Narco News Reporter Whitney Illegally Detained in New York

AUGUST 31, 2004: Three Narco News reporters, in New York City's Union Square tonight, covering the protests in favor of regime change in the United States during the Republican National Convention, exercizing their right and duty to report the news, were encircled by the New York Police Department on East 16th Street: Teo Ballvé, Jennifer Whitney, and managing editor Dan Feder.

Feder and Ballvé managed to escape from the police blockade on East 16th Street, but Authentic Journalist Jennifer Whitney - cordoned in with the Infernal Noise Brigade marching band - was taken into custody along with the members of that musical group.

Narco News issues the following statement... PRIMERO: The detention of journalist Whitney is a violation of the December 5, 2001, order from the New York Supreme Court, which declared that Narco News journalists are "entitled to heightened protection under the First Amendment (New York Times Co. v Sullivan, supra, 376 US, at 270-280)."


For more background on that landmark decison, follow:

SEGUNDO: As we communicated to the National Lawyers Guild this evening, and we communicate to the national and international press and public tonight, the journalists at Narco News offer to pay the bail of our colleague, if bail is required.

TERCERO: We demand not only the immediate freedom of journalist Whitney, but also that of all members of the musical group Infernal Noise Brigade, who are also protected by the laws pertaining to freedom of speech and freedom of the press in New York State.

CUARTO: It has come to our attention that the New York City authorities, and possibly federal authorities with the U.S. Secret Service, among possible other agencies, in blatant violation of the 2001 New York Supreme Court decision, refused to recognize press passes as proof that those journalists are legitimate press in New York State, and that various credential-carrying Indymedia reporters, videographers, radio journalists, and online journalists, have also been detained tonight and this week.

This is an absolute violation of the will of the New York Supreme Court, which extended rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the 14th Amendment of the New York State constitution to Internet journalists.

QUINTO: We plead to any legal observers or future arrestees who can get word inside the pier where our reporter Jennifer Whitney and members of the Infernal Noise Brigade, are illegally detained, that the entire international Narco News team, and our attorneys, will not rest until they are released.

SEXTO: We will exercise our rights under New York law to the ultimate consequences, including, if necessary, an expensive Civil Lawsuit, to gain the freedom of our reporter, and will join in coalition with Indymedia or any other media organization that wishes to do the same on behalf of its reporters, who were all detained, and many arrested, in violation of New York case law.

SEPTIMO: If anybody has information on the whereabouts or status of our reporter, please contact me immediately at

ULTIMAMENTE: The refusal of New York City and federal authorities to recognize the protections afforded by the New York Supreme Court to all Internet journalists in the illegal detentions of reporters from Narco News, Indymedia, Guerrilla News, and other online news organizations places those agents and agencies that participated in this illegal act as culpable for a crime under New York law. We hereby hold Mayor Michael Bloomberg and any and all of his functionaries involved in this violation of law as responsible, both as citizens, and as public officials, for this gross attack on the First Amendment rights of Internet journalists, and for the personal safety and freedom of journalist Whitney and all others illegally detained today.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano
Publisher, Narco News
(and native New Yorker)

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.