Free Press Condemns Ongoing Arrests of Journalists at Occupy Protests

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Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

On Saturday, six journalists, many with press credentials, were arrested when Oakland, Calif. police clashed with Occupy protesters. These arrests bring the total number of journalists detained in Occupy protests nationwide to nearly 50. Free Press has been tracking journalist arrests and press suppression related to the Occupy movement since September. The full list can be viewed here: http://storify.com/jcstearns/tracking-journalist-arrests-during-the-occupy-prot.

“While most of the attention surrounding journalist arrests at Occupy protests has focused on New York City, these arrests in Oakland remind us that this is a national issue,” said Josh Stearns, Free Press journalism and public media campaign director. “Saturday marked the worst night for press freedom in the United States since the NYPD’s raid on Zuccotti Park last fall. It is easy to count the number of journalists who were arrested, but it is impossible to quantify the number of stories that will go untold because of this interference with freedom of the press.”

Journalists arrested in Oakland included Gavin Aronsen of Mother Jones, freelance journalist Susie Cagle, Yael Chanoff of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Kristin Hanes of KGO Radio, Vivian Ho of the San Francisco Chronicle and John Osborn of the Bay Area Reporta.

Since September journalists have been arrested at Occupy events in 10 cities around the U.S. Due in large part to these arrests, the United States plunged 27 spots in Reporters Without Borders’ 2011 press freedom index. The United States is now ranked 47th in the world for press freedom.

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