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Received - Sunday 30th April Hiya Indymediafolks Thought you should see this..use it if you want! -----Original Message----- From: <----------> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Yours Jim Thomas, participant.
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