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TVO's Paikin: G20 Police Assaulted AMC Journalist

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AMC journalists and TCMN members
AMC journalists and TCMN members

Don't let Christie Blatchford fool you.

Blatchford, the Globe and Mail columnist who's being protested amid accusations of being racist towards 6-Nations, also declared after the G20 that several journalists covering the summit who were threatened with rape, severely assaulted and subject to homophobic slurs by police, weren't actually journalists

The fact that disqualified them from the title of 'journalist' was of course that they were journalists with the Alternative Media Centre (AMC), some of whom were also members of the Toronto Media Co-op.

Writing in her Globe and Mail column, Blatchford has this obviously-fact-checked gem to illuminate her readers with:  "Of course, let us not pretend that these folks are working journalists or that they are the equivalent. They aren't, for the most part."

Sadly for her, facts aren't the only thing going against Ms. Blatchford these days.

It seems prominent Ontarian journalist Steve Paikin also disagrees.

Today, Paikin, who hosts TVOntario's (TVO) the Agenda with Steve Paikin, testified at a parliamentary committee that he saw Altenative Media Centre journalist Jesse Rosenfeld being assaulted by police.  An article in the Toronto Star quotes Paikin as saying:

"I did see the police assault a journalist. They took his accreditation because they wanted to check out whether he was who he said he was. Two police officers held him, He was chippy, he didn’t swear but he was talking a lot. He was saying ‘Why are you holding me. There is no need to hold me. I am who I say I am’.

“One officer held one arm, The other officer held the other arm and a third officer came up to him and basically told him to shut up three times, punched him in the stomach. He doubled over. The same officer brought his elbow down on the small of his back and flattened him. It seemed to me that that was a massive overreaction to try and check to see whether somebody was who he said he was."

Rosenfeld was an AMC member who has done freelance work for the Guardian.  He was wearing his Guardian credentials at the time of the assault and has spoke of the incident in video segments on the CBC and Democracy Now! 

He has also filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, along with AMC journalists Amy Miller, Daniel McIsaac and Lisa Walter.

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Gwalgen Dent (Gwalgen Geordie Dent)
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Toronto Star coverage of this

Toronto Star coverage of this on the second page of the Dec 7 issue describes the reporter only as working for the Guardian. They didn't go as far as Blatchford in denying that he's a journalist, but it seems that by omitting this they're consistent with the Globe by not considering independent journalism to be sufficiently legitimate to deserve protection from harassment in its own right.

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