Admit clown involved in incident
Official UN response below
Note: The controversy regarding the incident of an unidentified UN security officer assaulting accredited photographer Orin Langelle with his own camera continues. As you will see in the official response from UN Media Relations Officer John Hay below, the UN is engaging in the same sort of coverup we have seen from the city of Oakland and elsewhere, where security forces have reacted violently to nonviolent protesters or journalists.
It reflects what we at GJEP have asserted in the past and continue to. The UN is controlled by the corporate elite–the 1%–and do not want unruly protesters or independent journalists interfering in their attempt to snow the global public into thinking they are addressing the climate crisis. They are not. The are laying the groundwork for enhanced corporate profit at the expense of the rest of the planet.
This particular battle with the UN is not over. We refuse to allow the UN’s repression of journalists to go unchallenged–especially when the UN insists that they “are keen to facilitate media reporting …[and]… to treat all participants with respect.”
Walking up to a photographer, grabbing his camera and shoving it into his face is an odd way to demonstrate “respect.”
-Anne Petermann for the GJEP Team
For a description of the incident and the UN’s “facilitation of media reporting,” go to: Addendum: Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in Durban
Official Response from the UN Climate Change Secretariat
Date: 2 February, 2012
Dear Mr. Langelle,
Apologies for the late reply. We take any allegations of undue use of force on the part of UN security staff seriously. After undertaking a thorough investigation, we are unable to confirm that there was at any time undue use of force by UN security personnel directed against members of the media in Durban.
We have been made aware of an incident involving a participant dressed up as a clown; an incident which you have also mentioned. Our investigations indicate that it was necessary to clear a passage within the conference center that was being obstructed, in the interest of the safety of all participants and in the interest of the smooth operation of the conference. At no time was undue force applied in the exercise.
It is not the policy of the UN Climate Change Secretariat to obstruct the reporting of journalists in any way. On the contrary, the secretariat is keen to facilitate media reporting in the designated public spaces, as long as safety concerns are respected. And it is the policy UN security to treat all participants with respect and not to apply undue force in the dischare of their functions.
We continue to take any such allegations seriously, and thank you for your letter.
Media Relations Officer