Thursday, May 03, 2012

[PDI] Fwd: Save Our Right to Record

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Josh Stearns," <>
Date: May 3, 2012 12:02 PM
Subject: Save Our Right to Record
To: "Daniel A. Stafford" <>

[image:] <>


Dear Daniel,

Today is World Press Freedom Day — but it sure doesn't feel like it here in
the U.S.

Since September, police have arrested dozens of journalists and activists
around the country for the "crime" of trying to document political protests
in public spaces.1

People using iPhones, Androids and other mobile devices are changing the
way we record and share breaking news. In return, police have targeted,
harassed — and in many cases, arrested — those trying to capture images and
video of public events.

I have documented more than 75 such arrests since the Occupy Wall Street
movement began. *It has gotten so bad that America's global press freedom
ranking has dropped to a historic low, according to two separate surveys.*2

Today Free Press and a coalition of free speech and digital rights groups
are reclaiming the First Amendment for the millions who want the freedom to
document events in public spaces. We have sent a letter urging Attorney
General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to defend our "right to

*Please Join Us and Sign the Letter. Protect Everyone's Right to

Whether you're a credentialed journalist, a protester or a bystander with a
smartphone, you are guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and
freedom of access to information. Your right to document public events must
also be protected.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it this way. Conflicts are escalating
between those trying to bear witness on one side and local police and
government officials on the other. All too often, the First Amendment is
caught in the middle.

As protests and election-year events unfold in 2012, we must guard these
rights and protect the networks that help us voice our political beliefs. *Our
First Amendment right to record must extend to everyone. *

*Thank you for signing on to our

Josh Stearns
Free Press

P.S. Like our work? The Free Press Action Fund is powered by donations from
people like you. We don't take a single cent from business, government or
political parties. Please keep us going strong with a gift of $10 — or more
— today.<>Thank

1. "Tracking Journalist Arrests at Occupy Protests Around the Country,"<>

2. "Press Freedom Index 2011–2012," Reporters Without Borders,<>

3. "Free Speech and Digital Rights Groups Call on Department of Justice to
Protect Everyone's Right to Record," Free Press,<>

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the
media. Learn more at<>

Join us on Facebook <> and follow us on
Twitter <!/freepress>.

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