Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photography

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Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photography

Postby Mikethehack » Fri May 04, 2012 11:24 am

Journalism, Civil Rights Organizations Urge Attorney General To Take Action In War On Photography

Several journalism and civil rights organizations are urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to begin holding law enforcement authorities and agencies accountable for arresting citizens who record in public.

The letter, which was delivered to Holder earlier today, which happens to be World Press Freedom Day, is posted below in its entirety:

May 3, 2012

Dear Attorney General Eric Holder:

The First Amendment has come under assault on the streets of America. Since the Occupy Wall Street movement began, police have arrested dozens of journalists and activists simply for attempting to document political protests in public spaces. While individual cases may not fall under the Justice Department’s jurisdiction, the undersigned groups see this suppression of speech as a national problem that deserves your full attention.

The alarming number of arrests is an unfortunate and unwarranted byproduct of otherwise positive changes. A new type of activism is taking hold around the world and here in the U.S.: People with smartphones, cameras and Internet connections have been empowered with the means to report on public events. These developments have also created an urgent need for organizations such as ours to defend this new breed of activists and journalists and protect their right to record.

Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of access to information are vital whether you’re a credentialed journalist, a protester or just a bystander with a camera. In the digital age, these freedoms mean that we all have the right to create and share information using all manner of devices and lawful means.

In this new environment, we must guard these rights and protect the networks that give so many the means to connect and voice their political beliefs. The First Amendment’s protections must extend to everyone.

The right to record is an essential component of our rights at a time when so many of those witnessing public protests carry networked, camera-ready devices such as smartphones.

Continuous access to the open Internet and social media — over both wired and wireless networks — is also essential.

We the undersigned call on authorities at the local, state and federal level to stop their assault on people attempting to document protests and other events unfolding in public spaces. We must protect everyone’s right to record.

Sincerely,

Access

American Civil Liberties Union

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Free Press

National Press Photographers Association

New America Foundation

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Reporters Without Borders

Witness

One of the signing organizations, Free Press, posted a petition encouraging citizens to voice their opinions on this matter. I just signed it.

Holder seems to be receptive to the idea of protecting citizens who record police considering the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to a federal judge in January, reminding him of the Constitutional protections in these matters.

Holder, however, may be distracted by a memo that was also issued today formalizing the steps to hold him in contempt for allegedly withholding evidence in the ATF gunwalking scandal in which the U.S. government - under both Bush and Obama administrations - sold more than 2,000 guns to Mexican drug traffickers that ended up escalating the drug war down there.

According to CBS:

The case for a citation declaring Holder in contempt will be laid out in a briefing paper and 48-page draft citation distributed to Democrats and Republicans on the committee. CBS News has obtained copies of both documents. In them, Republican members use strong language to accuse Holder of obstructing the committee's investigation, which is now in its second year.

The documents allege that the Justice Department has issued, "false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts."

So hopefully today’s letter urging him to protect the First Amendment does not get overshadowed by the draft citation.

But considering a U.S. Border Patrol Agent was also killed with guns that were sold to the Mexican cartels, Holder might not be willing to further infuriate law enforcement officials by insisting they respect the First Amendment.

But if our past two presidential administrations had no problem allowing guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug traffickers, then this one shouldn’t have an issue allowing citizens to use cameras without fear of getting arrested.

http://www.pixiq.com/article/journalism ... um=twitter
I'm not really a proper reporter, due to the chronic lack of discipline, negligible attention span, and a certain juvenile difficulty taking serious things seriously.
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Re: Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photograp

Postby HockeyGuy » Fri May 04, 2012 2:58 pm

This is a direct proportion to people getting in trouble regarding photos is in proportion to the corruption/blackness of the U.S..
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Re: Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photograp

Postby coldharvest » Fri May 04, 2012 6:10 pm

HockeyGuy wrote:This is a direct proportion to people getting in trouble regarding photos is in proportion to the corruption/blackness of the U.S..

yep
I know the law. And I have spent my entire life in its flagrant disregard.
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Re: Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photograp

Postby nowonmai » Fri May 04, 2012 6:49 pm

HockeyGuy wrote:This is a direct proportion to people getting in trouble regarding photos is in proportion to the corruption/blackness of the U.S..



Racist
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Re: Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photograp

Postby HockeyGuy » Sat May 05, 2012 5:37 am

nowonmai wrote:
HockeyGuy wrote:This is a direct proportion to people getting in trouble regarding photos is in proportion to the corruption/blackness of the U.S..



Racist

...and then some.
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Re: Organizations Urge AG To Take Action In War On Photograp

Postby HockeyGuy » Mon May 14, 2012 4:35 pm

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