Date: Thursday, August 29, 1996 News Alert: For Immediate Release Attention: News Assignment Police Escalate Harassment of Independent Reporters, Activists Freelancers, organizers charge pattern of intimidation and arrests intensifies Independent media reporters from CounterMedia will convene a press conference at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, at CounterMedia's offices in Teamsters' City, 1638 W. Van Buren, to discuss the arrest and police harassment of independent reporters and activists during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. On Wednesday evening, Chicago police stormed a media van occupied by stringers with CounterMedia, and moments later pulled them over again and illegally searched the van, threatening to ticket and arrest the driver and passengers for "not wearing seat belts." At the time, the freelancers were attempting to disembark and shoot tape of the Cash the Check demonstration at Damen and Washington. Two cameramen, both members of the CounterMedia collective, have been arrested in the last 48 hours in two separate incidents while covering demonstrations around the DNC. One reporter, Edmund Nix, was arrested Tuesday morning while shooting tape at a west side women's health clinic during an Operation Rescue demonstration. Another, Jeff Perlstein, was arrested near the United Center Tuesday evening when he attempted to interview Henry Horner residents about residents' experience with the police. Police have also repeatedly harassed members of Active Resistance, a progressive group which is holding counter-convention activities in Chicago during the convention. AR members say police have "visited" their activity site at least nine times in the last three days, have posted off-duty police officers near their space who have verbally harassed AR members and made obscene gestures at them, and have pulled over and attempted to intimidate AR conference attendees. Video tape of the incidents will be available at the press conference, and photos of the police actions are being posted up to the CounterMedia web site.
This news alert issued by CounterMedia, a coalition of political organizations, media groups and individuals dedicated to providing alternative coverage of the Democratic Convention and community struggle in Chicago.
CounterMedia Newsdesk 243-8367
CounterMedia Office 312-243-8342
Web page http://www.cpsr.cs.uchicago.edu/countermedia/