Friday, November 21, 2014

Journalism is not terrorism

What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:

A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the Metropolitan police has been recording their professional activities on a secret database designed to monitor so-called domestic extremists.

The six journalists have obtained official files that reveal how police logged details of their work as they reported on protests. One photographer discovered that the Met police had more than 130 entries detailing his movements, including what he was wearing, at demonstrations he attended as a member of the press.

They have started the legal action to expose what they say is a persistent pattern of journalists being assaulted, monitored and stopped and searched by police during their work, which often includes documenting police misconduct.

This is an appalling abuse of police power. Sadly, it seems to be entirely normal behaviour for the British police, who treat any democratic dissent of questioning of those in power as terrorism. As a result, they've spied - on a massive scale - on peaceful protestors, politicians, and even their own victims. This is a force which is rotten to the core, more suited to a totalitarian state than a democratic society. It is long past time it was cleaned out and made fit for a modern democracy.