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After UN Throws Press Out of GA As Non-Wire, Has No Wire Definition

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 17, more here -- As the UN General Assembly began voting on October 16, Inner City Press took and tweeted pictures from the photographers' booth above the GA Hall, as it has countless times before.

   It was announced that no photograph should be taken of the actually voting. Viewing this as arbitrary censorship, Inner City Press on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access tweeted a photograph of the voting desks, complete with (successful) candidate New Zealand's swag bag.

  The UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit came in and ordered Inner City Press to leave the spot from which it was working, saying the spot was for wire services.

  Inner City Press, again on behalf of FUNCA, asked for the UN's definition of wire services. There was none given. And the alternative booth that Inner City Press found on its own had no chair, no translation, no even any sound as the vote totals were called out. Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand and Spain won, and Turkey lost, as reported here.

   (Inner City Press for FUNCA raised this UN censorship of photographs, in the context of gifts and votes and who won, on Huffington Post Live's World Brief on October 17, here.)

  At the October 17 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press on behalf of FUNCA asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric what the definition of wire services, used to throw Inner City Press out, was. Video here.

  Dujarric, saying he was quoting a Supreme Court justice on another topic, said, What is a wire service? I know one when I see one, adding that he didn't think Inner City Press met the (undefined) definition.

He told another FUNCA-friendly photographer he would "introduce" her to the head of MALU.

  This is unacceptable. But the old UN Correspondents Association, become the UN's Censorship Alliance, said nothing. Instead, Dujarric's own spokesman's office promoted an UNCA meeting for those who pay it money to ostensibly discuss access. But UNCA said nothing when Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous physically blocked the Press' camera (Vine here); in fact, UNCA big wigs tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN. We'll have more on this.


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