Activists Encourage Protesters to Wear Press Badges to Evade Curfew

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Members of the D.C. National Guard watch as demonstrators protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. Protests continue to be held in cities throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man …
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Activists are encouraging protesters to wear press badges to stay out after curfew, according to social media posts.

One activist posted a link to a website that would provide free press credentials that activists can download, laminate, and wear, along with the hashtags #dcprotest #BlackLivesMatter #WashingtonDCProtest.

She tweeted Thursday, “Members of the press are exempt from the curfew. You can get a free press pass here,” along with a link to a website that allegedly belongs to an organization called “Constitution First Amendment Press Association” that consists of “a mostly anonymous association of independent American Citizen Journalists.”

The activist reshared her tweet again later in the day:

CFAPA’s website advertises free press credentials for “any adult American Citizen who accepts the group’s “Constitutional Journalist’s Pledge” and agrees to the group’s member terms and conditions.

The CFAPA website said:

‘The Press’ in America is no longer an exclusive club of ‘professional’ journalists. Today, in the age of camera-equipped cellphones, the Internet, blogs, and YouTube, ‘The Press’ now consists of every literate adult who owns a PC, tablet, or smartphone. The 21st Century is in fact the era of Citizen Journalists. The key requisite qualification to be considered part of “The Press” is simply enfranchisement as a Citizen–thereby assuring you the full protection of the First Amendment.

….

We provide press credentials free of charge to any adult American Citizen who accepts the Constitutional Journalist’s Pledge and who agrees to CFAPA’s Member Terms and Conditions.

The site adds:

The long-term goal of CFAPA is to make citizen journalists so ubiquitous that public officials and police officers will stop asking us to see press credentials. But until they do so, we will stand with you, to help confirm your credibility as a citizen journalist.

The activist also tweeted that people could also “buy a press ID” from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA):

“Join the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) here ($75) & buy a press ID ($20).”

The NPPA is a legitimate association for photographers based at the University of Georgia. Breitbart News contacted the organization and was told that the organization does not give out press IDs. It only provides members with membership cards.

There is also discussion between activists on Twitter on press passes allowing people to break curfew.

The New York Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea, said Wednesday that some people are pretending to be members of the press, according to a journalist at the New York Daily News:

Police in D.C. have come under scrutiny for being too forceful with a news crew from Australia that was in Lafayette Park in Washington, when it was cleared on Monday afternoon.

 

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