De Blasio wants administration, NYPD to explain to press association why reporters were obstructed at protest last night
4:40 pm Dec. 1, 2011
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is calling on the Administration to explain who (if anyone) directed police to keep reporters away from Occupy Wall Street protesters outside a fund-raiser for President Obama's reelection campaign last night.
Reporters claimed, as we reported here, that police removed them from the "free speech zone" where protesters were corralled in Midtown last night.
(Incidentally de Blasio himself is running for mayor in 2013.)
It's not his first foray into the issue. Here's the text of the statement:
It goes without saying that ensuring the President’s safety is paramount, but City officials have always protected it without infringing on the rights of the free press. Especially after the detention of journalists last month, and subsequent assurances that reporters would be allowed unhindered access to public events, I am deeply troubled by last night’s decision to prevent reporters from covering demonstrations outside an event attended by President Obama. I call on the Administration to disclose who made decisions regarding the obstruction of reporters last night and on November 15th, as well as to clearly state City policy regarding press access to events of public importance and submit it for review to a select committee of the New York Press Association.