• Rough treatment seen as tactic to intimidate other reporters
By Christopher J. Petherick
In an event that shocked even veteran patriotic attendees of past Bilderberg conferences, 25-year-old AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter Olga Belinskaya was arrested by police after she confronted new arrivals at the Bilderberg conference on June 1.
Miss Belinskaya had only been on the scene for about a half-hour reporting for AFP before she was grabbed by police. Among other things, she had been taking notes, recording license plates of vehicles entering and leaving the secret conference and confronting cars as they drove into the resort.
Video of the heavy-handed response on the part of police was posted to the Internet, resulting in a flood of viewings and comments in support of the AFP staffer. In the video, the 115-pound reporter can be seen being dragged past the police barricades during the arrest. Observers say a second group of police took Miss Belinskaya into the compound’s grounds, away from the main body of the demonstration but within clear sight of demonstrators. She is then seen being lifted off her feet sideways by multiple police, and being thrown and held on the ground—face down—by five large police officers. They then shackled her feet.
The assembled crowd can be heard yelling protests during the arrest and its aftermath including one man who repeatedly yelled, “It’s illegal to hogtie someone in America.”
“I can’t see where anything she was doing was wrong,” said a bystander who had been standing directly in back of the reporter during the incident. “A protester to her left was becoming louder, and police looked like they were moving in his direction, and then they went after her.”
Miss Belinskaya was charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer. Her hearing is scheduled for July 24.
Jeffrey Smith, a leading New York patriotic activist and AFP’s New York correspondent, believes there’s more to the story. Smith was near Miss Belinskaya during the incident.
“Many municipalities have long sought to forcefully discourage interest in or activism toward Bilderberg—but now some wisp of a reporter is some kind of public danger?” he said. “Is it now a crime to record cars’ information openly in the public view?”
Smith’s remark appears to focus on what many observers say is the central issue of official response to a standard vehicle watch activity, a traditionally constitutionally-protected journalistic task.
Christopher J. Petherick is AFP’s executive editor.
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