Media Associate Peaceful Protests With Terrorism

Underreport Violence by Police Against Union Members, Others
By David Swanson, Media Coordinator, International Labor Communications Association
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories
August 16, 2004

In the nearly five years since the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, at which union members and other peaceful protesters were manhandled by police, the U.S. media have established a pattern of underreporting the militarization of police at protests, of portraying police actions as reactions to threats from violent protesters, and of focusing reporting heavily on any citizen violence, however small.

Following the Free Trade Area of the Americas protests in Miami last November, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney wrote in a letter to Florida Governor Jeb Bush:

“The AFL-CIO trained hundreds of union volunteers to serve as peacekeepers for our rally and march on November 20, and provided the resources to meet all of the security needs of the venues for our events. Despite these good faith efforts, union members and other peaceful protestors were met with obstruction, intimidation, harassment, and violence at the hands of police in Miami