In Light of 'Occupy' Arrests, New Group 'To Monitor NYPD/Press Relations'

The New York Press Club announced on their website this afternoon that they were forming “The Coalition for the First Amendment,” along with other local media groups in order to monitor relations between the NYPD and the press.

The announcement comes as the relationship between the police and the fourth estimated have reached a new low, with journalists being kept away from the midnight raid on Zuccotti Park last week, an action that saw the arrest of a nearly two dozen journalists.

“When New York City police evicted “Occupy Wall Street” protesters from Zuccotti Park in the early hours of Tuesday, November 15th, more than 20 journalists were arrested and several were injured,” the coalition said in a statement. “In what appeared to be a planned maneuver, police officers forced reporters and photographers so far away from Zuccotti Park that they could not see what was happening. They roughed up people who were trying to fulfill their duty to report the news.

“We have formed this coalition to monitor police actions. What the police did on November 15th to suppress coverage of their activities was intolerable. We are determined to use any means needed to fight such censorship in the future. In the city in which John Peter Zenger fought for and helped establish freedom of the press, we can do no less.”

The letter is signed by the following groups:

Deadline Club
New York City Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
Rebecca Baker, president

Deadline Club Foundation
Charles Novitz, president

Newspaper Guild of New York
William J. O’Meara, president

News Media Guild
Tony Winton, president

New York Press Club
Glenn Schuck, president

New York Press Club Foundation
Gabe Pressman, president

Newswomen’s Club of New York
Toni Reinhold, president

New York Press Photographers Association
Dave Pokress, president

Society of Silurians
Tony Guida, president

In Light of 'Occupy' Arrests, New Group 'To Monitor NYPD/Press Relations'