Police Begin Arresting Journalists for Covering Just Stop Oil Protests as a 'Warning' to Others
Stop Reporting on the do gooders or else face arrest and imprisonment says Police Chief.
The M25 has been targeted by eco-terrorists all week, with more attacks planned but rather than arrest the protestors, Metropolitan Police have arrested the journalists reporting the attacks.
Police get to decide who can report on what.
A reporter and photographer for LBC were arrested by Hertfordshire Police who later claimed that they did so because 'journalists should stop reporting on it'. These actions were described as 'chilling' by other journalists as freedom of the press appears to have given way to authoritarian censorship.
Journalists get arrested for the same offence as protesters.
Charlotte Lynch, a reporter from LBC radio, was a considerable distance from the protesters on the gantry, and was in possession of an accredited press card which a two minute telephone call would have verified. Nonetheless, she was apprehended by officers on “suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance” and subsequently imprisoned for five hours. Lynch was arrested for exactly the same offence as the protesters.
But matters don't end there; the explanation of the arrest by David Lloyd, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, becomes really alarming. He did not defend it on the basis that his force somehow may have made a mistake, Lloyd confirmed that the arrest was deliberate and targeted saying: “think about how we as a society… ensure that the oxygen of publicity that Just Stop Oil is seeking is moderated, so that we don’t end up with people doing this and really they’re only doing it because they know it’s going to be reported.”
State Censorship of the Press
Whilst not giving Just Stop Oil the oxygen of publicity may be a good idea, the Police have overstepped the mark by effectively deciding what news outlets can and cannot report. This is a chilling prospect but one all to familiar in 21st century Britain.
Echoes of the STASI
This appears to have echoes of the East German state police during the 1970s who decided what was reported, and by whom, with no criticism allowed against the state-machine. A free press is one of the cornerstones of a democratic society, you would think that a Crime Commissioner would be in possession of those basic facts.