Org blasts treatment at Dem, GOP conventions

The WGA East has weighed in with a condemnation of the arrests and harassment of working journalists at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

“Journalists have not only the right, but the duty, to be present at important events and to keep the public informed,” the WGA East Council said in a statement issued Thursday. “Whether they represent independent media or mainstream outlets, they are the eyes and ears of the people. They must be respected and allowed to work wherever a story takes them.”

The WGA East has about 4,000 members, including newswriters and staffers. An ABC producer was arrested at the DNC last week, and four journalists were arrested earlier this week at the RNC, including Amy Goodman, host of the radio and television program “Democracy Now!”

As of Thursday, authorities had made about 300 local arrests in St. Paul, Minn., doubling the 154 in Denver during the DNC.

“We decry the mass arrests, raids and questionable tactics that the police have deployed against working journalists at these conventions,” the WGA East said. “We call for the immediate release of all journalists, the dropping of charges against them and an investigation into allegations of police misconduct.”

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