Monday, December 12, 2005

Freedom of the Press My Spicey Arse!

(All Photos By Isis)

Photojournalist Jeffery Willis of Toledo was arrested Saturday Dec 10th, 2005 for trying to do his job of taking photos of a Nazi rally on the public square of the Toledo City's Government Center.

As was this photographer (photo to the right) name unknown.

Both were arrested within the first hour of the rally, even before the Nazis decided to show up, as they were an hour and a half late.

Earlier that day, I myself was threatened with arrest for taking a street shot of a small anti-racist group of kids who were being detained and their forms of identification were being confiscated by the Toledo police.

Thus, it was not a very good day to be a journalist or a photographer trying to get the stories and images of a group of 30 some odd uniformed Nazis who had come into this small, yet edgey mid-western town to express their views on life to the public or those who wanted to protest in opposition.

Yet, there was one photo-journalist from my own home town of Arlington, VA, who had no troubles at all with dodging police, mounties, and slipping on horse manure in the caged areas limited to the press and the public, and that was Getty Images photographer David Holloway.

David was snugged in very secure in the area that was set up for the Nazis themselves on the steps of the Government Center.

And why? Well, the answer to that is very simple, David Holloway himself is a "White Nationalist" activist for a group called "White Revolution".

(David is the bloke in the brown cap w/camera)

Now, I personally don't have anything against Mr. Holloway, I am sure he is a nice enough person and his work is really quite good.

I also understand that being that because HE IS a "White Nationalist" and a "Nazi Supporter" it would give him the rights to have the "back stage pass".

But, it weighs in very unfairly that while Holloway clicked his shutter away, protected by affiliation and membership with the White Nationalists, other more objective and "racialist detached" members of the press were harassed, arrested, shoved around by cops on horses and basically blocked from properly recording the event for the general public.

I do not agree with the Nazis, their ideals, their reasons to believe what they believe.

But, I do support their rights to freedom of speech.

Along with the freedom of speech is freedom of the press and the freedom of protest.

And unfortunatly, in Toledo on Dec 10, 2005, let the record stand that these latter rights were in severe violation by the Toledo city officials.

May we all learn one day that it is not always worth giving in to fears with the imposition of a martial law band-aid, for the violation of our civil liberties causes more damage to a society than the burning of a local bar ever could.