Saturday, March 11, 2017

After UN Evicted Inner City Press, Long Lines at Metal Detectors, FUNCA Sign Torn Down

By Matthew Russell Lee, SeriesVideo III

UNITED NATIONS, March 9 –  The day after the UN's full eviction of Inner City Press and all its files, at the 46th Street entrance there was an huge crowd of children, to be toured around the UN and lied to. There was supposed to be a lane to the metal detectors for staff and, it was said, downgraded journalists. But a guard told me no. I turned on my Periscope and started broadcasting; I turned it off to call Media Accreditation. No one answered, no one came. I missed a briefing, and later when I got in, I was Banned from covering a meeting between John Kerry and Iran's Javad Zarif. This would be the future. How could I continue?

  A guy on Capitol Hill told me “someone in the US Mission values you as  source.” I thought I knew who he meant. But this guy said everything had to be through Isobel Coleman. And there was nothing. The New York Times article had not come out and probably never would. The reporter Corey would e-mail me every few days with another stray question but they never led anywhere. He'd said, don't go after me if you don't like how it comes out. Fine. But what if it never came out?

  A source sent me Ban Ki-moon's Western Sahara report, which wouldn't be public for days. I put it online, part of me thinking this might be the silver bullet, an exclusive. But nothing. I was told Gallach didn't even watch the noon briefing; anyway, her government of Spain was on Morocco's side. I started tweeting with a guy who covered that.  That night the Free UN Coalition for Access sign was torn off the door to my old office; anyone could look inside and see my empty desk, the empty desk that had been mine.

  I asked Luiz and he got mad, saying he never told MALU that they could do it. This is how it worked at the UN.