Many of our students here at Columbia Journalism School have spent the week reporting the Occupy Wall Street protests. They documented the clearance of Zuccotti Park and the subsequent protests with a diligence, persistence and quality of reporting which was a credit to them and the J School. There were many professional news organisations, freelance journalists, students, bloggers and others covering the dispersal of the peaceful protests. There was also an alarming level of restriction placed on those reporters, and a number of arrests. The threat to journalists of restraint and detention whilst reporting public interest stories in New York City is extremely troubling. Here is an open letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly signed by an number of faculty at the Columbia Journalism School documenting our concerns. For those following this story Josh Stearns of Free Press has being doing an excellent job of documenting all journalist arrests at Occupy protests.

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