- Category: news
- Created: Monday, 28 October 2013 14:57
- Published: Monday, 28 October 2013 14:57
- Written by Administrator 3
- Hits: 540
Fredericton Police ordered a Sun News Network reporter to move his camera after his attempt to videotape a Native protest was blocked.
Crowds gathered in a Fredericton park Saturday to erect the traditional Native longhouse to protest exploratory shale fracking in Rexton, N.B.
Sgt. Mike Hudson told Sun News reporter Josh Skurnik to move after the protesters blocked his camera, despite Skurnik being on public property and behaving professionally.
A YouTube video shot by the protesters shows a group denouncing Sun News as "racist,” and bunching together to block the camera.
Global News was allowed to freely videotape the longhouse raising.
"There is an issue with one person, and that one person is here,” said Hudson. “We have a peaceful protest here, and I don't want any issue whatsoever. You can have any picture ... if you move back 15 or 20 feet and give them some room."
Later, a protester says: "We're staying on our side, while blocking the Sun News camera. Hudson responds: "Well, it's all your side."
This is the third time in a week New Brunswick Native protesters and their supporters have prevented Sun News reporters from doing their jobs.
Last weekend, reporter Kris Sims was stopped and threatened by Native protesters in Rexton as she videotaped the burnt-out hulks of six RCMP vehicles destroyed by protesters' Molotov cocktails.
On Thursday, Native security barred Skurnik from covering a news conference with the visiting Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Shawn Atleo.
Sun News vice-president Kory Teneycke said the intervention by Fredericton Police is very disturbing.
"This incident took place in a public park. The police should be aware of the long-established right, both under common law and the Charter of Rights, of the news media to report on events taking place in public space,” Teneycke said.
“The intervention of the Fredericton Police is highly inappropriate and we will be filing a formal complaint. We also are deeply concerned over the assault of two of our reporters earlier this week while covering this story. Our expectation is simple: the police should uphold the law."