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Independent journalist ejected from state 'advisory' meeting

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  1. Freedom of Information
An independent journalist was forcibly removed from the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative meeting after he asked a question…

An independent journalist was forcibly removed from the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative meeting after he asked a question about the Initiative’s position on ocean industrialization, the First Amendment Coalition reported.

David Gurney was removed by security from the Fort Bragg, Calif. meeting, during which officials were designating “Marine Protected Areas.” He had previously attempted to video record meetings on April 20 and 21, but complied when he was told to turn off the camera.  

According to the First Amendment Coalition, the Initiative’s Executive Director Ken Wiseman has said the California open meeting laws do not apply to the process of setting up Marine Protected Areas, because the process is “advisory” to the state government. However, some advocates disagree because the state supplies scientists, advisers and armed Fish and Game Wardens as security guards for the meetings.