Posts Tagged ‘EDL’

NUJ Fights to Protect Journalistic Sources

11th February, 2013


Greater Manchester Police have applied for a production order with a hearing on Monday 18 February compelling NUJ member and video journalist Jason N. Parkinson to hand over footage to the police.

The application is for all published and unpublished footage shot between the hours of 10.30am and 12.30pm at the English Defence League (EDL) march and counter protest organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Bolton on Saturday 20 March 2010.

Mr Parkinson with the full support of the NUJ intends to oppose the production order.

Jason Parkinson said: “I am not willing to hand unpublished material over. Journalists report the news and are not evidence gatherers for the police or anyone else. To do so would endanger the safety of all journalists in similar situations in the future. We would not be regarded as independent and would become greater targets from all sides.

“Also handing over the footage could overturn the incredibly important victory for press freedom we achieved fighting the Dale Farm production order last year.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Jason Parkinson is a front line journalist and should have the right to work in the public interest without fearing he will be forced to hand over his footage. The union will continue to support Jason’s campaign to protect journalistic sources and material.”

Jason was served a production order in 2011 for all footage shot over the two days of the Dale Farm eviction in Essex. Major national broadcasters also opposed the production order. In a united effort, the NUJ led an eight-month battle in partnership with the BBC, ITN, Sky and Hardcash Productions that ended in the Royal Courts of Justice. In May 2012 Judge Moses overturned the original Dale Farm production order in a huge win for press freedom in the UK.

Related Material

Dale Farm Production Order Overturned

NUJ and Broadcasters Granted Judicial Review

Why I’m Resisting the Dale Farm Production Order

LPB Condemns EDL Attacks

5th September, 2011

An EDL supporter grabs the camera of a photographer during the Tower Hamlets protest: © Jules Mattsson

On Saturday, 3rd September supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) travelled from around the country to a ‘static’ demonstration on the edge of Tower Hamlets in East London.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and London Photographers’ Branch (LPB) has received numerous reports of harassment, threats, physical assaults, racist abuse, bottles and fireworks being thrown and photographers being punched and kicked. One journalist was subjected to a sexual assault and another NUJ member suffered minor burns and required medical attention after an EDL supporter used a flammable accelerant to set him on fire.

Branch Secretary Jason N. Parkinson said: “LPB condemns the attacks on journalists by supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) during Saturday’s protest.

“These attacks are just the latest in a long history of violence, threats and even fatwas issued on the press and there is only one reason behind them all – to intimidate and deter the media exposing the violent and racist behaviour of the far right.

“An attack on the press is an attack on press freedom and on our democracy.”

NUJ offers support and assistance to members following attacks during EDL protest

Police Release Press Helpline Ahead of EDL Tower Hamlets Demo

2nd September, 2011

The Metropolitan Police Press Bureau will have the helpline for photographers and other lens-based journalists whilst covering the EDL static demo on Saturday.

The number is 07917 556 824.

Police Contacts for EDL Bradford protest

26th August, 2010

Due to previous and current threats from the English Defence League and Casuals United and a history of violence against journalists and photographers, West Yorkshire Police have issued two phone numbers all journalists attending should carry with them.

  • Nigel Swift – 07900 050353
  • Andy Smith – 07709 398664

Nigel and Andy are both Press Liason Officers, their main role is to ensure good police/press relations on the day. Any emergency such as attacks should firstly go through police officers on the ground, but they have asked to be kept informed of any attacks on journalists.

Andy Smith will also give a briefing for the media at 1000 on the day at the Jacob’s Well car park in the centre of Bradford. The main West Yorkshire Police Press Office number is 01924 292045.

The NUJ Emergency Legal number is 0800 5877530, this is for NUJ members who need legal emergency legal assistance only.

As the far-right rises, we must protect our members

12th April, 2010

EDL organiser & BNP activist Chris Renton (middle) photographs members of the media at a EDL protest in Bolton. Image © Jess Hurd/ 2010

March’s NUJ London Photographers Branch (LPB) meeting saw members vote to condemn the targeting of journalists by the English Defence League (EDL). The motion also agreed that the LPB would support the NUJ Expose The BNP campaign.

EDL street numbers have drastically increased in less than a year. They claim they are a multicultural, non-racist, non-violent organisation, protesting against “militant Islam”. Yet the published photographs and television news reports show a very different picture. Racism, violence, criminal damage and clashes with the police have become standard on their protests. Connections with far right groups have been repeatedly exposed by various news outlets. The EDL claim they are being misrepresented by a left-wing media conspiracy and their response has been to target journalists. For those regularly covering the protests, intimidation, threats and violence have followed.

Email threats have been issued, warning journalists not to document EDL protests. Journalists’ websites have received increasingly racist and threatening comments. Photographs identifying journalists have appeared inside EDL forums and on the website of Casuals United, a group supporting the EDL, set up to recruit hooligan gangs from football ground terraces across the country. Information, names and addresses of journalists have been sought and messages sent out to EDL and Casuals United members to “keep an eye out”, “give them a warm welcome” and “have a word with them”.

Some journalists and photographers found out at the Stoke protest in January this year what ‘having a word’ meant. Several received punches to the head while others came under a targeted hail of bricks, bottles, lighters, coins, wooden debris and burning rags soaked in petrol.

Two months later in Dudley a further four photographers were punched, kicked and threatened. Several of these attacks came from EDL stewards. With the types of weapons being carried during the demonstrations – knuckle dusters, knives, lighter fluid canisters and bottles of bleach – it is clear that the threats against working journalists covering the far right in the UK are extremely serious.

The London Photographers Branch vows to continue supporting all its members coming under attack.

Motions to the Branch

30th March, 2010

The following motions will be put to the branch meeting on the 30th of March:

English Defence League

This Branch condemns the attacks on media workers by supporters of the far right English Defence League (EDL) and other far right groups.
Racism, violence and criminal damage are the hallmarks of EDL protests across Britain. NUJ members have exposed the true nature and character of the EDL.

EDL supporters have responded by targeting media workers with intimidation, threats and violence.
This Branch agrees to supports the media campaign Expose the BNP with a donation of £20.
Proposed by Jason Parkinson.

BA Strike

This Branch supports the right to strike – a right that is enshrined by international treaties.
The 1948 International Labour Organisation’s convention on the right to organise and bargain collectively, the Council of Europe’s social charter of 1961 and the 1966 UN covenant on economic, social and cultural rights all support this right.

This Branch agrees to send a message of support to Unite British Airways cabin crews who are taking industrial action to defend their jobs and conditions against a bullying and anti-union management.
Proposed by John Harris.

Digital Economy Bill

This Branch backs the Stop 43 campaign to knock Clause 43 out of the Digital Economy Bill, condemns this government’s attempt, in its last days, to force this highly controversial measure through the House of Commons without any debate, and calls on the next to introduce Moral Rights in full for all creators.
Proposed by Andrew Wiard

The Journalist Magazine.

This branch congratulates the new editor of The Journalist on her appointment but views with concern her sourcing of images from businesses such as Getty and iStock whose practices work against the interest of all photographers and in particular the interests of NUJ photographers.

This branch calls on the editor to meet with representatives of the London Photographers’ Branch at the earliest opportunity to discuss how the Journalist can develop a policy for the use of photographs that recognises the skill, experience and talents of NUJ members and is more supportive towards them.
Proposed by David Hoffman.

The Guardian

This Branch notes the difficult trading conditions The Guardian and we all face. We also note that the timely sale of 49.9% of TMG not only showed foresight of these difficult trading conditions and helped boosted the groups profits before tax from £97.7m (2007) to £306.4m (2008) but also that the GMG chair in the 2009 Annual report pointed to the “many other positives: we have net cash rather than net debt; we have a number of sound long-term investments; our businesses continue to be bold and innovative; our people are among the very best in the industry; and the Guardian’s superb journalism is reaching an expanding global audience through the growth of its website”.

Further we note that the subsequent 2009 loss of £89.8m according to the Chair “only gives only a partial view of our financial position and health..” the loss being made up entirely of losses on forward exchange contracts, on interest rate swaps and debt, and impairment of goodwill and intangibles.

We also note that the paper has already achieved very great cost savings through the cheap subscription deals offered by a some of the larger agencies e.g. Getty and Alamy.

However, it is a misnomer to describe the pictures sourced from individual freelances and the smaller agencies and picture libraries as “stock” in that these pictures are typically not ubiquitous generalisable commodity pictures but real, recent and relevant to the issues of the day with which the paper is concerned and are therefore precisely the diverse and original content that helps distinguish The Guardian from the competition. This content is crucial if the company is to realise its expressed aim of becoming “the world voice of liberal public opinion”. To this end we would ask that no such cuts in reproduction or commission fees are made.
Proposed by John Harris.

Any further motions to the branch should be sent to the Branch secretary prior to the meeting.