Friday, September 30, 2011

Op Disinformation

Radiohead Edit

Begun by a rumor posted on Gawker at 10:53am, Radiohead, in town for two performances at the Roseland Ballroom, was purported to be playing a free concert at Liberty Square today at 4pmEDT.

This rumor was reposted on the OccupyWallStreet website at 12:13pmEDT. It was picked up and retransmitted by The Gothamist at 12:20pmEDT entitled CONFIRMED: Radiohead Playing Occupy Wall Street TODAY!

Even CNN was sucked in: to play impromptu concert at protest in NYC at 4pm this afternoon [Jeremy Ryan]

The twitter stream was going wild, as you can imagine: every other tweet said they are performing; every between-tweet says they are not; the #occupywallstreet channel was flooded with this since early morning. The trolling was massive today.

The Village voice publishes 'Radiohead not playing" post at 12:30pmEDT.

Gawker publishes retraction (or not?) at 1:18pmEDT.

NME publishes Radiohead denial at 1:50pmEDT

Rolling Stone publishes Radiohead's denial at 2:10pmEDT.

The Rolling Stone article isn't sure if Radiohead was supposed to play and canceled out on management's fear of the crowds getting out of hand or whether this was a repeated rumor. The Gawker retraction is wishy-washy

A tweet at 3:42pmEDT: Officialish RT @radiohead: We wish best of luck to protesters, contrary to earlier rumours, we will not be appearing at #occupywallstreet

Radiohead also posted the same retraction on their Facebook page.

and here's a tweet that runs to my own thinking at 3:46pmEDT:
This was their moment! RT @NYTMetro Now #Radiohead says show "definitely not going to happen," and #OccupyWallStreet put out "false rumor"

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I just watched a massive, ugly and very-well-planned disinfo foray to discredit OccupyWallStreet. This is how a smear campaign is done and is a classic example of disinformation, psyops and information warfare.

Did OccupyWallStreet get hoaxed, buying into a wish-fulfillment? Or did they get played; a deliberate disinformation operation to discredit them and to possibly incite a riot of disappointed fans, flooding into the Square only to see Radiohead?

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Could this have been "push-politics"? Could some at OWS have tried to use social media pressuring to get Radiohead to play, seeing as they were in town, or to draw an inflated crowd? If so, it's not a good technique. I am not sure; from watching and tweeting for the last 14 days, I've gotten a pretty good feel off the organizers and the people running support and logistics at the protests and my feeling is that it was not done deliberately.

But... couldn't someone from OWS have checked with Radiohead's business manager earlier than the breaking music industry stories? Did the rumor race ahead too fast? Where did Gawker's Adrien Chen get his information? Why did OWS publish that rumor at 12:13pmEDT if they had not confirmed anything? That doesn't look particularly good for them.

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Since the Lamestreasm Media has been fairly-successful in keeping OWS out of the mainstream news (until the pepper-spraying video caught everyone's focus), and watching the gleeful trolls mix in other band names (Justin Bieber, Rick Astley, REM, Michael Jackson) to the "playing at 4pm" swirl, my suspicion is that this was a planned invasion of Twitter, which has been the media outlet for OccupyWallStreet since it's beginning, in an operation to sow disruption and suborn the Twitter channel while placing mistrust and resentment onto OccupyWallStreet.

Pay attention to the names being "offered" to play: Rick Astley is famous for generating the rickrolling bait-and-switch spoof; Michael Jackson is of course dead. REM broke up 9 days ago. Justin Bieber is an obvious joke.

Was it just low-grade malice ala a 4chan op, first sowing the seeds and then mocking afterwards? If it is the Chans, I'd expect Anonymous, which has been announcing its solidarity with OccupyWallStreet, to spank some Chan ass... although I did see these RTs:

RT @AnonymousIRC: 3 hours until Radiohead at #OccupyWallstreet. Hurry up, New Yorkers, get down there!

Of course that means nothing, as anyone can title a Twitter account anything. If it's not Anon/Chan, it's a counter-jamming signal from the Troll Party, who have been ramping up a lot in the past 2 days on the Twitter channel.

Either way, the information war is definitely on at OccupyWallStreet. Did anyone believe the opposition would not fight back?

More disinfo: Note: the #OccupyWallStreet Journal is NOT a Yes Men project at all, though we do love it. @BoingBoing [who published this "information"]

UPDATE: 10.01.11:
Village Voice produces spoofed email re:Radiohead & OccupyWallStreet
So there you have it. Or do you? Media warfare is like that.

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No starfucking; steady as she goes

my own tweet: DON'T BE STARFUCKERS. You're being played; Op Disinformation is in progress. VERIFY SOURCES.

I've watched the gushiness with which protesters greeted each Lamestream Media pickup of the story after holding off/blacking out for over 9 days. I've tried to get the idea across in numerous tweets that the Lamestream Media is not a prize or a score; it is the worst enemy of the New Media [Twitter, You Tube, blogs, alternative press] and people should quit courting it like lovestruck cows; they've already been shown that it's a Trojan horse. It makes you vulnerable to the same kind of thing that happened today.

Likewise, this infatuation with being "media stars" works to the detriment of the press which has been there all along; the independent and participatory media that have underpinned all of this. It opens them with promises of cookies and pie and makes them vulnerable to standard media disinfo ops. I will continue my preference for listing independent media links above Lamestream Media links for this and other reasons. Please support and cherish your independent media system!

DON'T SUCK UP TO THE LAMESTREAM MEDIA! The protesters have been great so far; peaceful, showing restraint. But the Lamestream Media will want action, and they aren't above creating it to feed their voracious maw. Be aware, be careful; verify your sources. Assume you are now under media/disinformation attack.

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March to 1 Police Plaza 09.30.2011

True to their promises, a huge swatch of TWU [Transportation Workers Union] appearing en masse today at Liberty Square in a show of support for the OccupyWallStreet protest.

Watching the live video from NY's Fox 5 shows the police being very circumspect, keeping distance from protesters and allowing them to walk on sidewalks... which is a result of the Bologna pepper-spray video going viral, forcing a hard look at police tactics at the protest.

Someone got smart and had the Grannys Peace Brigade march in front
[bottom right panel]

Maybe the presence of the TWU Union is keeping the cops' dicks in their pants, or perhaps it's because most of the NYPD Blues don't subscribe to the same predilection for violence that the White-Shirts (Lieutenant-or-above) appear to have, judging from all of the police brutality videos posted on You Tube.

There have been unconfirmed reports [more rumors] that many police were calling in "The Blue Flu" in internal rifts over the conduct of many White-Shirts at the protest, including Anthony Bologna's "loose cannon" approach. No one knows if it's true, but most people on the scene and from observing the videos agree that, for the most part, the Blues have been firm but polite, engaging the protesters in amiable dialogue and doing very little of the violence seen unless under orders from a White-Shirt. Even the protesters claim that often.

So, a bit more disinformation being sown, this against the police, in order to incite violence and hatred. Not all cops are bad cops. Don't fall for these tricks. Use your own eyes, ears, mind. Many of those cops are also "the 99%".

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I won't support anyone's call to violence

Watching live stream now at 7:00pmEDT, some woman with a group with "Cop Watch" is going on and on about 'police brutality' and 'police murder." I find this aggressive and provocative; I also see it as a hijacking of energy and focus. Sorry lady, but you look to me like a gasoline-thrower. I saw your kind explode the crowd at the Democratic National Convention in LA - the little black-masked anarchy boys who push their own agenda and discredit and disrupt public protests.

I don't appreciate anyone who urges or stirs emotions towards violence. They do not speak for me. I hope they don't speak for most of the protesters at OccupyWallStreet.

Better now, 2nd speaker a preacher, appealing to the police "in the First Amendment", talking about his nice cop neighbor, etc. and inviting the police to also be part of the 99%.; to be inclusive instead of exclusive. This is wisdom, and also appeals to the crowds' memory; people have been speaking up for most of the police throughout the protest.

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Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
from the New York General Assembly

Know Your Rights in demonstrating - NY Civil Liberties Union

People are using Vibe app to communicate anonymously
and avoid police eavesdropping
[NY Daily News]

Excellent mapping of the 'Twitter censorship' question [Alexander Higgins]

Occupy America - Cumulative List of Worldwide “Occupy” Events

Huge Crowd at Occupy Wall Street as unions join protest

#occupywallstreet – A Manifesto for Change

Locked-out Sotheby's union art handlers disrupt auction in support of OWS
You know why I had to include this one

Please dress the part if you want help from regular people
An appeal to OWS to help their message get across, interesting comment thread

Anthony Bologna: National Disgrace
There goes Tony Bologna's Navy application

Cops filming protesters [photo]
You think they respect the crowd's privacy rights? No. You think they will whine about the You Tube videos of open police brutality violating their privacy rights? I do.

NY Mayor Bloomberg claims bankers struggling to make ends meet
Awww da poor bankwers are swilling Cook's champagne because they can't afford Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Jouet anymore!!! A tiny tear trickles down my cheek... or not.

AFL-CIO's Trumka Hails "Occupy Wall Street,"
as Key Unions Begin to Endorse Protests
[The Nation]

'OccupyWallStreet Journal' surpasses Kickstarter Goal [Village Voice]

Wall Street Protests: Which Side Are You On? [Huffington Post]

Wall Street now home to protest campground [Reuters]
Well, well; Reuters waddles in 14 days after the protest began.


I'm leaving out the troll tweets this time; they only troll and no use giving them attention, except to say this is the heaviest trolling I have seen on #occupywallstreet since the protest started. If you really want to know what they are, just page back one post; they don't really change much.

[EDIT: ok, wait, just had to include tonight's classic example of troll gambit]

TROLL: 9-11 conspiracy theorists, pot smokers, anti- Zionists and anti-sematics. These are the ppl of #OccupyWallStreet don't support them.

MS: @TROLL you are hilarious. Really. +1 troll #occupywallstreet

TROLL: @misosusanowa glad you think racism is so funny. I don't. Sick of seeing anti Jewish signs and posts around #OccupyWallStreet. Sue me.

MS: LULZ Classic troll; you're immortalized [link to here]

Ok, back to the best tweets o' the day:

Best sign at right now at the #OccupyWallStreet march: "A Radiohead rumor was the tipping point in Cairo too."'s the howl of the siren...flashing lights blinding sight...saxophone singing from a balcony above...protests

Today, the richest 400 American families own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans.

Dude has a donut on a fishing pole so so good

impressed with #OccupyWallStreet protests, when they come to london i'll be there. if gov't wont hold financial sector to account, we will!!

You can carry an Assault Rifle to a Tea Party but you can't carry a Sign to #OccupyWallStreet

+1 RT @nyclu The NYCLU is sending a team of 'legal observers' to #occupywallstreet today @ 6pm until 10 pm & again tomorrow @ the same times

Crime doesn't spray... but I do! - Tony Baloney

Police have riot geer on @ #occupywallstreet. Wierd the kids are completely non violent. ... Nyc blue relax!

Do not fear what will happen if you go to #occupywallstreet ~ fear what will happen if you don't.

In just 6 months, Wall St.-related interests spent about $237m lobbying the federal government.

this isnt about being democrats, republicans or teaparty members.

..keep up the fight. as a small business owner...I'm also a supporter of this.

This is a true grass-roots movement. Not secretly funded by billionaires #Kochbrothers #teaparty.

Finally figured out why vampire motif is so popular these days, they are allegory for #banksters

@GeraldoRivera: "#occupywallstreet is Reverse #TeaParty"-Ploy to Divide & Conquer. #TP & #Occupy both REJECT merger of statism & corporatism

A bunch of Marketeers have invaded the channel today, spamming cutsey "teaser" links with the #occupywallstreet tag that lead to stores and get-rich-quick bullshit. More disinformation/signal jamming:

Excellent Fashion Advice For The #OccupyWallStreet Participants [link]
music so excellent i just bothered to download it [link]
I can't believe I saw this at #occupywallstreet! [link]

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Art is my weapon

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trolls & Signal Jamming OccupyWallStreet

Blackout: censoring?

More and more analysis tools are being focused on Twitter's apparent "censorship" or downplaying of the #occupywallstreet hashtag. One good measurement graphic can be found here. Even taking into account the observable traffic on that channel and the throttling Twitter and associated apps (Tweetdeck, etc) will do when a stream exceeds the bandwidth you've set for it, there does seem to be some sort of downgrading of that hashtag's Trending measurement from inside Twitter. External tools are recommended for more measurement testing.

There are people also investigating what appears to be censoring/deleting comments off You Tube pages on OccupyWallStreet videos. More investigation is needed.

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Trolling the channels

What I'm looking at tonight, beyond the usual media roundup of stories, is the Rebuttalists. These are the people supposedly "debating" and flooding the channel with "common sense" in order to drown out the signals being propagated at #occupywallstreet. It's an ancient technique of internet disinformation called "trolling."

A troll does not seek to engage in reasoned debate. A Troll is not there to make points; a troll is there to stir up action; to divide people, to steal focus. A troll is a thief, hijacking a thread and enjoying the resulting chaos and fractioning of the issue by nitpicking here, there; changing positions. A troll does not have a position or focus; the troll's aim is to disrupt dialoge. It is a method of psyops and disinformation.

So tonight is deconstruction & analysis night. I'm going to look at some "positions" being touted by these trolls and compare them to protester/supporter tweets.

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Quick-and-dirty semantic analysis of tweets 9/29/11

[Tweets in italics as usual]


Almost all of the "opposition" tweets come in a few narrow sets:

1. they are young snots
2. they are old hippies
3. they are young dirty hippie kids with no jobs.
3. you use corporate made tools you hypocrites
4. no one's talking about you (on lamestream media)
5. It's already over so don't bother
6. Bad things are happening in other parts of the world and you are being selfish because you're only protesting here and not about all the other injustices in the world.
7. You won't tell us what you want; you have no position.

The smelly hippies will get bored and go home. Or they'll do something stupid and get their asses beat

#OccupyWallStreet The interviews are hilarious. The signs are adorable. At least the hippies of the 60s could thread together a sentence.

The hippies, bongo drums and police are multiplying but the press are largely gone. Guess it's old news now

Stop crying. You break the law, you get arrested. No one is picking on you. #occupywallstreet is a joke.

BREAKING: #OccupyWallStreet has personally assaulted hygiene

The #OccupyWallStreet loons will prove they have a clue when they go protest outside of Solyndra. #morons

Wall St won't have to do nothing. So far #OccupyWallStreet has shown folk don't like/trust WallSt. That's been old news for 70yrs.

I think #occupywallstreet would be better off trying to occupy a job and some responsibility.

I find the #occupywallstreet protests stupid. Wall Street isn't guilty of Crony Capitalism, Wash. DC is! #locationfail #wrongtarget

so apparently people have started this #occupywallstreet thing because they want to get rid of the rich who have worked their way to success

Sadly, tea party protesters couldn't sit on sidewalks for two weeks, having, you know, jobs and stuff.

Those #OccupyWallStreet people are still there? Funny how no one is talking about you or what you think you're accomplishing.

The Fed isn't on Wall Street anymore, nincompoops

Shorter #OccupyWallStreet: "We're going to sit here for as long as it takes." Normal people: "For what?" Hippies: "Not sure yet."

Has the so-called people's assembly at #occupywallstreet agreed on anything or are they still just repeating themselves?

Can somebody tell me whether #OccupyWallStreet has any clear vision/purpose whatsoever?

Been wondering the same thing... RT @JustBeinHonest: What's the purpose of this #OccupyWallStreet mess?

Proof #occupywallstreet is clueless about economics: They want to start their own newspaper.

You don't know who/what you're protesting and I'm sure 3/4 of you don't know the first thing about business.

So, the attack is basically: You are all unwashed old/young hippies/college snots; no one's talking about you; it's already over so don't try; you're ungrateful louts; you should attack Washington because the enemy is government, not moneymen; there's injustice in Somalia (or wherever) and you are hypocrites because you are using tools made by corporations to talk bad about money; get a job, kid!

And... that's about it; repeated endlessly with variation. The same "talking points," which are not points of debate or even positions other than "you suck." You can read the same kind of trash talk in any history book; I incorporated a 1931 Slavik poster in my State of Mind exhibit which translates: "Gypsies are smelly and need a bath." No lie. I'm sure other archeologists besides a friend of mine is aware of Ancient Greek graffiti saying much the same thing: "You sucketh."

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Let's contrast that with tweets from the OccupyWallStreet supporters:

#occupywallstreet has demands, including re-instating Glass–Steagall and eliminating corporate personhood

demands are coalescing around a simple boildown: get money out of politics

The way I see it, we're out to demand accountability and responsibility and financial reform.

I see a real protest of financial sector recklessness, power

one of the biggest issues with the movement is #getmoneyout

It's about big, established companies bankrolling laws that support big, established companies.

Massive financial losses, ten's of thousands of layoffs in the last 3 years @Liberty Mutual.

46 000 000 - the number of Americans on foodstamps.

Banks profit from food stamp and unemplyment benefits "debit cards"

BoFA plans to start charging customers who make purchases with a debt card a fee of $5 per month starting early next year..

Today, 1 in 4 credit card holders are paying interest rates of more than 20%. That is usury.

The media is asking "what's it all about?" to #occupywallstreet. Where were those questions regarding derivatives and default swaps? huh?

Let's not be so critical of #occupywallstreet for their organizational issues. Every movement in history began w/o a Master Plan.

How many teabaggers, carrying menacing signs & guns to a POTUS appearance, got pepper sprayed by police?

Would believe what U say abt #OccupyWallStreet if I had not seen press falling all over to cover 2 doz Teabaggers at a waffle house.

Democratic process takes time to resolve; position, grievances need be heard, collated, discussed.

Every story needs new wrinkles and new angles to keep going, so just keep talking about the story.

If there was ever a case to be made that #occupywallstreet is just a bunch of hippies, that case doesn't make even a shadow of sense anymore

... many more tweets distributing information like you will find linked on my past posts and this one under "Media." Hard information, gleaned from the web: analyses of the Wall Street Bailout; where the money went and who it came from; Glass-Steagall being repeated endlessly as a kind-of rock-solid inclusion; financial analyses of CEO salaries vs company performance; endless retweeting of each major lamestream media story that's been published/televised in the last 7 days; unemployment figures; tax tables; Constitutional amendments, NY civil law and police procedure...
a self-organizing neural network composed of human-net interlinks, distributing information.

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You do see certain positions coalescing; most of them revolving around people's awareness of the lobbyist's corruption of law and decency by subverting the representative process of democracy ie "get the money out of the political process".

You also see the experimentation with the controls of the media channels; the questioning of ownership, the reporting or blacking-out of the demonstrations, the Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Facebook and You Tube "censorship" issues; a great deal of comparison between lamestream media coverage of Tea Bag protests (they carry guns and "dangerous" signs, tie up traffic and are not pepper-sprayed or given "hard takedowns" ie police brutality) to the non-coverage by major outlets (some are running to catch up now because of the Pepper Spray Martyrs) of mostly peaceful, non-abusive protesters. Sure they are shouting! They are protesting, duh.

There is comparison worldwide of the coverage of foreign media; who's been there from the first; who's catching up or opened up and who continues to sit on the story in line with US lamestream media. People are exploring the parameters of the media network and finding out which nodes are free, which nodes are compromised and where alternate nodes of information lie. They are mapping the system.

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The picture is of a bunch of reasonable people struggling to coalesce a democratic consensus. It's only been 12/13 days and you are talking about many thousands of people, including the ones who only have netpresence in this protest. The First Continental Congress lasted 51 days [Sept. 5 to Oct 26, 1774]

The continual badgering about "what's your point/position/protest?" is easily countered by the information being retweeted; by a little web searching; by a little reading. People point the trolls to this information as a good-faith answer to "what is this all about anyways" [the disingenuous troll 'hook']

But that is not at all what a troll wants; a troll isn't seeking to debate you. He's seeking to make you take the bait with his initial, harmless-looking statement. When you engage, the dialogue goes like this [taken from one of many exchanges I have had in the last few days]:

TROLL: What exactly is OccupyWallStreet about? Can anyone enlighten me?

MS: Best thing to do is review this channel, follow some of the links, read. There's a lot of material

TROLL: OIC in other words you don't have any ideas.

MS: The history of economics and finance is a bit long to go into in a Twitter format.

TROLL: So you don't have any REAL ideas.

MS: I'm not here to teach lazy students. What are YOUR ideas on why this is happening?

TROLL: a bunch of dirty smelly unemployed hippies with nothing to say.

another example:

TROLL: You don't know who/what you're protesting and I'm sure 3/4 of you don't know the first thing about business.

oh, we know business. MONKEY BUSINESS. That's why we'd like to see it out of real capitalism.

TROLL: Explain to me in great detail what the 'MONKEY business' is and how you plan on resolving it.

MS: then send me your email because that won't work in a Twitter format. Or just follow some of the links in the channel

TROLL: [cricket sounds]

That's how a troll works. It's pretty apparent to anyone who's spent time on the nets. They only want to maneuver you into a false position, created by them, in order to attack that position and force you into defending it. Trolls throw up strawmen, ad hominem attacks, informal fallacies and the rest of the weapons in a bad debater's arsenal of semantic tricks and strategies.

These are the people who only consider "winning the debate" and not actually debating the merits of any issue. Their goal is power, not reasoned dialogue. They don't care for reason unless it can be used as a tool for winning. They see debate as a contest of power and "winning" as silencing opposing views. That is not winning anyone over to your side with information or appeals to reason; that is semantic warfare. Their other goal is also simple: to disrupt the debate and drain off energy, derailing a conversation or honest debate into one-way back alleys of bickering feints.

Ok, enough about trolls; it's boring, right? They have nothing to contribute and steal your energy, so it's not worth engaging; just ignore their little personal attacks and proj on. Because as this tweet says,

Folks, when the professional right wing astro-tweeters start hammering on #occupyWallstreet tag, you know they're getting worried.

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Live stream from Liberty Square

A bunch of nice stuff tonight; first, links to coverage in Independent and Lamestream Media, then some nice posts/op-eds and some informative article links being passed around as the protesters and supporters find information that is central and focused to the protest on certain issues:

Wikipedia - OccupyWallStreet page
w00t! Something easy to point the "what is this all about?" people to

Here's a handy tutorial about getting out of Zip-tie cuffs [youtube]

New York Patrol Guide Procedure Number 212-95 [Pepper Spray]

General Assembly Minutes 9.29 &pmEDT

A Message from Occupied Wall Street - Day Eleven

OccupyWallStreet Official Demands
Your chance to make your voice heard and considered by the General Assembly

A Map of the Occupy***** demonstrations now in progress or planning has been posted

Everyone is excited about several big unions and personalities coming out in support of OccupyWallStreet:

Transport Union Workers to support OccupyWallStreet [Dailoy KOS]

United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United [NYmag]

Some of the bigger alternate-orgs are getting involved finally:, Coalition for the Homeless, Working Families [NYbusiness]

Sen. Bernie Sanders praises ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests

Media Mogul Russel Simmons comes out for Occupy Wall Street

Former NY Gov. David Paterson tours Liberty Square [AM New York]

John Stewart Takes On Tony Bologna: The Vigilogna


5 Things that #OccupyWallStreet Has Done Right
This is a reply to the Mother Jones article that pissed people off [including me]

We are the 99%

Great collection of photos/statements sent in to #occupywallstreet of protesters who cannot be there.

A Report from the Frontlines: The Long Road to
#OccupyWallStreet and the Origins of the 99% Movement

What I Saw at #OccupyWallStreet Last Night, and What I Saw When I Left
Thoughtful opinion from a protester

Connecting the Dots
Maybe yer not doin' it wrong

Occupy Wall Street and the limits of spontaneous street protest
Another post that doesn't understand the network model of democracy

Beautiful statement video from MyPeace Media

25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis [Time]
Good roundup of what's connected to what

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% [Vanity Fair May 2011]

Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail? [Rolling Stone Feb. 2011]

States' unemployment debit cards often carry hidden costs, fees
How banks profit off unemployment

Wall Street is SCREWING the NYPD too [DailyKOS]

Lamestream media

Fox News attacks female protesters for being pepper-sprayed
Disgusting, and typical. I guess they don't read the NY Times...

Protestors Continue ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Demonstration In Zuccotti Park [CBS-NY]

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, trying to save face after the police brutality videos gained widespread recognition, says that the protesters cannot be removed from Zucotti Park (now Liberty Plaza) [New Yorker]

CNN FINALLY covers OccupyWallStreet, then just happens to have technical difficulties [DailyKOS]

Adbusters sparks Wall Street protest

Canadian media trundles in [although Canadian Tweeters have been steadfast from the beginning. Here's a cold one to ya, eh!]

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.. and of course. my favorite Tweets O' the day:

John Perry Barlow, founder of the EFF, now heading to #occupywallstreet 9/29 6:30EDT and tweets "#occupywallstreet is lovely. Calm, polite, intelligent, young, efficiently self-organizing. I'm proud to be an American."

CONFIRMED: former Gov David Paterson (NY) arrives at #Zuccotti Park..

You can now look up on Google maps Zuccotti Park as One Liberty Plaza. Try it for yourself. #occupy #occupywallstreet

One pizza sent to the #OccupyWallStreet protests came all the way from South Korea!

Does anyone else find it ridiculous. That we get better news from comedy central. Than the MSM?

RT: #occupywallstreet has 3107 tweets/hr but is still not trending. Harold and Kumar is trending with only 323 tweets/hr. [one of many stat-analysis monitoring tweets using Twitter monitors and mappers external to Twitter]

These next three deal with the fact that the Dr Conray Murray trial, involving the death of Michael Jackson, is getting more media coverage than OccupyWallStreet:

RT @BorowitzReport: BREAKING: CNN Announces Plan to Cover #OccupyWallStreet Once Michael Jackson Trial is Over

Disappointed that CNN wld rather spend HOURS on the MJ trial than just a minute on #occupywallstreet @cnn @AC360 @andersoncooper

Rumors state that Michael Jackson's body has been exhumed and supports #occupywallstreet

Please raise my taxes. I will not accept a country that neglects the poor and the most vulnerable. [Uncle Rush, a well-known entrepreneur and social activist]

I don't need 2agree wth everything they say.But I believe tht they have the right 2say it w/out boots on their necks!

Oh #OccupyWallStreet? You could probably get support for untangling business and government from the people who work in those buildings.

Not on same page as #OccupyWallStreet culturally, but great to
Do the protestors think protesting about a range of grievances dilutes their message?

So, Bank of America is really about to institute this $5 fee for debit card use, but "premium" accounts are exempt

#OccupyWallStreet is experiencing a burst of rapid visibility and support. Established groups are now getting involved

Egypt inspired, planning repeat tahir square

Write in big letters OCCUPY WALL STREET on your $ bills and pass them on!

Did you know that our 'economy' only grows if people go into debt, or borrow 'money'?

The #OccupyWallStreet thing going on and this is what @HuffingtonPost is talking about?!

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Day 12: Trolls & Signal Jamming

My name is Anonymous Kitty
and I approve this message

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Who Watches the Watchmen? WE DO.

More crowdsourcing illustrating the validity of the self-organizing network theory of the body politic emerges from the Occupy Wall Street movement:

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The Pepper Spray Videos - Bologna porked

All 4 of the videos of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying penned female protesters are in wide circulation now, including this the key one:

... which is a 1st-person view from inside the kettle. Some events are much clearer here, as was my observation (argued with by many) that the black White-Shirt is grabbing that black-haired woman by her hair (and not her backpack as some attempted to argue) and that she is shaking the barricade in shock and distress at witnessing the brutal assault in front of her (not attempting to "tear it down or otherwise obstruct [it's] placement")

This is a superb right-left syncronization of videos #1 and #3 supporting my claims that the videos could be matched up in timing and sequence to refute police spokesperson Paul J. Browne's claim that "the video was edited" and pepper spray used "appropriately."

It certainly was enough evidence for to publish this:

... in which USLaw takes views the videos, making the same observations and coming to the same conclusions.

It also seems to have been enough for the New York Times to call for an investigation of Bologna (which I was calling out to the NYT for on Monday/26th in my video analysis post). Good thing too, because another video has surfaced (5 public so far) of the same event:

This video is taken right after Bologna sprays the penned women; you can both see and hear them in the background, matching actions in the same way; all the videos that have surfaced have been used to build a multiple-perspective, virtual reconstruction of the event.

So it's pretty clear from this quilted, multiplexed reconstruction that Bologna was walking around pepper-spraying protesters in direct contravention of both NY civil law and accepted police procedures.

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You are the eyes of the world

Another crowdsourcing effort is underway to identify this officer (Red Coat) as being observed in many of the videos of Occupy Wall Street allegedly encouraging, directing and singling out individuals for brutal tactical examples as well as digging his hands in for some action.

UPDATE: and the sheer speed of the net: as I'm writing this post, this information is posted: Red Jacket has been identified as Officer Kenneth O'Donnell Badge # 7432 and the details of the accusations against him are off that link. Only a few hours from call to conclusion... done by people, by hand. That should make you gasp in wonder. This is a non-professional, non-hierarchical method of using the technological power of a motivated crowd for a purpose - electronic democracy in action.

As videos and photographs continue to multiply and afford the same multiplexing capability for reconstructing events, the sheer power of unbridled communication is being revealed - the same power that has been up til now in a small set of hands because of cost-of-entry and political barriers. You're also seeing the virtual reconstruction of a live event through multiplicity of sources and co-operative publishing.

The net is egalitarian. The same technology that has been being used against citizens is now being turned around to observe the mechanisms of power... and the people who grew up with this stuff know how to use it much better. The Information Revolution in action.

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Framing the debate {power plays}

This tweet strikes to the heart of the debate being pushed for Occupy Wall Street to "present a list of demands" and is very observant:

People are trying to rush #OccupyWallStreet into making "Demands" so they can rush to demagogue them & divide the protest.

We have watched the peer-to-peer networking in action with the crowdsourcing of Bologna and O'Donnell, we are observing an attempt to use the network model as democratic process
the way it has been used in popular net culture. From the first day, people have been offering suggestions both wild and reasonable through live participation, blogs and Twitter as a codification of their perceptions that many things are wrong in this state of things, and that many more are connected to a very few levers. These points and suggestions are being taken up by the General Assembly.

The situation reminds me greatly of the meetings, public forums and debates that led to the First Continental Congress. They didn't rush either.

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Still not enough real Lamestream Media to make a big thing about it (although they are catching on, smelling blood and fueled by citizen-journalists' efforts in breaking this story) so infolinks are mixed in, as many links from the past 11 days are being retweeted [proliferation of signal, the important ones reverberating as the crowd makes it's choices on-the-fly as to what is expressive of their intent and feelings and worth retransmission; chaotic math].

For more media links, see my past posts in this series.

[tweets in italic]

NYPD Caught On Camera Punching
#OccupyWallStreet Protestor In The Face

more nice White Shirt brutality, this one showing a definitely-not-standard-practices haymaker punch. [youtube]

Over 700 pilots march for Occupy Wall Street

Interview with Chelsea Elliot [NYT]

Observations of a Jailed Journalist
is a first-person account of MetroFocus reporter John Farley, documenting the pepper-spraying incident.

What's behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests? [salon]
Glen Greenwald analyzes.

This pic is worth 1,000,000 bytes

Michael Moore: 'Something Has Started'
But you don't know what it is; do you Mother Jones...

ABC News Suggests Eating Out of a Dumpster
as Viable Alternative to "Spending"

This one has people chuckling hysterically in absolute scorn.

UK Channel 4 News tentatively floats a story
late to the party :D

#occupywallstreet has 3107 tweets/hr but is still not trending. Harold and Kumar is trending with only 323 tweets/hr. [more public use of analysis tools used by the marketeers]


Rosa Parks occupied a bus seat & peacefully refused 2 remain invisible. Expect us.

re: Glass Steagall: I agree, good concrete goal eventually. But for now, #occupywallstreet is a purely cathartic.

[many tweets repeating #hashtags in other cities starting Occupy momevents/demonstrations]

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taking Wall Street by Twitter - Propagate Signal

A fifth video has surfaced of a first-person view of the kettling and pepper-spraying incident.

This one is very chaotic, but gives a good perspective of the time leading up to the pepper-spraying by police officer Anthony Bologna and supports many of the assertions by the protesters that the "obstructing the barricading" claims by police are, at best, disingenuous.

You can see in the video (supported by the other videos) that police are running ahead of the crowd, along the street, unrolling the barricade, and then cross it over onto the sidewalk, cutting people off suddenly. This video also supports the position that the protesters were behaving legally; according to the NY Civil Liberties Union, you absolutely have the right to walk and stand on a sidewalk in NYC. You can hear the cameraperson and a few others stating this to the police.

You can also observe in many videos, as in this one, police grabbing sidewalkers and forcing them INTO the orange net kettles. People absolutely legally allowed to walk on public sidewalks in New York.

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Technology, the great equalizer

Before I do the usual media roundup on Occupy Wall Street, I'd like to talk about something I've spoken publicly about for 25 years: technology as the great equalizer [particularly in politics] and the theme of this blog: the politics of information.

You can see, in almost all of the videos and many photographs, the police using video cameras on the crowds. We also have reports that police are using the iPhone app for retinal scanning and identification of arrestees.

Yet these are the same sort of police that will twist privacy laws to prevent citizen-journalists (ok, 'documentarians' for the picky) from recording police actions, when the recorder is in no way interfering with the police action.

In most of the videos and pictures, you will see the technique of police "swarming" in order to obscure what is happening from observation and recording by civilians. Most of the officers are not involved in the actual takedown; they are surrounding the action and creating a barrier to observation and monitoring so that they can later assert any view of the incident they wish to, painting themselves as above reproach and turning it into "your word against the police."

This is both childish and ominous. It does nothing to reassure the public that the police are doing their lawful job; it only makes the public question the police more.

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If they can, why can't we?

The police never worry about my privacy rights when they are recording on a dashcam. Even if I am not at all involved in the action but merely a passer-by, I am recorded. The police can demand surveillance footage from nearby private property, where I might have walked by on my way to a store; they do not ask me for my permission or respect my own privacy rights. They are recording everyone in the Wall Street area.

The same type of people demand access to everything I write online, and all my personal details from any business or utility I use, but hold last-minute midnight meetings out of public scrutiny to pass public laws. They stall for years on Freedom of Information requests but squeal like little girls having their diary purloined and read when anyone dares to dig in to a request, or film officers using unnecessary force or liberate online documents supporting criminal charges against corporations, government or police.

They twist the intent of privacy laws to shield their own misdoings. They claim "terrorism" for Anonymous actions which are designed to reveal the lies and dangerous misconduct of banks, media companies and governments who assure us that our "privacy" is being respected and our personal details are "secure." They make it a big "hacking thing" when in fact their websites are riddled with first-year web designer's elementary mistakes; open SQL tables, putting credit card information in open URLs, password limitations (alphanumeric, 8 characters only) that are completely inadequate as security measures. They buy and sell our information to anyone who sends them money without any kind of validity check.

So we get monitored, photographed and databased with no consideration at all for our privacy or security, yet the laws that are supposed to shield us from tyranny and misconduct are used against us to protect the people who are stealing from us, brutalizing us, manipulating us and passing laws in ways to make public debate and participation in the democratic process moot.

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The war against information

There are legal actions going on behind the scenes, unreported by the majority of Lamestream Media, that will affect many of our freedoms and actions online [ACTA]. These laws are being shoved through with little public debate [President Obama has lobbied heavily for secrecy in the ACTA process, even threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not bend to the will of US interests] in contravention of the principles of open democracy and fair representation.

Many of these laws are collusions between Big Media and government in the form of lobbyists with bushels of cash to give to Congressmen and representatives, suborning the democratic process to the interests of corporations and government in "taming," channeling and ultimately controlling the distribution of information according to the old Gatekeeper model.

The importance of the internets cannot be understated. The low-cost-of-entry for the nets escapes the control of Big Media, who can tailor and shape and edit and suppress information because the cost of owning and maintaining a traditional broadcast radio or television station was out of the reach of the ordinary citizen. The internet is not.

The internet also allows for a multiplicity of source and debate; information is propagated repeatedly, escaping the confines of a single channel. That information is available to anyone with the skills to use Search effectively and the determination and stamina to pursue a story. Alternate views and opinions abound; alternate supporting information is available for almost anything. This is a truly democratic medium... and the first since the printing press was available.

There has been a war on for control of the internets for over 25 years.

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Propagating signal

We are now seeing what the internet can do; in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Spain, Wall Street... we are watching the democratic propagation of signals. First-hand reports, video and photographs are escaping the tailoring process and going to the nets raw, where they are taken up and retransmitted to multiple sources and outlets. It's impossible to rein them in. It's impossible to stop a signal once it is out on the nets. And this is mighty frightening to the Powers That Be, who have built their whole cartels of commerce and control on the old, linear model.

The Old Model is subject to suborning by special interest groups who control the channels of information and are vulnerable to bribery, coercion and threat because of the incredible expense and legal breaks needed to operate. The FCC, once a model of government regulation, is in the pockets of Big Media. The US Copyright Office has become the lapdog of industry, granting absurdly-broad and vague patents on "business methods" to restrict competition and destroy common culture.

The internets are not. The internets are open to anyone with a modem and telephone line. It does not take the resources of a newspaper to publish commentary, observation, op-ed pieces or information. Anyone can become a node of transmission. It is truly peer-to-peer networking.

This is the glory and hope of the internet. This is The Last Free Press, and it is under attack for that very reason. If you are reading this now, you have reason to become informed about your network; about the movements underfoot to destroy the functionality of that network and devolve it into the old broadcast model, limiting the availability of information and your right to be informed and participate in public dialogue.

The Lamestream Media blackout currently going on around Occupy Wall Street is a visible and stark illustration of why the internet must remain free, open and democratic to the transmission and propagation of information. If you love your internet, please get involved. Propagate signal.

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Occupy Wall Street - Day 10

First, I'd like to say that there are rumors of people allegedly downloading/capturing the videos surfacing from OccupyWallStreet in case of "sanitizing" of the media channels. (not that I am at all advocating anything illegal or in contravention of Terms of Service. That wouldn't be nice) :D

Second, people are recognizing that some major media has hung in there and been reporting from the earliest; props out to Keith Olbermann, the Guardian, Al-Jazeera, many Spanish and Russian media stations for keeping the name of real journalism alive.

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[tweets as usual in italics]

Pepper spray and tear gas - things to know about it

Officer Anthony Bologna stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.

New York State Government and Wall Street

'Occupy Wall Street' Becomes Nationwide Movement
observed in tweets also: #occupyboston #occupywallstreet #occupyLA #occupydenver #occupytexas #occupynola #occupychi #occupyphoenix”

Occupy[redacted].org appears to be a fake site for scamming money. Do a whois search to find out the owner's name #OccupyWallStreet People

there is a quickly growing trend - FAKE donation sites for #occupywallstreet 1 right now in [redacted] - please -KNOW THE SOURCE

Blog comment at the Guardian:
"The cop who maced the girls has oak leaves on his collar. That makes him a Deputy Inspector in the NYPD. An inspector in US police forces is a much higher rank than in the UK police. It's the equivalent of a major in the army. All the white shirted police you see in the videos hold the rank of lieutenant or above. They--the high ranking officers--are the ones instigating the violence. They are giving the lower ranking cops (in blue) a demonstration of how to treat protesters. They are showing them how far they can go." [this conforms to my own observation of many hours of viewing these videos: the white-shirts are the most violent and frequent offenders]

The People Occupy Wall Street While Wall Street Dreams of Another Recession
about 50 seconds into this video, a retransmitted BBC interview with a trader that is absolutely shocking; even the news staff is boggled. Well-worth watching. Kudos for this guy for being so completely honest... or just brazen :D

[experiments are being run with adding certain old #hashtags to #occupywallstreet for measuring Trending topic mechanism on Twitter. So far, the experiments seem to support allegations that the hashtag #occupywallstreet is being dropped or blocked from Trending in some or all countries/locations]

Stock Traders in Bloomberg's NY Stock Exchange are NOT bonded.

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[now including Lamestream Media]

Help Us Reconstruct The Pepper Spray Incident [GuardianUK]
Please help the Guardian with this crowdsourcing effort.

A sad and brave post from a double victim of OccupyWallStreet
Mockery and harassment, the same thing poor Officer Tony Baloney complains about.

ABSOLUTELY great report on MSNBC by Lawrence McDonnell
'NYPD Police Brutality at OccupyWallStreet'

Anonymous Arrested Protester's Account #S17 #occupyWallStreet
a nice post with sanity regarding respecting good police. They aren't all thugs.

'Occupy Wall Street': Drawing the Battle Lines
[Rolloing Stone]

[Michael Moore, Roseanne Barr, Immortal Technique, Susan Sarandon, Cornel West and Noam Chomsky continue to speak up for Occupy Wall Street]


Blog comment: "Yesterday, NPR’s Executive Editor, Dick Meyer, said NPR wasn’t covering the Occupy Wall Street protests because they did not “involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective.”"

Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street [op-ed]

The view from the top, and bottom [Economist] [op-ed]

The New York Observer squeals and opines about the Rabble [hilarious]

CIA to investigate NYPD spies [followup to below article]
Secret NYPD Demographic Unit revealed [past article]

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. Margaret Mead [yay! Someone mentioned one of my heros!]

45 Million Americans are below the poverty line, do you want 45 million more? Speak up, stand up for-#OccupyWallStreet

protesters should be seen as 'conservatives' because 'they call for the restoration of the rule of law.'

#OCCUPYAMERICA is now in progress

Howard Beale's quote from 'Network' is being passed around ('Im mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!')

'Banks got bailed out; we got sold out' a popular slogan both on Twitter and in meatspace

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Day 10 - Propagating Signal

My name is Anonymous Kitty
and I approve this message

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