TUC: NUJ to call for support against EDL

NUJ logoThe National Union of Journalists intends to call on delegates at the TUC conference to publicly condemn alleged attacks on the press by members of the English Defence League.

The union has submitted an emergency motion to the conference over the alleged attacks, which it claims included a photographer being set on fire and another journalist sexually assaulted at an EDL rally earlier this month.

The motion, which the NUJ hopes to have accepted and added to the agenda of the conference today, calls on TUC members to publicly condemn the actions of the EDL, as well as campaigning against far-right groups and offering assistance to affiliate unions if their members are threatened. It also calls on the police to take action to identify and prosecute EDL supporters who attack trade unionists.

The NUJ claims to have received numerous reports of journalists being harassed, racially abused, and having bottles and fireworks thrown at them by the anti-Islamic group.

The motion submitted to the TUC conference calls the alleged attacks “aviolation of press freedom and an attack on our democracy”. “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,” it adds.

A spokesperson for the Met police confirmed that the force was investigating an allegation of assault at the rally in which a 17-year-old had his clothing set alight and suffered minor burns.

Journalism.co.uk, 12 September 2011