French news photographers downed their cameras on Wednesday (11 June) in protest at what they claim were beatings of photographers by police at recent street demonstrations they were covering.
SV Photographers placing their cameras on the steps of Elysee Palace and lining up PAN DOWN line of photographers
SV Cameras on the steps on Elysee Palace (2 shots)
GV Minister leaving Elysee Palace passing photographers on both sides of the steps
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Photographers with arms folded TO another minister leaving
CU PAN FROM Cameras on ground TO photographers
SV More ministers leaving Elysee Palace as photographers look on with arms folded (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: French news photographers downed their cameras on Wednesday (11 June) in protest at what they claim were beatings of photographers by police at recent street demonstrations they were covering. About one hundred of them gathered outside the Elysee Palace in Paris where French ministers were holding their weekly cabinet meeting.
SYNOPSIS: The photographers, with their cameras at their feet, formed two lines at the palace entrance. Their main complaint was over alleged police brutality at a doctors' demonstration in Paris on June 5. They claim two photographers and a press despatch rider were clubbed by uniformed policemen.
The photographers gave President Valery Giscard d'Estaing a letter asking him to intervene so that in future photographers will be able to do their job without harassment. Wednesday's protest was part of a week of action the newsmen are taking.
The previous day the police themselves had complained about violence at demonstrations. Representatives of the General Union of Police met the Paris police chief for talks about increasing violence at demonstrations in the city. The Union's General Secretary accused the Police Commissioner of incompetence. He also blamed trouble makers who infiltrated peaceful demonstrations with the aim of provoking violence.