Press photographer assaulted at Climate Camp

Freelance photojournalist Jonathan Warren reports that he was kicked in the stomach yesterday by a Climate Camp participant who was attempting to force another photographer to delete pictures from his camera. This is what happens when a group of know-nothing hotheads attempts to set up “media free zones” in a public space, the inevitable consequence of which is confrontation with journalists going about their job.

In the very public space that is Blackheath, there can be no grounds for the appropriation of the commons, and establishment of “media free zones”. Climate Camp is not a private residence in which the occupants can expect privacy. Climate Camp is not entitled to impose such rules.

Addendum

Take a look at this comment left on Jonathan’s blog.

What planet is this guy living on? It is not for a press photographer – a proper journalist, not a Indymedia propagandist with a video camera – to attend Climate Camp internal meetings. I know that Climate Camp has been calling for journalists to join in camp life, but this would be crossing an ethical line in the sand.

Instead of hectoring a journalist for going public about a violent assault upon his person, Climate Camp should be thanking him for not going to the police.

Climate Camp’s “media policy” is unenforceable, and journalists reporting on the camp have a job to do. That job is not to act as an extension of Climate Camp’s PR operation.