We Demand an Apology from the Guardian for their Coverage of the March for the Alternative in London on the 26th of March
We, the undersigned, demand an apology from the Guardian for their coverage of the anti-cuts March for the Alternative on the days following the 26th of March, specifically for the following article, which was prominent on their website on the 27th: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/27/anti-cuts-protest-police-arrest-200>. By selective quoting and reporting, it paints a picture of indiscriminate, violent, hooligans trashing London, simply for the hell of it. This is untrue, and extremely unfair to those who decided to take direct action against the cuts on that day.
Rather than allowing people to give different perspectives on what happened, the article basically strings together quotes from police and politicians trying desperately to give demonstrators every negative label they can think of, with self-righteous trade unionists wheeled in to back them up. Why were the "tiny minority of violent, parasitic, unrepresentative hooligans" not given a chance to defend themselves? It is all very well reporting verbal attacks on activists by politicians sitting in their comfy seats in the houses of parliament, but none of them were being hit with truncheons yesterday, and they probably never will be. Even the title - ‘Anti-cuts protest: Police arrest more than 200 after outbreaks of violence’ - implies that the hundred and fifty now only charged with ‘aggravated trespass’ are somehow responsible for acts of brutal aggression. All this, and no mention of the innocent, peaceful and intelligent people who were beaten up by the police on Trafalgar square that night!
The reporting in the Guardian is important, because unlike many newspapers in the UK, it is generally trusted, and regarded by the left as an authoritative source of information. We therefore see the betrayal of trust found in their coverage of the march on the 26th not only shocking, but a step too far, and hope to see more and greater action against this worrying trend in the future. We have had enough of irresponsible and mindless journalism which prioritises media outlets’ commercial interests rather than the public interest of reporting truth.
As such we demand an unequivocal, printed apology from the Guardian editorial board.