robustly. We will be raising our concerns about events on Saturday directly with the Met."

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