Americans are very proud of their 1st amendment. I would be too. However there seems an unavoidable gulf in its application. The patriot act which gives and exception to its use in almost any circumstance and the lack of respect by corporate news for factual NEWS reporting.
I fully admit I favour a socialised capitalist state, where private companies are allowed to operate with the minimum of laws ensuring a fair and ethical trading environment. So yes i back the Occupy movement.
However I also passionately believe in the necessity of a free press. A press which as long as they are not obstructing the police, are free to move, free to question and free to report on the actions of all members of society.
When like in the clearing of Zuccotti Park, the police [NYPD] blatantly obstruct the operations and free movement of the press, whilst carrying out such a controversial clearing on behalf of business, the very fabric of the ideals of democracy are called into question.
Four Journalists were reported as being detained on 15th November:
- Julie Walker[NPR], Arrested in the early hours despite wearing NYPD issued Press ID.
- Matthew Lysiak[NYDN], Arrested near Trinity Wall Street Church at 12:15[Eastern]
- Karen Matthews and Seth Wenig[AP] Also at Trinity Wall Street Church, Near Duarte Sq.
The reports of photographers having lenses smashed with batons and press exclusion is truly frightening. More so are videos of journalists declaring who they are and showing press credentials, yet still being arrested.
It all makes one wonder how the USA and NY in particular can claim to be a free liberal societal democracy, rather than a business ruled police state.