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News Archives 5101-5120
Number Title Post Date
5101 US Senate to hold hearing on Facebook tracking cookies 17/11/2011 13:30:50
5102 UK government instructs Unum Insurance to profit from British disabled 17/11/2011 13:31:41
5103 Telegraph hires virulent homophobe as columnist 17/11/2011 13:32:39
5104 Occupy London to mark passing of City of London Corporation deadline 17/11/2011 13:34:00
5105 Police State Violence: Tactics Against The Occupy Movement 17/11/2011 13:35:34
5106 House Bill would spare thousands of dietary supplements from shelf removal 22/11/2011 15:39:17
5107 Stop targeting this imaginary army of long-term British sick 22/11/2011 15:43:47
5108 Support The ATOS Two 22/11/2011 15:44:53
5109 Assange hires Pirate Bay lawyer 22/11/2011 15:51:30
5110 Army sets pre-trial hearing date for Bradley Manning 22/11/2011 15:54:16
5111 Civil case allegations about mobile phone Location Data snooping by the News of the World 22/11/2011 15:55:50
5112 Vitamins Decrease Lung Cancer Risk by 50% 22/11/2011 15:57:08
5113 Pharmaceutical Drugs Linked to Childhood Diabetes 22/11/2011 15:58:07
5114 Chronic fatigue syndrome researcher Judy Mikovits arrested 22/11/2011 15:59:44
5115 Smoke, Mirrors, and the 'Disappearance' Of Polio 22/11/2011 16:01:12
5116 GAVI funding fatal polio vaccines 22/11/2011 16:03:10
5117 Bush and Blair found guilty of war crimes for Iraq attack 25/11/2011 15:29:55
5118 Occupy London responds to the Evening Standard 25/11/2011 15:32:30
5119 The Highest Earners Need To Be Very Careful About The R-Word 25/11/2011 15:40:57
5120 The Swing of That Truncheon Thing 25/11/2011 15:42:42

[Previous] [Next]

Occupy London responds to the Evening Standard
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http://occupylsx.org/

Response from Occupy London below to some of the media reaction to the City of London Corporation legal bundle. Occupy London would like to welcome media to come and find out what its welfare team has been up to since the camp started and is currently booking slots for one to one interviews beginning tomorrow. To make an appointment please call 07745 651634.

Occupy London

For immediate release

Main press phone: +44 (0) 845 299 6175; Additional media numbers: 07910 455881 / 07845 578229 / 07913 228601 / 07592 424578 / 07719 626890 / 07780 572995
Email – press@occupylsx.org

23 November 2011

Occupy London responds to the Evening Standard

Since the City of London Corporation published its legal bundle over the weekend - an account of its case that naturally gives a rather one sided picture of Occupy London Stock Exchange and its camp at St Paul's Churchyard - there have been a series of stories in the media which give an account of the allegations in that bundle.

We are not afraid of criticism and negative news stories are something we expect. In the usual scheme of things, we would see no need to make a particular comment on those stories. But sometimes you need to take a stand.

Last night the Evening Standard ran a front page story ("Needle bins at St Paul's camp to beat junkie health hazard") that we think oversteps the mark. We have never sought to hide the fact that some of the more vulnerable members of our society have sought solace at our camps, not so much for the food and shelter we provide as for the sense of community we have established in contrast to their experience in wider society. [1]

Feeding prejudice and stigma
Feeding prejudice and victimising vulnerable members of our society, as the tone and placement of this article did, is not a hallmark of quality journalism. To invoke the spectre of an AIDS scare on the basis of unsubstantiated speculation is as unprofessional as it is inappropriate, coming as it does just a few days before World AIDS Day on 1st December.

Many of these vulnerable groups who have been included in press reporting - including the homeless, those with mental heath issues, drug and alcohol addictions, those living with HIV and others - are already being victimised by the government via cuts to vital services. Reporting of this nature only serves to stigmatise people that are part of our society, however much discomfort that fact may cause to some.

To see the Evening Standard perpetuating this social division is particularly puzzling in light of their 'dispossessed' campaign. [2] Occupy London wonders what it might be that makes some of the dispossessed more deserving of sympathy than others.

Fighting for a more just society
Occupy London is a place where everyone is valued for what they contribute to our society and everyone is encouraged to participate in that society to the best of their ability. We are very clear about the standards we expect but we are, above all, inclusive. That is something to be proud of.

Some of those who have come to join us at Occupy London bring their pre-existing problems with them. While we freely admit that some of these problems are beyond our capability to solve, we owe it to all members of our community to do what we can and not abandon those who seek refuge with us.

We are proud that campers and supporters at Occupy London have been proactive in dealing with potentially challenging situations. A responsible approach to reporting what happens in our community needs to recognise the difficulty of some of the situations facing us, as well as the efforts we are making to ameliorate those situations - efforts which are greater in many instances than those of the bodies which have the statutory duty to do so.

The less responsible approach to reporting these difficult situations is to condemn those in our society who are least able to exercise their right of reply. Not only does this badly misrepresent the actual prevalence of addiction and mental health issues in the vicinity of the London Stock Exchange, we are not even sure it makes for good copy. [2]

A call for calm and responsible reporting
While we understand the imperatives of the news cycle, we would like to renew our call for calm and responsible reporting. [3] We ask that the media give everyone involved in the camp fair representation. We are not the only ones to have recognised this need, as when the London Central Branch of the National Union of Journalists recently came out in support of Occupy London, it stated that 'Fox News-style coverage is not acceptable in Britain' as well as reminding its members to push for fair and accurate reporting. [4]

To reiterate: we are not afraid of difficult questions - in fact that, in a fundamental sense, is what we're about. Occupy London is a diverse group of Londoners and supporters who have come together to open up a space for dialogue challenging social and economic inequality in the fight for global democracy. Therefore it is important that we address the allegations and issues that have been raised in the media in relation to the City of London Corporation legal papers in a full and open manner.

Meet the welfare team
We have always held that the best way of understanding what goes on at Occupy London is to come down and see for yourself. To that end, we invite members of the press to meet members of our welfare team and others across the camp including our health & safety and sanitation working groups, to ask the questions they feel need answering. Do contact the press team to book a one-to-one interview.

Notes

[1] November 3 - Important Occupy London call for welfare assistance - http://occupylsx.org/?p=7604
[2] Evening Standard's Dispossessed campaign http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/dispossessed/ /
[
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/advertorials/dispossessed.do
[3] Cocktails and cocaine clubs are becoming commonplace in the Square Mile
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/article-24005992-cocktails-and-cocaine-clubs-are-becoming-commonplace-in-the-square-mile.do

[4] Occupy London Statement on #9Nov and the Right to Protest http://occupylsx.org/?p=857
[5] http://nujlondoncentral.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/solidarity-motions-passed-at-london-central-branch-tonight/

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Related Links:
* What’s on
Occupy London
* Build up to N30 Strike
Occupy London
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