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Received - Sunday 30th April

Hiya Indymediafolks
Thought you should see this..use it if you want!

-----Original Message-----
From: <---------->
To: newsonline@bbc.co.uk 
Date: 30 April 2000 19:40
Subject: skewed and selective reporting

Dear BBC online

I'm writing because i'm absolutely disgusted at your reporting of today's
protest against the terrorism bill in Highbury fields. As you will be aware
many hundreds of people from  different campaigning movements turned up in
the rain to stage a rerun of Seargant Peppers album cover. They produced a
photo montage showing the diversity of people who may be criminalised by
the new Prevention of Terrorism Bill. This Bill represents a fundemental and
unprecedented attack on civil liberties and the right to peaceful protest
and this was an imaginative, creative and very visual response to it.

Your report ("Protest continues peacefully") hardly mentioned the Terrorism
bill which was the exact reason so many people had gathered together, nor
did it refer to or even show a picture of the range of people who were
present in opposition to that bill becaus they will be affected - groups
spanning from peace activists and trade unionists, to lawyers, to
environmental campaigners to journalists. Instead your report focused on
two minor celebrities and was instead all about how violence was expected by
police the following day on an unconnected event. Even in your links to
relevant websites you linked to the metropolitan police and city of london
police websites and failed to link to either the campaign against the
terrorism bill (http://www.blagged.freeserve.co.uk/terrorbill/) those who
were organising the event (known as A30  - http://drink.to/dissent), the
website of groups such as Liberty who are campaigning against the bill
(http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/) or the independent media site
(www.indymedia.org.uk) that is covering all the mayday weekend events. One
of the groups camapaigning against the bill is the campaign for press and
broadcasting freedom - this bill even affects you.

The Indymedia site in particular has been set up because some campaigners
believe that mainstream "corporate controlled" media consistently fails to
represent the reality of why protests are occurring, more interested in
following preset agendas.  Indeed in the run up to Mayday all we have heard
are sensationalist stories about 'inevitable' riot, This is exactly the
sort of rubbish that creates a climate in which the government feels it has the
excuse to further erode civil liberties. It was abundantly clear to anyone
at Highbury field why all those 'protestors' had come together - because
democracy is being undone, there were leaflets that explained it, huge
colurful banners and a tableaux of hundreds of people that showed what a
draconian farce the new terrorism bill is. Your skewed reporting ignored
all of that and appears to have proved the pessimism of the independent media
organisers absolutely right.

I am extremely saddened. Please rewrite this story.


Jim Thomas, participant.

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