Dr. Brett Weinstein: Brilliant Defender of Academic Freedom
Close Encounters of the TESC Police Kind
form action=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr” method=”post” target=”_top”>The PAYPAL button(s) that follow may also be used to pay for paralegal/process services, et al.
(No PAYPAL account is required to make Paypal payments, it will accept credit cards.)
Donations are being sought here to help replace that which was, at the ‘Anarchists Convergence‘, destroyed/stolen in a Strong (A)rm Robbery-Assault on this reporter attempting to cover a public event involving Pacific NW region (A)narchists at The Evergreen State College (TESC) in Olympia on 4-20-13. You can help by donating to the cause of 1st Amendment principles, a free press, and not allowing thugs/petty traitors to succeed in their efforts to bully/assault photojournalists. Any amount would be appreciated as a vote for the public’s right to a free press covering what is going on in its public spaces/venues.
–> DONATE for Cause/Services <–
Click DONATE if the above link fails/returns an error prompt, OR mail a check made out to Amicus Curia, PO Box 1711, Shelton, WA 98584 unless time is of the essence.
If the above fails AND if you have a PAYPAL account, try the following QR code and instructions below:
- Show your QR code to your customer. (the above image w/all the dots)
- Ask your customer to open the PayPal app– they will tap Scan/Pay, and line up the QR code in their camera frame. Or they can scan the QR code right from their camera.
- Have your customer enter the amount to be paid.
- Ask the customer to tap Send.
That’s it! You’ll both get a notification when the purchase is complete.
It was a sunny Saturday morning unusually warm for the Pacific NW. Evergreen’s Sabot Infoshop and a loose coalition of regional (A)narchists had been advertising the workshops scheduled for 4-20-13 & 4-21-13 for several weeks, billing them as free, open to the public, and handicap accessible. No one questioned the paradoxical utilization of a State owned college campus as the venue for a group (Sabot Infoshop in tandem w/SDS @ TESC) trumpeting its desire to ‘smash the state’, eliminate all laws, while basking in the largess and well appointed facilities of that very same government.
The anti-state, anti-capitalist workshops scheduled over the course of the next 2 days sounded interesting if controversial. Some invited open discussion, others promoted beefing up personal computer security to defeat increased state surveillance or a dissertation on why insurrection and ‘direct action’ (property destruction, vandalism, arson, et al) attacking the state and/or corporate interests is ‘necessary’. Still, TESC was fundamentally conceived as a non-violent public forum to discuss, debate, and exchange opposing views. The parking lot adjacent to the Seminar II complex (Building ‘C’, 3rd floor) appeared nearly full. A couple of attendees helped the reporter locate the space where the presentations would be held over the weekend. Armed only with his camera and an abiding commitment/trust in 1st Amendment principles guaranteeing the public’s right to know about such gatherings in venues such as this, he made his way up the maze of elevators and upper story walkways. Naively ignoring an ongoing stream of online threats, arriving unaccompanied, and supposing the assault on and stalking of Daily Olympian photojournalist Tony Overman as well as the bloodying of Seattle news photographers covering the 2012 May Day street violence had been aberrations, he arrived too late to cover the 10:00 – 11:30 workshop just as it had broken up for lunch.
Not having unpacked his camera/video gear and tripod, Amicus Curia pulled it behind in a 2-wheeled kit resembling a hand-truck because it was heavy. After passing through the main entryway door, it was noted there was anarchist literature spread on a table immediately inside to the right ranging from topics like the need for insurrection to arguments attacking the effects of capitalism. Those near the entryway were young adults, white, and apparently privileged judging from their fashionable clothing. The poor and homeless who might have been their most natural audience seemed absent–no doubt tending to the daily struggle to survive in a hostile middle class dominated environment. But wishing to document all of this for public consumption proved problematic.
Upon attempting to proceed further into the building’s interior, the reporter was at first blocked, then harangued by several present being told he was ‘not welcome’. Fully grasping a visitor to the Evergreen campus need not be welcome to be entitled to enter its public spaces or attend public events, he ignored the verbal abuse. Then the touching began. There were perhaps 8-10 people pushing close (kissing distance) to the reporter, bullying and intimidating in hopes of discouraging his entry. He pulled his small camera out of a side pocket and began taking pictures of the perpetrators engaged in the criminal harassment. He reached for his cell phone to call the campus police and report the assault. He retreated outside the door to place the call but the crowd pressed him, at one point pushing his gear from inside the building to immediately outside the doorway. A couple of young men demanded to know what the reporter was doing with his cell phone. Besides the obvious, he declined to respond other that telling them it wasn’t their business.
Suddenly, a young guy grabbed the journalists arm/hand and wrenched his camera from his grasp, then fled down the 3rd floor passageway with it. Immediately after, while the campus operator was on the line, another slightly older young man grabbed the 2-wheel hand-truck and gear, throwing it over the 3rd floor banister to the ground below. He immediately fled as well. TESC officer Garland witnessed the moment of impact, but was sufficiently intimidated by the violence and knowledge of the group involved, she summoned the Thurston County Sheriff’s office for backup to provide for her own safety as she was the only officer on duty on campus at that time. Thus, the reporter stood near his vandalized gear for around 5 minutes before she made personal contact. Clearly citizens must rely on their right to self defense based on this example of too little too late.
Eventually, after some discussion and giving the group (Sabot Infoshop) which organized the event an opportunity to cooperate (impertinently rejected) in locating the stolen camera and/or those responsible for the robbery, the event and organizers was to be banned from campus. Overhearing this, those behind the event voluntarily left the campus for a private venue despite their rhetoric abhorring the very concept of ‘private property’, arguing they enjoyed the greater luxury of drinking beer and getting high anyway.
In the aftermath, on the various (A)narchist websites around the region, hasty afterthoughts justifying the criminality were posted. More than a few of self described anarchists applauded the attack while a number actually present participated in it.
After signing a police report statement, this reporter contacted Peter Bohmer, who he’d known for over 45 years. Peter admitted he knew (in general) many of the organizers and likely attendees. But, when asked for help retrieving the stolen camera, Peter demurred with an unsettling offer: Pete agreed to help retrieve the camera (which he opined he could likely accomplish) IF the reporter agreed not to press charges against those involved in its theft, robbery and the malicious mischief. The photojournalist listened closely as his self-admitted privileged professor ‘friend’ with the generous State salary sought to protect criminals engaged not only in vandalism under the pretext of anti-statism and anti-capitalism, but theft and assault. A recording was made of the conversation lasting over an hour on Peter’s front porch, and Professor Bohmer was alerted to the fact early on. Those involved in the earlier assault on the journalist were NOT alerted to the fact they were recorded in the midst of their assault. [NOTE: Several years later (2015) in the wake of a police shooting hospitalizing 2 young black men in Olympia, Professor Peter Bohmer not only minimized their crime of shoplifting while encouraging others to follow suit…arguing there was nothing wrong with it…while noting he routinely shoplifted himself, during the Olympia City Council meeting where his remarks were recorded and videotaped.]
The audio of the assault, for any who care to listen, is included below in this retelling of the circumstances. Any member of the public who recognizes any of the voices is urged to contact TESC officer Marron at (360)866-6000, or this reporter. Full cooperation will continue to be given to those LEO’s investigating this crime including photographs of suspects and/or those providing criminal assistance after the fact.
You can listen to the audio of the assault by clicking Strong Armed Robbery.
The Daily Olympia carried a story reporting the outline of the incident on page 5 of their Sunday edition, 4-21-13 as well as their online publication. Local (A)narchist websites have published pieces/opinions typically justifying the assault as they generally do for individuals engaged in such behavior. The sites are saturated with taunts, gloating, and continuing threats directed at the reporter, much as Tony Overman, the Daily Olympian photojournalist, had experienced from the same crowd of miscre@nts years earlier. Some posts resembled the fatuous self absorbed amusement associated with narcissist juveniles and their prank phone calls…infantile minds with adult bodies.
Ironically, some of the more violent elements calling themselves anarchists and their supporters feign concern about their *safety* in the face of photojournalists capturing their image or that of their associates. It’s a bit like Dillinger complaining his getaway car didn’t come equipped with airbags. It is the public whose ‘safety’ is at risk! The violent anapunks merely risk getting caught. It’s a valid fear…as the number of folks who’d like to catch them grows daily.
I listened to the audio. Good to hear you standing your ground to attend an open meeting in a public institution (2:05); chilling to hear them laughing at the obvious discomfort their intimidation is causing you (6:30).
Very interesting to hear the other side of this. Take care and thank you for posting.
The following malicious abuse of process was suggested on pugetsoundanarchists.org by a moniker named ‘benzene’ (a volatile component of gasoline):
Sat, 04/27/2013 – 9:36am
“He’s posted something about what happened now. I’m curious why people get upset about their picture being taken? The laws that allow us to take pictures of police are the same that allow him to take pictures of you and me. On the one hand I guess I could see how your face being associated with anarchists could be a thing you wouldn’t want, especially if you’re concerned about your employer finding out and then firing you, on the other hand I enjoy taking pictures of events.
I was at the courthouse on, I think Wednesday, and the guards at the entrance to Thurston Superior were talking about this. It brought up an interesting question, I don’t know enough about restraining orders, but I think that if you can’t actually get a restraining order on the guy, when you file for a restraining order you get a temporary one until the hearing. You could potentially have someone who is attending some event if John Smith is expected to show up file for a restraining order like the day before and have him served with the TRO when he shows up and if he sticks around call the police to have him removed.
I know this would mean actually using the police and the court, but if you think of these things as tools or a means to an end it might be worth looking at.”
[(A)narchists are nothing if not proponents of self serving contradictions. The very fact they chose to hold their workshops on a State owned & operated college campus hosted by Sabot Infoshop & SDS, 2 student campus organizations who also receive funding from the school’s fees levied on students, makes such perfidy self evident. They’re the 1st to complain when THEIR rights are violated, but think nothing of violating those of others or even denying ‘rights’ exist at all. They propose defying laws, even invoking mantras like “F*ck the law!”, then suggest using it to defeat 1st Amendment principles…the very rights they invoke to demand their activities in such public forums be tolerated. As a practical matter, RCW 10.14.190 prohibits precisely the type of abuse proposed by ‘benzene’. Moreover, the State’s anti-SLAPP statute would impose statutory sanctions of $10,000 against a miscreant attempting such a ruse. A letter to the court alerting it to the moral hazard will be drafted.]
Yeah, I caught that a couple minutes ago on the PSA site and good on benzene. Just the lack of foresight by the players involved makes me go, huh? Seriously, WTF? Open call, public, promoted…there could have been all sorts of people there who really do have an agenda that’s hostile. And there will be camera’s on May Day. Lots and lots of camera’s. Now, I do realize there’s a Greener “code of conduct”, unwritten of course, and of course I understand the need for safe spaces within a community etc., but this reaction to a public event? Gosh that’s stupid. Almost as stupid as the players believing there weren’t some very real authority types who got through the door(s) without any problem. The “security culture” is very feeble in this community, and obviously that leads to paranoia and scape-goating and all sorts of other unpleasant problems. As for me, I’d rather not see anymore young people go to jail for doing something as stupid and pointless as breaking a few windows. The FBI and other authorities have a different agenda on that score, and right or wrong, that should be obvious to everyone by now. Oh well.
Heh…must remember too read everything before posting response. “Good on benzene” for asking questions re: taking pictures. But no worries, no one is going to actually read what he wrote and take it heart anyway.
TESC has what they call a ‘social contract’, that applies to students who choose to enroll, staff and officials who choose to be employed there. It is not binding on nor have members of the public signed up for it. What is binding on campus is State law. But discussing laws designed to prevent force and fraud w/(A)narchists is like trying to argue for the use of antiperspirant w/a duck.
One more thing to say and then I’m out ~ In the meantime, there’s a hunger strike @ Guantanamo happening right now. Peace and justice people could use a little more internet muscle to bring it to light, but that’s just one of thousands of actions that might be useful to the people. From what I can see, there are two things happening right now that are important in ‘the “anarchist”‘ bubble in Cascadia; trying to repeat May Day Seattle 2012 (but in Olympia this year) and scape-goating local immigration/political/alt media behind the anonymity of ‘”anarchist” web sites’. Well, if after having a year to think about it, anyone who thinks repeating Seattle May Day 2012 is a good idea isn’t my comrade. As for the latter, scape-goating others has been par for the course for the leadership in the local ‘”anarchist” community’ for a while now, and that leaves me with just one more thing to say; When you burn bridges be careful where you step ~ oops
A major concern expressed by a number of senior members of the community is how easily the younger most vulnerable residents have been manipulated. Professor Pete Bohmer, for instance, admitted the State police taunted him during his arrest at the F&W (fish & wildlife) abandoned property in Olympia regarding the temporary emergency homeless shelter incident. They (perhaps with some justification?) kept emphasizing the word *professor* when they addressed him, and gleefully alleged, “We’ve got you this time, PROFESSOR! Normally, you have the kids do your dirty work, but we have you THIS time.”
This publication has often stated our youth must be valued and not be served up as ‘cannon fodder’ for dried up old revolutionaries and their own agendas. There may well come a time for open resistance by the people against a tyrannical government. That time is not now. Wanton random violence will simply provide a pretext for more government excess while destroying the idealistic (though perniciously naive) youth most needed if the planet and our liberties are to be preserved. Those involved in assaulting journalists are thugs, straight up.
This reporter will attempt to cover the upcoming events on May Day and will be documenting everything he sees/hears. The public has every right/duty to know what goes on in its midst at these public venues and public events. At this stage, the people present during the assault condoned it as well as theft, as did Professor Pete Bohmer when he offered to help retrieve the stolen camera, but only if the reporter agreed not to press charges. That ‘offer’ was declined. The audio of the assault was posted here in hopes anyone who recognizes any of the voices might offer the name of the person. The one thing that is certain is the incident serves as notice of orchestrated criminal intent. More than a few cameras, as you say, will be trained on the distracting ‘parade’, but not all.
Please stay as safe as possible. I’m asking everyone to do that, and I do mean everyone.
One of my central arguments against property destruction is the violence that so often follows, and often against people who’ve done nothing. It creates an unsafe and unstable environment for everyone to navigate, and unfortunately it looks like the intended end result is…nothing. Tada! That sure did show ’em, “’em” being everyone else, from cop to some of us who remember what a real protest can look like, and I’m sorry to say I haven’t learned a thing from the organized ‘”anarchist” movement’. Oh, except to stay far away, because whether naïve, not-too-bright, mentally unbalanced, or a combination of the three, I consider the current ‘”anarchist” movement’ dangerous in all the wrong ways. And like a lot of other people, I’m done. Militant factions have carried the day in this area for too long now, they’ve had plenty of time to show the rest of us how badass and revolutionary they are, plenty of time to show such methods work (scoff…I’ve known they don’t work since WTO ’99) and all I see is a bunch of people with authority issues picking fights with cops. Boring. And in Seattle? Heh, like I said, a lot of burned bridges. Too many lies, too many people back-stabbed, too many agreements broken. Occupy actually had a chance here, but the professional activists came and screwed it up. Oh well.
It’s just an obvious fact, lots and lots of camera’s will be out there, and just because a person has a camera doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “out to get you.” In fact that’s often the last thing on most people’s minds, but there are some unchecked ego’s who think everything is about them. It’s not.
Thank you again for telling your side of this, and please take good care of yourself. How ironic to have “discovered” your blog reading Puget Sound Anarchists. Peace.
Oh yeah. Interesting thread from 5 years ago ~ http://olyblog.net/may-day-editorial-comment
Since you plant to cover May Day in Seattle, this article on thug opposition to livestreaming in Oakland might interest you. Stay safe. goo.gl/pbMEy
“Journalism is printing what someone doesn’t want published. Everything else is public relations.” -George Orwell-
seem to have botched the link: “Occupy Oakland’s Livesteamer Controversy” http://goo.gl/pbMEy
Those are some great links–seriously. The olyblog link reveals black bloc violence has been a thorn in the side of Olympia area peace & justice activists for years–at least since the 2008 May Day vandalism of local bank branches. The Occupy Oakland article about photojournalists being assaulted, threatened, and bullied there is so articulate, attempting to paraphrase or rewrite it would be arrogant. Here it is:
Occupy Oakland’s Livestreamer Controversy
(Live video feeds have been a critical part of Occupy — but now, some activists argue that they’re a threat to the movement.) by Ellen Cushing March 14, 2012 NEWS
When Spencer Mills hooked his iPhone up to a livestreaming app and began documenting the events of the November 2 General Strike, he never could’ve expected what would happen: that the night would present a pivotal moment for Occupy Oakland; that after the end of the 11 o’clock news, he would be the only live source of information as to what was happening; that his livestream would later become a crucial resource for occupiers, media, and police alike; that he himself would soon become something of a folk hero among both occupiers and observers — or, that he would later be accused of undermining the movement merely by documenting it.
Mills, who may be better known by his Twitter handle, @OakFoSho, is but one of the hundreds of people nationwide who have been documenting local Occupy actions live on the web — and who are increasingly finding themselves caught in the middle of a growing dispute between those who argue that Occupy can’t exist without transparency, and those who argue that livestreamers put protesters at risk and threaten the movement at large by filming civil disobedience and property destruction. “There are people out there that really dislike what I do,” Mills said. “I’m very aware of that.”
In January, at a march near the original Occupy Wall Street encampment in lower Manhattan, Tim Pool, a well-known livestreamer who has been documenting the movement since its inception, was assaulted and threatened by a masked attacker; back in November, Pool was also confronted while filming a group of protesters taking the air out of police-cruiser tires. On January 28, the livestreamer known as Occupy Freedom LA had her camera stolen in Oakland in what may have been a targeted assault. And while Mills hasn’t been physically assaulted, he said some of his peers have received threats of physical violence, and that he has been accused on multiple occasions, in person and online, of “snitching.”
It’s an odd mantle to carry for someone who said he identifies with many of Occupy’s tenets, and who began livestreaming as a means of holding the police accountable and acting as antidote to what he saw as the mainstream media’s tendency toward spin. It’s also an ironic turn of events for a movement that was founded in part as a reaction to government and corporate secrecy — and which arguably would never have come to international attention without livestreamers.
“What livestreamers everywhere are doing is showing people who are geographically separate what the greater movement is looking like,” said Nick Baban, who streams, tweets, and blogs under the name Oaktown Pirate, and who regularly gets visitors to his site from places like Egypt, India, and Scotland. “It gives people the ability to see in real time what similarly minded people all over the world are doing — and that’s what makes this an international movement.”
But it’s a double-edged sword, and Occupy inhabits a terrain that no other major activist movement in history has had to contend with. “To be able to collect information from myriad different sources is a boon for the news consumer,” said Rebecca Jeschke, who works with issues at the intersection of technology, privacy, and freedom in her capacity as media relations director and digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “But the thing about livestreaming is, once you start, you can’t control who sees it.”
And even if, as livestreamer Jessica Hollie said, most of her peers don’t intend to catch citizens breaking the law, the problem with live, uncut video is, well, that it’s live and uncut. In other words, livestreamers capture what happens, exactly as it happens — and that has contentious implications for a movement that continues to wrestle with its relationship with violence and property destruction.
“Everybody wants footage of the cops being brutal — and we’re all in favor of that,” Baban said, speaking for himself and livestreaming partner Emily Breed, known online as Lexica. “But there’s an argument being made that we shouldn’t film protestor misbehavior, or that livestreamers are somehow doing the cops’ job for them.”
At last week’s Citizens’ Police Review Board meeting, Mills used livestream footage as evidence that the Oakland Police Department had violated procedure at several junctions over the last several months — but Brian Glasscock, who has been involved with Occupy Oakland for several months, said it’s not hard to imagine the city using the same footage to prosecute protesters down the line. “What people don’t realize about livestreamers is that their seemingly innocuous video might help the police bring a conspiracy charge or get someone convicted,” he said.
Livestreamers, like other journalists, typically operate under the principle that, in Mills’ words, “there’s no expectation of privacy in the public space,” and that they’re under no obligation to protect protesters’ identities. And that, Glasscock argued, is a problem. “They don’t always recognize when people don’t want to be filmed, and they should respect people’s requests not to be on camera,” he said. “I could understand someone getting aggressive with a livestreamer that was filming them against their will — they’re potentially putting their life on the line.”
But Breed argued that it’s a slippery slope: “If people know that we turn our camera off for certain situations or certain people, they’ll have no reason to trust anything else that we show.” In her and Baban’s mind, transparency is paramount: That’s why they coined the slogan and hashtag #sunshinebloc, a reference to the aphorism “sunlight is the best disinfectant,” and it’s why they’ve continued to film, tweet, and otherwise document Occupy Oakland actions even in the face of threats and criticism. “We believe that more cameras, more videos, more images is always a good thing, and that the national and international movement is very much served by transparency,” Baban said.
In that sense — and as livestreamers are continually faced with questions about whether they’re helping or hurting the movement — it’s clear that for the people doing it, documentation is a radical act. “People talk a lot of about diversity of tactics around here,” Mills said, gesturing toward Frank Ogawa Plaza. “Well, transparency is my tactic.”
There were also some great replies posted to these articles, such as the following:
Posted by Sue Basko on 03/16/2012 at 1:02 PM
Live streaming is a tool and many things can be done with it. Some of the more professional streamers have chosen to conduct themselves as journalists. These streamers do not allow their choices to be controlled by the subjects, the people whose actions they are streaming. These streamers whose work is of professional journalistic quality may use the words “transparent,” “truthful,” or the newly coined “SunshineBloc.”
Spencer Mills (@Oakfosho), Pirate, Lexica, TimPool (@TimCast), and some others conduct themselves as professional journalists. This means they will show the most interesting or appropriate thing happening in front of the camera.
About Pirate not showing the man burning the flag: A person who repeatedly burns a flag is a boring attention-seeker who wishes to call attention to himself, away from the protest. Burning a flag is an attempt to discredit an entire protest. People of this sort arrive at most protests, and most journalists are smart enough not to be engaged by it. This is part of the professional judgement of a journalist. After a journalist has been at enough protests to see the little flag-burning faction show up at the end, time and time again, they come to realize that to tell the story of the protest most accurately means to ignore the habitual attention-seeker who is not really part of the protest. Keep in mind these flag-burner types show up at most protests nationwide, use the same technique, and have been doing the same thing for decades. There is no meaning in it other than that the flag burners are trying to discredit the protest and the protesters. It’s old hat, everyone is onto the trick.
A journalist DOES make choices. However, most journalists will film a crime taking place in front of their camera. Tim Pool was filming when people ran up in front of his camera and let air out of the police car tires. Tim did not chase them down to film them — they chose to do this in front of his camera. It was their choice to be on camera.
There is NO REASON why any journalist should be complicit in anyone’s crime or wrongdoing — whether the wrongdoing is a protester throwing a bottle or a police officer beating a protester. A journalist is there to journal, to record what is happening. YES – a journalist makes choices. A live streamer makes many editorial choices on the fly. The best live streamers seek out the most important things to show, according to their best educated, experienced judgement. There are reasons the best live streamers have worldwide followings.
TRUST is a big word. We trust news reporters if we feel they are telling the truth. Those live streamers dedicated to truth have earned the trust of people worldwide.
Posted by Sandy Sanders on 03/15/2012 at 11:42 AM
Occupy is peaceful and transparent and cannot function properly without these two processes. The 1% is violent and secretive and cannot function without those two processes. Livestreaming is what’s happening. It’s the only way to record and be honest about what is happening. Livestreaming is the first transparent recordation that allows a realtime view, and for people to actually KNOW they are witnessing at least a small window of history. We get to see the brutality of police and the 1%’s system and we get to see people exercising their First Amendment rights under these circumstances.
RWs flag burning is LEGAL via Supreme Court ruling and he’s been doing this unapologetically, as is his right, for years before Occupy and is welcome to it. This issue is a red herring. This entire argument about editing an open window on reality, sounds like provocateur argument-seeding to fracture openness and transparency as a process within Occupy. Transparency and openness is THE strength of Occupy and must remain a permanent feature. I am totally opposed to editing to produce a result. This is called marketing and advertising and propaganda to produce a false effect, and is exactly how the 1% operates to maintain their matrix of illusions.
If anyone is breaking the law and wants not to be spotted on film, they need to avoid all cameras just as they avoid the police cameras which are everywhere as well. If people are breaking the law, they need to buck up to that as a responsibility and take their chances. The rest of us are out there legally via our First Amendment rights to speak, assemble and to redress grievances.
US governments have been writing, interpreting and “enforcing” “laws” that are flagrantly unconstitutional for a very long time and we are there to confront this peacefully in the streets. I want this documented by livestreaming. And when the arrests lead to jury trials that assert our First Amendment rights and we are acquitted, like recently happened in Des Moines, Iowa, we will then sue OPD for false arrest and add to the huge monetary and spiritual black hole created by street-terrorist OPD.
The real issue here is why are our politicians are so driven to criminalize First Amendment Rights? What are they afraid of? The truth? [And how are violent elements calling themselves anarchists who assault journalists meaningfully different from these same politicians who criminalize 1st Amendment activity?]
Posted by TimBurg on 03/14/2012 at 12:54 PM
Huh, sounds so familiar, we all claim to want freedom of speech, but most only want that freedom extended to speech that we agree with. That applies to freedom to film what happens at public marches and rallies. Some seem to want that to apply only to the message(s) they want shown, others want actual sunshine and a more open presentation, and a rare few actually want everything shown, warts and all.
As someone who isn’t a fan of Occupy, I’ve found the live streaming helpful because they do show the events from a different perspective than the mainstream media, the Quan Administration or the Police want to depict. They also present a more nuanced view than many Occupy supporters are willing to own up to. So please keep up the good work.
Posted by Curtis John Surpless on 03/14/2012 at 11:30 AM
If it’s my camera and what I’m recording is in “pub-lic” I will film it proudly.
Posted by Strobe Fischbyne on 03/14/2012 at 11:13 AM
Thank you, Spencer Mills, for documenting these events without being intimidated by elements who approve of counterproductive vandalism and violence. You make it harder for Black Bloc participants to provoke the police.
Posted by John Seal on 03/14/2012 at 9:23 AM
Oakfosho, Pirate and the rest of the Livestreamers are heroes in my book. I watch them as often as possible so that I can see what’s actually happening, as opposed to what the (almost always absent) mainstream media tells us happened via the wholesale reprinting of OPD or City of Oakland press releases. While I’ve seen some questionable protester behavior–mostly in the form of ill-advised inflammatory language–the Livestreamers have documented an Augean stable’s worth of outrageous and illegal police activity that otherwise would have been swept under the carpet.
For better or worse, there can no longer be an expectation of privacy at a mass protest, and it’s important to note that the police also have a full array of camera equipment at their disposal–and are not shy about using it. Ultimately, protesters must ask themselves who they trust more to present a full and comprehensive view of their actions: sympathetic and transparent Livestreamers, or police determined to crack down on dissent to the full extent of the law and beyond?
Really interesting stuff, and Strobe, thanks for that link re: Occupy Oakland. I’m also finding your page an interesting read so thanks again.
Here’s a May Day plan some people in Seattle have come up with, and of course a small minority of people are upset about it. Weird, huh? http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-group-preparing-for-May-Day-crowd-control-205032561.html It’s very important this year for the voices of immigration reform to be heard. That a couple hundred “anarchists” don’t care and want to have a smashy-smash party is really amazing.
I don’t believe the main event is going down in Seattle this year. All fingers point to Olympia, and BC (of course), and Portland maybe. Of course I could be wrong, but the chatter is definitely indicating lots and lots of people headed to Olympia. Again, Olympia, be careful. I suggest to anyone well known by certain groups to lay low. Not too low, just a little. There are other people with camera’s, and the first-hand report from a good reporter is just as important as pictures. Something else to consider; support is waning for some groups and tactics, and the number of people who really believe that smashing the State is the only answer has gotten much smaller. Heh…and I really doubt many of them ever believed that to start with, you know?
To; the agitprop theater posing as “anarchists”; Hello! I’m an anarchist and thanks for all the laughs. The “anarchist” web sites are amazing. I find myself surprised that “anarchy” has been co-opted, rewritten, and sewn up into an unsightly bag of crap, but why I’m surprised escapes me.
Thanks, Oop. The East Bay Express turned out some superb coverage last year, confronting issues the SF Chronicle and other papers ignored. Local TV stations also touched on them, particularly KTVU in Oakland, but the SF stations were rather blood-thirsty. They seem to like riots in Oakland. Livestreams and blogs were the best way to understand what was happening.
Good luck to everyone in Olympia trying to contain the smashy.
Pingback: (A)narchists Enter Belly of the Beast – Seattle, 5-6-13 | Soul Snatcher, Productions ™ Democracy Wall
Pingback: Cops Be(a)t Woman For Filming Another Beating | Soul Snatcher, Productions ™ Democracy Wall
Pingback: (A)narchists Eat Their Children On College Campus | Soul Snatcher, Productions ™ Democracy Wall