NUJ calls for support against far right groups

The National Union of Journalists has submitted an emergency motion to the TUC conference in response to alleged attacks on journalists during an English Defence League Rally.

The motion urges the TUC’s general council to call on police to take action against EDL supporters who attack trade unionists and to support and assist affiliate unions when ‘far-right groups threaten the health and safety of their members”.

Last week the NUJ alleged journalists covering a rally in East London were subjected to a series of ‘violent attacks’including allegations of physical assault, racist abuse, bottles and fireworks being thrown at the press and photographers being punched and kicked.

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An eye-witness later gave Press Gazette their account of how a photographer was set on fire and how a female journalist had made a complaint of a sexual assault.

In its motion the NUJ said: ‘Congress publically condemns the actions of the EDL and the ways in which they target media workers and congress will continue to support all trade unionists that are targeted by the far-right.

‘Far right attacks on media workers are aimed at deterring them from carrying out their work and are designed to intimidate trade union members and stop the media reporting on far-right activity.

‘Such attacks are a violation of press freedom and an attack on our democracy. Congress expresses solidarity with NUJ members and calls on the general council to campaign publically against far-right groups”.

Meanwhile, delegates have backed a separate NUJ motion calling for a legal “conscience clause” to stop journalists being sacked if they ‘stand up for a principle of journalistic ethics”.



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