For Immediate Release
Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35
Free Press Monitoring Journalist Arrests During May First Occupy Protests
WASHINGTON - Occupy Wall Street organizers and activists have planned a day of protests for this Tuesday, and Free Press is calling on local, state and federal policymakers to ensure that the rights of all people to record and document these activities are protected.
Since September, more than 70 journalists have been harassed or arrested while covering Occupy protests around the country. Free Press is tracking reports of any press suppression and journalist arrests at the May First protests via our SaveTheNews.org campaign: http://www.savethenews.org/mayfirst.
Free Press Journalism and Public Media Campaign Director Josh Stearns made the following statement:
“The First Amendment specifically protects freedom of the press, and we are greatly troubled by the ongoing suppression and arrests of journalists attempting to cover the Occupy movement around the country. Our press freedom ranking has plummeted to 47th in the world due in large part to interference with members of the media at these rallies and protests.
“Today we have a chance to begin reversing that trend. Journalists must be free to cover these events without fear of arrest or for their own safety. Policymakers and government officials should take a strong stand in defense of the First Amendment, and ensure that journalists are not threatened for doing their jobs. We are mobilizing a grassroots campaign to protect our free press, and we will be monitoring the situation during the May First Occupy day of action.”
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net