Occupy the lens. The world is watching!


Friday, January 6, 2012. Manhattan, New York City – A demonstration in front of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s home to protest the arrests of freelance, independent photographers, videographers and journalists.

Journalists with credentials have been arrested, roughed up, blocked from covering Occupy Wall Street events, too.

“Whenever journalists are arrested/detained for reporting the news, everyone’s freedom is at risk. That is what frightens me the most.”_Kristin Hanes

“Protesters from New York City and beyond gathered today at the front doorstep of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to give the mayor a simple message: Stop arresting journalists who are covering Occupy Wall Street.”_Press TV Global News reporter, Hank Flynn.

El Viernes, 6 de Enero, 2012, se realizó una demostración enfrente de la casa del Alcalde de Nueva York, Michael Bloomberg, en protesta por los arrestos de fotografos, videografos, periodistas independientes.

Periodistas con credenciales también han sido arrestados, tratados violentamente y no se les ha permitido cubrir eventos del Movimiento Ocupa Wall Street.

"Occupy your lens. The world is watching."

Since the start of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, The NYPD in coordination with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been arresting independent journalists simply for exercising their constitutional rights. The U.S Constitution don’t give special rights to journalists with a “media pass”. The First Amendment applies to everyone.

As I mentioned on another post, rights of independent, freelance, un-credentialed citizens to function as journalists should be made clear to police leaders and to officers on the street.
The First Circuit Court in the SIMON GLIK case on August 26, 2011 was very clear:
“Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw. The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”

Basically, if you are in a public area, you can videotape and take pictures of everything you see, including public servants (police officers, politicians, etc.). NO, You don’t need an I.D, PASS or anything else.

The idea was to have the protest in front of Bloomberg’s home, however the NYPD closed the block so the demonstration was on the corner of 79th St and 5th Ave. Apparently, Bloomberg has special rights. Maybe is because he is part of the 1%?

Clearly, NYC Mayor Bloomberg and other Mayors around the country don’t respect the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

SIGN THE PETITION: Stop Attacking Our Free Press.
“Mayor Bloomberg and the rest of the U.S. Conference Of Mayors: You must publicly commit to defending press freedom in your city and protecting the First Amendment.
Please drop all charges against journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street protests and put an immediate stop to all forms of press suppression.”

A person using a cellphone to live stream the event - Una persona usando un celular para transmitir en vivo el evento.

Desde los comienzos del Movimiento Ocupa Wall Street, La policía en coordinación con el Alcalde de Nueva York, Michael Bloomberg ha estado arrestando fotografos, videografos y periodistas independientes, simplemente por ejercer sus derechos constitucionales. La Constitución de los Estados Unidos de America no da derechos especiales a periodistas, fotografos u otros con un “pase de prensa”. La primera enmienda aplica a todas las personas.

Basicamente, si estas en una área publica, puedes tomar fotos y hacer videos de todo lo que ves, incluyendo servidores publicos (policias, politicos, etc.). NO, no necesitas un pase de prensa o ninguna otra cosa. Otra vez, es un derecho que la Constitución de USA nos da.

Originalmente la protesta iba a ser enfrente de la casa de Bloomberg, sin embargo el Departamento de policia cerró la calle y la protesta se realizó en la esquina de la calle 79 y 5 Ave. Por cierto, había demasiados policías que parecía que había un ataque terrorista o algo asi. Los manifestantes son pacificos y no son necesarios tantos policías.

Esta claro que Bloomberg y otros alcaldes en el país no respetan la Primera Enmienda de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de America.


John Farley, a public television reporter was arrested.

Marisa Holmes, a journalist was arrested.

Natasha Lennard, a New York Times journalist was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Kristen Gwynne, a staff member at AlterNet, was also arrested
I, Javier Soriano, a freelance photojournalist was also arrested.

Julie Walker, a freelance radio journalist who works part time for the AP was arrested. She was working for National Public Radio.
Karen Matthews, a reporter and photographer Seth Wenig of The Associated Press in New York were arrested.
Matthew Lysiak of the Daily News of New York was also arrested.
Doug Higginbotham, a freelance video journalist working for TV New Zealand, was arrested.
Jared Malsin, a journalist working for The New York Times: The Local East VIllage was arrested.
Jennifer Weiss, a videographer and journalist from Agance France Presse was also arrested.
Justin Bishop, a Vanity Fair photographer was arrested.
Patrick Hedlund, a DNAinfo.com News Editor, and Paul Lomax, a freelance photographer were arrested.
(Airspace in Lower Manhattan was closed to CBS and NBC news choppers by the NYPD.)

Faith Laugier, a journalist working for the Shamar Report was arrested.

Carla Murphy, a freelance Journalist was arrested while covering Occupy Bronx.

John Knefel, freelance journalist and co-host of Radio Dispatch was arrested.
Nick Isebella – Livestreaming.
Justin Wedes – Livestreaming.
Paul Sullivan – Livestreaming.
Lorenzo Serna – Livestreaming.
Jeff Smith – Livestreaming.
Charles Meacham – photographer.
(Read the story of The Occupy 17, as they are being referred to on Twitter).

Jennifer Dworkin, an independent filmmaker whose work has appeared on PBS’s POV was arrested.
Zach Roberts, Mudflats New York Bureau Chief (journalist, photographer, and filmmaker) was arrested.

I, Javier Soriano, was arrested while covering the march of the OWS Movement in NYC.

Vlad Teichberg, his wife Nikky Schiller and 4 other members of Global Revolution were arrested.

Nikky Schiller, su esposo y otras 4 personas de Global Revolution fueron desalojadas de su vivienda (la cual también servía como studio) por la policía y bomberos de la ciudad, por ordenes del alcalde de Nueva York, Michael Bloomberg, con la excusa que el apartamento estaba en malas condiciones.

En la ciudad de Nueva York hay miles de apartamentos en malas condiciones. Los arrendatarios lo reportan a la ciudad y no hacen nada. Manifestantes piensan que el desalojo y arrestos fueron por razones politicas. Dicen que esto fue un ataque más al Movimiento Ocupa Wall Street.

According to Josh Stearns, Associate Program Director at Free Press, as of January 28, 2012, “So far 42 journalists (with credentials) have been arrested in 10 cities around the United States since Occupy Wall Street began. Including citizen journalists affiliated with a variety of Occupy media teams the total is 56.”

A boy taking pictures of his mother - Un chico tomando fotos de su madre.

Some articles about journalists arrested or harassed by the police in the United States of America.

The Atlantic Wire – 10/06/2011. Reporters Tangle with NYPD, Become Their Own Stories.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press – 11/04/2011. Reporters detained, arrested across the country in “Occupy” protests.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer is the latest journalist to be arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that have sprung up across the nation, raising questions about how police should define and handle reporters documenting the protests.

Free Media – 11/07/2011. U.S. Journalists Arrested
Police Detain Reporters Covering “Occupy Wall Street” Protests

Committee to protect journalists – November 11, 2011. At Occupy protests, U.S. journalists arrested, assaulted
“As the Occupy movement has spread beyond Wall Street, at least seven U.S. journalists have been detained and one television crew attacked by U.S. law enforcement officers during turbulent encounters between police and protesters.”

NBCNewYork – 11/15/2011. “The NYPD has come under fire from journalists for deliberately blocking their view of the overnight eviction at Zuccotti Park. Chris Glorioso was one of the first reporters on the scene, and offers his first-hand account here.”

The Huffington Post – 11/15/2011. Occupy Wall Street ‘Media Blackout’: Journalists Arrested, Roughed Up, Blocked From Covering Clearing.
“The surprise raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment included an aggressive, sometimes violent approach to the journalists covering the event.”
Reporters twitted about the “#mediablackout”.

The Society Of Professional Journalists – 11/15/2011. Condemned the arrests of reporters carried out by the New York Police Department.
“The Society of Professional Journalists calls on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city administrators across the country to drop charges against journalists arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street and related protests.”

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS – November 16, 2011. Journalists arrested during “media blackout” as police evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from New York City park.
At least seven journalists were arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City on Tuesday, Nov. 15, reported the Committee to Protect Journalists, which noted, “Journalists must be allowed to cover news events without fear of arrest and harassment. It is particularly disturbing that government officials sought to block any coverage of the event at all.”

Reporters without borders – 11/16/2011. Journalists arrested and obstructed again during Occupy Wall Street camp eviction.
““Zuccotti Park is not Tiananmen Square,” said Scott Stringer, the Borough of Manhattan’s Democratic Party president, criticizing the way the New York police manhandled reporters and kept them at a distance as they evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters from their camp in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in the early hours of yesterday.”

The Huffington Post – 11/17/2011. Occupy Wall Street November 17: Journalists Arrested, Beaten By Police.
“As thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets on Thursday, journalists once again found themselves a target of police violence and arrests.
Reporters took to Twitter and, in some cases, to television to spread the word of the heavy hand police were using against them.”

Examiner – 11/17/2011. Occupy Censorship: U.S. human rights abuse of 6 detained American journalists.
“U.S. violating human rights and Constitution First Amendment rights of 6 detained journalists covering Occupy Wall Street must end say Society of Professional Journalists, New York Press Club, European Citizens Network.”

Emily Bellwether – 11/18/2011. Columbia Journalism School faculty write to Mayor and NYPD over #OWS protests
“There was also an alarming level of restriction placed on those reporters, and a number of arrests. The threat to journalists of restraint and detention whilst reporting public interest stories in New York City is extremely troubling.”

The Daily Beast – 12/10/2011. I Was Arrested at Occupy Bronx—for Writing About It
“Journalist Carla Murphy had planned to cover a small protest in the Bronx last Saturday and then head to brunch—but she went to jail instead.”

Observer – 12/12/2011. ‘New York Times’ Credentialed Reporters Still Being Blocked From Covering Occupy Arrests (Video).
“During the Occupy Wall Street arrests at the World Financial Center Plaza this morning, credentialed New York Times freelance photographer Robert Stolarik was prevented from taking photos of the police descending on the Occupy Wall Street protesters.”

New York Times – 11/20/2011. Protest Puts Coverage in Spotlight.
“As police officers cleared protesters last week from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the birthplace of Occupy Wall Street, they made sure most reporters were kept blocks away, supposedly for their own protection.”

Capital New York – 11/21/2011. New York media organizations demand meeting with Kelly, Browne about Zuccotti Park ‘abuses’ of the press.
Executives from a variety of media outlets and press advocacy groups, New York Times Company vice president and assistant general counsel George Freeman sent a letter and requested an immediate meeting with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Paul Browne, the deputy commissioner of public information.

RT – 11/22/2011. Police lockdown and brutality on journalists at OWS.
“An estimated 26 journalists have been arrested at Occupy Wall Street protests. Brutally handcuffed, thrown onto the ground, pepper sprayed, and threatened to have press credentials taken away – is this the future for freedom of press in the US?”

Dissenter – 12/12/2011. Filming the Police at Occupy Wall Street Protests.
“The officers single out Justin Wedes of Occupy Wall Street, who is handling the livestream (people might recognize him from his appearance on “The Colbert Report”). Wedes is forcefully brought to the ground and someone barely manages to rush in to save the laptop he was using to do the livestream.”

SALON – 12/12/2011. Busted for tweeting by Molly Knefel.
“The role independent journalists have played in documenting and disseminating Occupy is one of the things that makes the movement so powerful and unique. After the media blackout during the Zuccotti raid, the significance of citizen photographers and citizen tweeters became even more clear.”

Alternet – 1/4/2012. ‘It’s All Political’: Eviction and Arrests of Global Revolution Livestreamers Part of Pattern of Crackdowns on Alternative Living.
Released from jail after their arrest at a Brooklyn collective living space, livestreamers affiliated with Occupy Wall Street tell their stories.”

Save the News – 1/10/2012. Citizen Journalist Arrests on the Rise at Occupy Protests.
“Late last Friday journalists and protesters gathered outside the home of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to speak out in defense of the First Amendment. The event drew more police than participants, which only reinforced the message the group hoped to send regarding the NYPD’s heavy-handed approach to journalists covering Occupy Wall Street.”

FAIR – January 2012. Journalism Under Arrest.
“Clamping down on reporters at Occupy crackdowns.
The idea behind the First Amendment, of course, is that no one is required to seek permission from the government before attempting to report the news. And few situations call out more urgently for independent journalistic scrutiny than the state’s use of force against nonviolent political protest.”

Mother Jones – 1/28/2012. Journalists—Myself Included—Swept Up in Mass Arrest at Occupy Oakland by Gavin Aronsen
At least six journalists were arrested, Gavin included, in direct violation of OPD media relations policy that states “media shall never be targeted for dispersal or enforcement action because of their status.

New York Times – 1/29/2012. 12 Arrested at Manhattan March for Oakland Protesters by Colin Moynihan.
“On Park Avenue, a man wearing dark clothes and wearing no visible badge grabbed a woman by the arm and threw her to the ground. Uniformed officers arrested her and a second woman as other officers blocked the lens of a newspaper photographer attempting to document the arrests.”

Videos about journalists arrested or harassed by the police in the United States of America.

Link TV’s John Hamilton talks to “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman about her recent arrest at the 2008 RNC, as well as that of her producers.

“Several members of the media were arrested in a raid on Zucotti Park in New York City to break up the Occupy Wall Street protests. The Young Turks Cenk Uygur breaks it down including the response from NYC Mayor Bloomberg.”_The Young Turks

“As of Nov 21, 2011, an estimated 26 journalists have been arrested at Occupy Wall Street (NYC) protests. Brutally handcuffed, thrown onto the ground, pepper sprayed, and threatened to have press credentials taken away — is this the future for freedom of press in the U.S.? RT’s Anastasia Churkina reports.”

“Last week, as Zuccotti Park was being raided by NYPD, and a day of action and marches followed, there was an attempted media blackout. Journalists were roughed up by police, pepper sprayed, had a barrier tossed at them and even were arrested, despite having the approved police press passes. Now 13 news organizations, including the NYT have sent a letter of protest to the NYPD. So are we seeing a drastic change in the way journalists are treated? Democracy Now! ‘s Ryan Devereaux discusses.”_RT

Photojournalist Tyson Zoltan Heder beaten and detained by LAPD at Occupy Los Angeles.

The Invasion of L.A. City Hall – (Journalist Calvin Milam’s Arrested at 3:22).

Reporter of News 12 is being harassed by the NYPD. Journalist Carla Murphy is arrested at Occupy Bronx.

On January 4, two members of the Occupy Oakland media and livestreaming team were arrested. This video shows Adam Katz being arrested.

Freelance photographer, Robert Stolarik working for the New York Times, was blocked from taking photos and then forced out of the building by police.

Tim Pool was Attacked… by an “agent Provocateur”? Also, minute 6:00, We Are Change, journalist Luke Rudowski was tackled, handcuffed and temporarily detained by NYPD. Police officer said: “You are going to go away. You understand that. You have two choices. You go to fucking jail or you go away. If I see your fucking face tonight, I’ll find 20 fucking reasons to put you in jail.”

Other important links:

“I’m tracking these journalist arrests because I’m concerned about the state of the First Amendment, and our willingness as a public and a democracy to defend it. These arrests are a symptom of a larger debate about how we understand the First Amendment in a digital age, as the institutions that traditionally embodied those freedoms shift and change.
I have been tracking, confirming and verifying reports of journalist arrests at Occupy protests all over the country since September. Help me by sending tips and tweets to @jcstearns.”_Josh Stearns

The New York Press Club – Coalition For the First Amendment.
“The Coalition for the First Amendment consists of 13 membership organizations representing working journalists, primarily in New York City. It was established in late November, 2011, in response to the alarming suppression, abuse and arrests of reporters covering NYPD’s eviction of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters from Zuccotti Park on November 15th. Details of the police actions to suppress and deter coverage are contained in numerous accounts, below. So are communications between press organizations and Bloomberg administration officials condemning the police actions and demanding that they cease.”

JCStearns – Legal Resources for Journalists Covering Protests.
“Resources for journalists who get arrested, intimidated or assaulted while covering #Occupy protests around the country.”

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press – Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide.
“If you are gathering and disseminating news and information in any medium, this guide is for you. It will be as useful to bloggers as to a staff reporter at a national newspaper.”

National Lawyers Guild
“We, as lawyers, are fighting to keep the First Amendment alive in the legal arena; the people are fighting to keep the First Amendment alive in the streets, in their homes, in the factories, in the legislative halls, in the political arena.”_Arthur Kinoy

The Center for Constitutional Rights
“Is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.”

American Civil Liberties Union
“The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”

A protester told me, “We are not just fighting for us. We are fighting for our children, grandchildren and future generations.”

Occupy the lens. It’s your First Amendment right!
Usa tu camera. Toma fotos. Haz videos. Es tu derecho.


One Reply to “Occupy the lens. The world is watching!”

Comments are closed.