Complaint from the National Union of Journalists

Confronting photographers on a demo in Nantes

Confronting photographers on a demo in Nantes

A while ago we published an article, sent to us anonymously, entitled “In Defence of Smashing Cameras“. The self-proclaimed (??) National Union of Journalists (NUJ) did not like this article, and sent us the following response:

The NUJ PHOTOGRAPHER’S COUNCIL has responded to an online comment piece
urging people to smash media cameras:

“The NUJ is appalled at the recent article on a self-proclaimed anarchist website which advocates the smashing of cameras used to film or photograph protests and demonstrations, if such image making does not meet with the approval of protesters, or if the image makers are not ‘partisans and accomplices in social war’.

“The suggestion to smash cameras of those who are there as media is an  incitement to violence and is condemned by the NUJ.

“Our job is to record events. The NUJ condemns all violence against the media, for whatever reason and from whatever source.”

Comment from Rabble:

If we defend ourselves from those who both parasite off our resistance and could send us to jail for it, we are labelled violent. “Violence” is both a selling point for the spectacle-loving media, and then the trump card they use to delegitimise resistance.

In this society, journalists think they have the right to take and publish any pictures they want, without asking for consent, and regardless of any consequences. Few journalists give a flying fuck if their photos or videos become incriminating evidence used to screw up people’s lives as they are separated from their loved ones and psychologically tortured in hellholes called prisons.

But no, like the police, photographers certainly aren’t violent, they’re just ‘doing their job’. Violence is what troublemakers do (poor people, black people, people who have no respect for authority, etc.) Prison, of course, is not violence: it is deserved punishment carried out by legitimate authorities, and necessary to the functioning of society. If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide, right?

So, the journalists’ representatives are incensed about damage to cameras. But they don’t deign to notice the damage done by prison, or consider how photographers may contribute to this as police evidence gatherers.

As we understood the article, it was not calling for attacks on people taking photographs responsibly and respectfully, but referring to the need to protect ourselves against arrogant, dangerous fuckwits who don’t care about anything but their own egos and careers.

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