THE NUJ participated in the open meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority, (MPA) Civil Liberties Panel on 5 November: the MPA is the London Assembly body that oversees policing in the capital. The meeting focused on the policing of demonstrations in London, with particular reference to the G20 protests in April 2009. NUJ Freelance Organiser John Toner attended, along with Legal Officer Roy Mincoff and freelance photographer David Hoffman. John reported the NUJ's contributions were well received.
The finding of the MPA panel of particular relevance to journalists was that "the police should facilitate open media coverage of events and not impede access", and that police should ensure that "communication with the broader public via the media must be factual and objective, and should not present demonstrations as potential conflicts." The Civil Liberties panel meeting on 15 December was to hear evidence from media workers addressing "key issues of concern provided by the media representatives". We hope to report on this shortly. John Toner also spoke at an officers' briefing at Met's Public Order Training Centre in Gravesend, ahead of August's Climate Camp.