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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