University of Missouri Activists Block Journalist

Melissa Click

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A recent video shows University of Missouri protesters blocking and harassing a student photographer’s access to a public area of campus demonstrating the group’s complete disregard for the rights of others.

As part of a freelance assignment for ESPN, student photographer Tim Tai was trying to take pictures of the so called tent city constructed by the activist. According to the New York Times,

Protesters blocked Mr. Tai’s view and argued with him, eventually pushing him away. At one point, they chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go.”

“I am documenting this for a national news organization,” Mr. Tai told the protesters, adding that “the First Amendment protects your right to be here and mine.”

The story continues with the videos depiction of an exchange with two university employees.

As the video nears its end, the person taking the video, Mark Schierbecker, emerged from the scrum and approached a woman, later identified as an assistant professor of mass media, Melissa Click, close to the tents. When he revealed that he was a journalist, Ms. Click appeared to grab at his camera.

She then yelled, “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”

At another point in the video, Mr. Tai was also challenged by a university employee. Janna Basler, the director of Greek life and leadership on campus, approached Mr. Tai and, spreading her arms out, demanded that he “back off.”

As he tried to defend his right to be there, Ms. Basler explained, “You are infringing on what they need right now, which is to be alone.”

Read the full New York Times article here


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