Hugely updated, scroll down below, with links and quotes of media supression
Headline: Police prevent CBS News chopper from taking off.
Headline: Police barricades keep credentialed press out of sight of public area.
It is not enough that the corporate mainstream media is owned and controlled by the 0.01% and dependent on their plutocratic comrades for advertising and other support (fyi: main reason Air America failed was organied corporate advertising boycott). When Wall Street Billionaire Bloomberg wants to use Police Power to shutdown the peaceful right to assemble in public space (OWS in Zuccotti) and to seize private property (e.g. tents) it is critical to keep the media out. Just as the U.S military learned after Vietnam, and as president Assad has been doing in Syria, the mainstream press must either be kept out, or emmbedded with minders.
Bridges and public transit leading into the area were shut down, even though ostensibly it is all public space. Expanded cordron of police keep media from moving through public space, aka: the streets and sidewalks, to report on what is happening. Police keep CBS News chopper from taking off after refueling. When the police barricades are facing outward as well as inward, one asks who is protecting whom from what?
Cell phone video on youtube posted by DFHs are seen only by a few and are dismissable by the general public. But a police state will try to keep CBS from getting real time unedited unminded footage. Just in case folks on the outside notice that, just as in the so-called riots in the 1960s, it is always the police that start the violence.
Meanwhile OW and supporters such as myself will regather and reoccupy.
See you on Novmemer 17 day of action, wherever you are.
apologies for no links. Doing this from nyc in transit on cellphone. Based on reporting from the guardian, ny times and reuters.
Updated: Holy cr*p. My little rant, without links, written on a droid phone while going from lower Manhattan (I had tried to make an appearance at Zuccotti in solidarity this morning, admittedly as a token on my way to work, but was blocked by police and so then went to work. FYI my OWS credentials as it were are that I have been going for an hour or so daily since the beginning; and am one of the "leaders" of the Healthcare for the 99% working group; helping organize and participate in various speak-out/teach-ins, marches and other events) to work on NJ tranist train, went to the Rec list.
Okay, now that I am at a real computer I feel obliged to actually put in the links. I will be collecting and adding below links to reports of the medica exclusion. Late in the day, but good for posterity. And, while we are at it, and since this Fahrenheit 451 activity is of the same vein as the 1984esque media exclusion, I will put in the links regarding the trashing of the books from the OWS library.
By the way, even if from their perspective of tactics and strategy there is a logic to blocking the street access to activists coming into the area to support OWS (like me), if they really believed that what they were doing was legal, justified and had public support why would they block the reporters?
If you have to block the media from seeing what you are doing, then maybe what you are doing is wrong?
I think the media blockade, arrests of reporters just for being there and trying to report, is going to backfire tremendously. It is the largest error on Bloomberg's part, and the greatest part of the victory that will come out of this.
NY Oberserver reported:
The Observer’s Hunter Walker is as close as you can get to the scene: “NYPD is blocking press and others from immediate vicinity of Liberty Plaza” he reports. “Here with credentialed photogs from NYT, WSJ and Reuters they’re also being barred from #occupywallstreet.”
Over the next 12 hours, both independent and mainstream journalists were prevented from covering the story, and 8 credentialed journalists (including AP, NPR, NY Daily News) were arrested.
New York Observer Politics Reporter Hunter Walker: I was blocked from viewing nypd raid at #occupywallstreet along with reporters from cnbc, nbc, cbs, wsj and reuters
NPR Freelancer Julie Walker and NY Times blog The Local reporter Jared Malsin were arrested by the NYPD, along with an unknown AFP photographer: Am still reporting on #OWS for NPR since being released from jail following my arrest. Catch me at the top of the hour.
Update 1:21pm --- 5 more credentialed journalists arrested, 2 from the Associated Press, 2 from DNAinfo,.com and 1 from the New York Daily News
AP Assistant Bureau Chief Chad Roedemeier: AP reporter Karen Matthews and AP photographer Seth Wenig were arrested by #NYPD while covering #Occupy protests.
New York Daily News: Our reporter Matthew Lysiak says that he has been arrested at the 6th Avenue park bit.ly/vl2NpO
Even Murdoch's NY Post reporters:
New York Times Reporter Brian Stelter: I'm w/ a NY Post reporter who says he was roughed up by riot police as Zuccotti was cleared. He thinks violence was "completely deliberate." brianstelter 9 hours ago ReplyRetweet Per @LindseyChrist, riot police didn't distinguish between media & protesters. "They took a Post reporter and threw him in a choke hold."
Just as the raid began, the CBS helicopter that was filming Zuccotti Park was ordered to vacate the airspace by the NYPD, as confirmed by Reuters Social Media editor Anthony De Rosa "I just spoke with the CBS News desk and they were told to leave the airspace above Zuccotti Park by NYPD
The NYPD also attempted to prevent media from seeing what was going on from outside the park:
Gothamist reporter Christopher Robbins:".@Newyorkist myself, @_rosiegray @JulieShapiro and NYT's Rob Harris were all forcefully removed from park, past Cortland & Broadway
Christopher Robbins 9 hours ago ReplyRetweet: Ryan Devereaux of Democracy Now, contributor to The Guardian, The Nation and others: “Police parked two NYPD busses in front of press cage, engines running, blocking shots of square. Yelling at media trying to work. #ows
Ryan Devereaux 12 hours ago ReplyRetweet “Police are now pushing the press off the block. They just took the press pass off ab NBC news anchor. #OWS
Ryan Devereaux 13 hours ago ReplyRetweet: NYPD inspector who took press badge from NBC4's @glorioso4ny and refused to give name http://twitpic.com/...
Newyorkist 12 hours ago ReplyRetweet Columbia Journalism student and reporter Andrew Katz confirmed that even the Associated Press was kept out: “Walking with an @AP videographer to try and get a better view. NYPD wouldn't tell us why press is being penned #OWS
Andrew Katz 12 hours ago: ReplyRetweet: "Even after the park was cleared, the NYPD continued to prevent press from covering events on public streets: “We are being stopped by police from going further South on Broadway along with a credentialed Japanese TV crew. -NewYorkObserver"
More from the Observer:
Speaking of reporters, the New York Daily News has been trying to keep tabs on which ones have been detained by police: “AP writer Karen Matthews was taken into custody; also AP photographer Seth Wenig and Daily News reporter Matthew Lysiak,” were all noted as having been arrested by the Daily News.
DNAInfo.com Managing Editor Michael Ventura confirmed with The NY Observer that their reporter Patrick Hedlund was arrested at 4:30 A.M. this morning while covering the OWS protests on the perimeter of Zuccotti Park.
A freelance photographer working for the online publication was also arrested. Paul Lomax was arrested at Duarte Square on Canal and Sixth Avenue later in the day as protesters were moving towards the area. Both Mr. Hedlund and Mr. Lomax were wearing NYPD-issued press credentials at the time of the arrest, according to a Mr. Ventura. Hedlund has already been released and received a Desk Appearance Ticket, he added.
Brian Stelter of NY Times
3:00 p.m. | Updated As New York City police cleared the Occupy Wall Street campsite in Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning, many journalists were blocked from observing and interviewing protesters. Some called it a “media blackout” and said in interviews that they believed that the police efforts were a deliberate attempt to tamp down coverage of the operation.
As the police approached the park they did not distinguish between protesters and members of the press, said Lindsey Christ, a reporter for NY1, a local cable news channel. “Those 20 minutes were some of the scariest of my life,” she said.
Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and “threw him in a choke-hold.”
Later in the morning, even when there were media reports that Zuccotti Park was reopening, reporters had a hard time getting access to the area. Debra Alfarone, a reporter at WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City, wrote on Twitter around 8:45 a.m., “And we got kicked out of #zuccottipark again.”
At midday, as protesters tried to claim a vacant lot owned by a church, a confrontation ensued and at least four journalists were led away in plastic handcuffs. The City Room blog of The New York Times said that the journalists included a reporter and a photographer from The Associated Press, a reporter from The Daily News and a photographer from DNAInfo.
From the Gothamist:
During our coverage of the eviction of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early this morning, a NPR reporter, a New York Times reporter, and a city councilmember were arrested. Airspace in Lower Manhattan was closed to CBS and NBC news choppers by the NYPD, a New York Post reporter was allegedly put in a "choke hold" by the police, a NBC reporter's press pass was confiscated and a large group of reporters and protesters were hit with pepper spray. According to the eviction notice, the park was merely "cleaned and restored for its intended use." If this is the case, why were so few people permitted to view it?
NY Daily News:
3:52 PMRoque Planas: In addition to the four reporters whose arrests we blogged about earlier today, The Guardian notes the arrests of another three journalists -- news editor for DNAinfo.com Patrick Hedlund, freelance photographer for DNAinfo.com Paul Lomax and freelance reporter Jared Malsin.
3:50 PMKaren ZraickThe Deadline Club of NY has issued a statement on arrests of journalists: "The Deadline Club condemns the actions of the New York Police Department in detaining journalists who were covering the Occupy Wall Street protests today. As the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Deadline Club believes that a free press is a cornerstone of our democracy and opposes any police interference with journalists in the lawful pursuance of their reporting. We urge that any journalists who are in custody be released and that any charges against the journalists detained today be dropped immediately."
1:55 PMRoque Planas: Police arrested writer Karen Matthews and photographer Seth Wenig of the Associated Press while the two were covering the confrontation between police and OWS protesters today, the AP reported. Along with National Public Radio freelance reporter Julie Walker (who has been released) and the Daily News' own Matthew Lysiak, that makes at least four journalists arrested while covering the OWS eviction and ensuring protests today.
Follow the literal trashing of the library at this twitter feed.
Tech Herald secondary reporting:
, if a surprise eviction on the pretense of sanitation and random police violence wasn’t bad enough, the NYPD showed a disturbing lack of judgment when they attempted to shutdown press coverage of the raid, implementing a media blackout by threatening arrest.
It started with a news helicopter being forced to land after the airspace over the park was ordered closed off. Soon after, reports started to come in on Twitter form those on the ground that accredited media, with clearly marked credentials, were being forced to leave the area.
Reporters from the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, and the New York Observer, were all subjected to the media blackout. According to reports, a handful of journalists were moved far away from the park, but in some cases others were stripped of their media passes and told to leave or be arrested.
As of 03:00 EST, at least two journalists were arrested, and two others from the New York Times left the park in order to avoid arrest. One journalist from NPR was clearly wearing her credentials as police took her away. At last count, 106 people were arrested during the raid.
“Cops at #OWS keep confiscating press passes, then arresting press with and without passes. Illegal and stupid,” said one report posted on Twitter.
Matt Cowgill, commenting from Australia, summed up the mood of many journalists watching the reports on Twitter, in addition to live video from the protesters themselves with, “I don't see how ejecting accredited journalists from a public place is defensible in a democracy.”
“The dumbest thing NYC could do to #Occupy is what they are doing right now. Suppression always has the opposite effect,” commented Keith Olbermann, who was following things online.
“US Democracy has always survived thanks to stupidity of those who'd suppress it,” he later added.
Again, the NYPD’s attempt to block media coverage failed. It was doomed from the start.
At 05:00 EST, CNN was running coverage, using video feeds provided by the protesters, reporters on cell phones, and comments from Twitter. But the real coverage will start later this morning, as Occupy protesters return in force, and Mayor Bloomberg answers hard questions.
With so many protesters carrying with cameras and social media tools, the public was able to learn what was happening overnight, and people remained informed all though the raid. If the NYPD learned anything about the Occupy movement, one would think they would’ve remembered that it is documented and “the world is watching.”
Still, while the effort failed, the very idea that the NYPD would consider stripping a reporter of their media credentials, or threaten them with arrest for doing their jobs is disgusting. There’s just no other word for it. It’s simply disgusting.
At this point, it doesn’t matter if the police lift the local media blackout. It doesn’t matter if they open the airspace above the park. The damage has been done, and the world watched as city officials walked all over the First Amendment.
HuffPo has a collection of tweets, photos and videos from the media as it was/is happening documenting Billionaire Bloomberg's assault on the first amednement.
More updates on the OWS people's library at their website.
End of continuous update mode... for now.
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