Stop the Blackout of Violence Against #NoDAPL Journalists
While the rise in rhetorical attacks on the press in DC is bizarre and threatening, at Standing Rock, attacks on the media are brutal and real. The list of physical and legal abuses of professional and citizen journalists at the #NoDAPL protests is heartbreaking:
- Eric Poemz was taken down by four officers while livestreaming police actions on Feb. 22. Unicorn Riot filmed Eric screaming “you broke my hip!” while officers piled on top of him.
- Erin Schrode, co-founder of Turning Green, was interviewing an indigenous water protector when she was suddenly shot with a rubber bullet by riot police across the river.
- In November, Unicorn Riot’s Pat Boyle was shot in the abdomen with a rubber bullet while filming — the bullet tore right through his press pass.
- Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman was arrested at Standing Rock in September and charged first with trespassing, then with rioting, before charges were dropped. She had provide live coverage of private security firms using dog attacks on peaceful water protectors.
If you want to have a free press, it can’t be freedom only on the terms of law enforcement or the First Amendments is as good as dead. You need to make sure these front-line stories are heard.
On March 9, journalists will hold an alternative press briefing right across from the White House to expose the atrocities against journalists in America as seen on the front lines at Standing Rock.
Contribute $10, $20, $50 or more now to help the Free the Press project expose and fight back against efforts to stop the free press and the brave journalists who report directly from the front lines. Your gift is needed for us to reach our $29,300 goal by March 9.
We’ll use these funds to host the event across from the White House where we’ll help end the blackout of violence against #NoDAPL journalists and water protectors, and to build the ongoing infrastructure we’ll need to make sure that journalists can freely cover the water protectors movement and expose all police brutality and government corruption that threaten our country.
The abuses documented above are just the start of what’s been happening at Standing Rock and to journalists reporting on #NoDAPL actions:
- On Feb. 23, citizen journalist Ed Higgins was among many arrested during the latest raids of water protector camps.
- In September, Unicorn Riot reporters in North Dakota were arrested despite holding up their press credentials and identifying themselves as press.
- Jenn Schreiter was arrested and charged with trespassing while covering a #NoDAPL protest at a construction site in Iowa.
- Filmmaker Sara Lafleur-Vetter was charged on October 22 with trespassing and engaging in a riot in one of the largest mass arrests at Standing Rock, when 127 were detained.
- Jenni Monet, reporting for Indian Country Today and the Center for Investigative Reporting, was arrested in February and charged with trespass and rioting after being held with water protectors for several hours in a cage-like holding pen.
- Deia Schlosberg, a producer with Josh Fox’s documentary filmmaking crew was arrested while filming in North Dakota, held for 48 hours without access to an attorney, and charged with three felonies.
- Jihan Hafiz, an award-winning Egyptian-Samoan journalist arrested and charged while reporting on #NoDAPL told the Committee to Project Journalists that she thought the assignment would be “a walk in the park” after covering conflicts in the Middle East and police brutality in Brazil for outlets including The Real News Network and Al-Jazeera America. “These are not American tactics of policing [at Standing Rock]. It’s clear to me that covering this is dangerous.”
- Charges against journalists arrested at Standing Rock have included felony conspiracy, trespass, and rioting.
- Journalists have had their cars towed and impounded. Cameras and memory cards have been seized and some never returned.