Two Countries One Voice: Protests against Carlos Slim’s monopolistic practices.

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Monday, August 6th, 2012. New York City – Today, I went to cover a press conference organized by “Two Countries One Voice”. Several prominent New York City Leaders, Yo Soy 132, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy DC formed this new coalition. The conference was at La Fuente in Manhattan.

Dos paises, una voz - Two countries, one voice.

When I got to the lobby, they made me sign a guest list and asked me for my media pass. I am a freelance photojournalist. I don’t work for a company. I don’t have a media pass. They did not allow me to go into the room because they said, “We need to know who you are.”

I asked them if it was a public or private event. They said, it was a public event. They still wanted to know who I was.

If the organizers are so scare of the FBI, undercover officers, informants, etc. then they should not organized this kind of events.

I have been covering the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the Yo Soy 132 Movement since the beginning. This is the first time that organizers do not allow me to cover an event because I do not have press credentials.

I have been arrested by the NYPD twice while covering events of OWS. The first time was on Saturday, October 1rst, 2011 and the second time was on Sunday, January 1rst, 2012. I was also going to get arrested on Sunday, June 17, 2012 while covering the silent march to end “Stop and Frisk”.

Today, it was not the NYPD, but the organizers that did not allow me to cover an event.

According to a press release posted on Facebook by Justin Wedes, “Two countries, one voice will hold a noontime press conference in New York City and kick-off a four-day protest against Slim in New York City.

Mexican businessman Carlos Slim is the richest man in the world and he owns a 16 percent interest in the chain of upscale department stores, in addition to interests in other American institutions.

Slim has price-gouged Mexican customers billions of dollars for basic telephone and Internet service. They point out that those specifically and most profoundly affected by these business practices are rural and poor communities.

The following individuals and organizations were at the press conference:

* Senator Adriano Espaillat, NYS Senate, 31st District
* Assembly member Nelson Castro, NYS Assembly, 86th District
* Assembly member Robert J. Rodriguez, NYS Assembly, 68th District
* Council member Ydanis Rodriguez, NYC Council, 10th District
* Juan Jose Gutierrez, Leader of Two Countries One Voice
* Andres Ramirez, Leader of Two Countries One Voice
* Antonio Attolini, Representative of Yo Soy 132
* Mariana Fabela, Representative of Yo Soy 132 and a graduate student at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
* George Martinez, Representative of Occupy Wall Street and Adjunct professor of political science at Pace University
* Lucia Gomez Jimenez, Executive Director, La Fuente, Inc.
* Nieves Padilla, Community Organizer, Make the Road NY”

YoSoy132NY said in a press release, “Yosoy132internacional and YoSoy132NY were told on short notice of this event. According to our assemblies, did not have the time to discuss the organizational and logistical details of this event and the convenience of our involvement. Therefore, following the democratic principle governing all meetings of #Yosoy132internacional, we decided not to participate in these events.”

I was interested in covering the press conference and the events from Tuesday to Friday in NYC, however as a protest, I will not cover any of the protests this week.