French journos ‘witnessing a deliberate effort to prevent us from working’
According to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) association, nearly 90 journalists have been victims of police violence since the beginning of the Yellow Vest movement. Independent reporters and photographers are at the forefront of reporting on the events.
Published: May 2, 2019, 10:50 am
After the arrest and custody of the independent journalist Gaspard Glanz during the demonstration of Yellow Vests on April 20, more than 350 media outlets, journalists, photographers, independent or belonging to editorials denounced police violence.
Glanz, also a signatory of a petition against the repression, was targeted after he exposed a new kind of pepper spray being tested on protesters. He manages the website Taranis News. Glanz asked the tank operator about it, but got no information in response.
Glanz is now being harassed by the French authorities. He has been forbidden to cover Yellow Vest demonstrations in Paris, and was recently jailed for several days.
The signatories warned that the precariousness of their working conditions and the physical and psychological aggression on the ground have become unbearable. They reclaimed their right to inform and underscored the freedom of the press.
“We, journalists in the field, independent journalists, or when writing, with or without a press card, decided to speak collectively to denounce the multiple incidences of state violence we have to suffer.
“For several years now and especially since the movement of Yellow Vests, each in our own way, but always in an information process, we are on the ground daily to document the news. Because of our profession of journalists, we are often at the forefront, in the midst of social struggles and sometimes confrontations between demonstrators and the police. We are exposed, we know it and we accept it.
But we note that as the social movement intensifies and its violence, our work has become increasingly risky, difficult, if not impossible. Our working conditions are deteriorating. We note that this is not mainly because of the demonstrators, but largely the behavior of the police themselves,” the petitioners pointed out.
“For three years now, we have been witnessing a deliberate attempt to prevent us from working, documenting, and testifying to what is going on during the protests. We are many,” they complained.
“By violence, we mean: scorn, almost systematic surveillance, intimidation, threats, insults. But also: attempts to destroy or seize equipment, erasure of memory cards, truncheons, voluntary and targeted gassings, tear gas fire, LBD shots, launched grenades, etc. Before the demonstrations, we even had our protective equipment (mask, helmet, glasses) confiscated.”
The petitioners added: “All these forms of violence have physical (injury), psychic (psychotrauma) or financial (broken or confiscated equipment) consequences. We are personally and professionally denigrated and criminalized.”
David Dufresne has counted at least 85 attacks on journalists specifically among the 698 reports he has recorded since the beginning of the Yellow Vests movement.
But all reporters are targeted, not only the card-carrying ones. “The vast majority of us are independent and precarious. Given the economic realities of our business, the press card has become extremely complicated to obtain, although we regularly publish in the major titles of the national and international press. Our daily life is competition, dumping, non-stop hours, split days.
“However, the police force systematically ask for the possession of a press card to allow us to work, even if they partially or totally ignore the legislation surrounding our profession. As a reminder, journalism is not a regulated profession. This is not the press card that justifies or not our profession. The press card is only a tool whose obtaining is underpinned by a tax obligation.”
France, a country of so-called human rights, is today ranked 32nd in the world press freedom ranking by RSF. “Freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of any democracy. Journalists can not be worried, harassed, threatened, hindered, insulted, injured in a democracy worthy of the name,” the signatories concluded.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
ParisRTL columnist Alba Ventura has rebelled against the leftist bias of the French student union, UNEF, which operates more and more like "a sect" according to her.
HamburgEducational experts from 54 Hamburg schools must contractually state that they are not members of the AfD. This is clear from contract documents leaked to the party through its online portal "Neutrale Schulen Hamburg", the AFD group said.
LondonIn the dispute over the new Brexit Plan of Prime Minister Theresa May, the Conservative Party has plunged in one of the last polls before the European elections. Only seven percent of voters would vote for the Tories, according to a survey.
Marine Le Pen invited the Yellow Vests to vote for the list led by the National Rally candidate Jordan Bardella to stop rising Islamism, while Nicolas Dupont-Aignan called for birth control in Africa.
On Saturday, May 18, Yellow Vest protesters were once again mobilized in Reims, Lyon, and Paris.
MilanRepresentatives of twelve patriotic parties of the Old Continent will gather on Saturday, May 18 in Italy, just days ahead of the European elections.
PalermoAn Italian teacher was suspended after her students were encouraged to denounce Interior Minister and League party leader Matteo Salvini as a murderous fascist dictator. She had instigated her young students "to say that Salvini is like Hitler because he exterminates the migrants" a League member explained.
To combat prison overcrowding, the French government plans to create some 7 000 additional places by 2022. The rise in inmates has coincided with a surge in immigration.
Brussels' functionary elites are nervous about “Russian meddling” in the upcoming EU elections. In the meantime they keep all gates open for US and Israeli interference in European politics.
BerlinThe extremely successful First Free Media Conference in the German Bundestag was hosted and attended by many courageous politicians of the AfD party and hundreds of free media workers including Oliver Flesch.