Articles about "Occupy Wall Street"

Miami photographer found not guilty of resisting arrest while covering Occupy protest

Ars Technica | Photography Is Not a Crime | Miami New Times
Miami photojournalist Carlos Miller was acquitted Wednesday of resisting an officer, after police tried to prevent him from covering an Occupy protest in January. Timothy B. Lee reports:

After Miller’s January arrest, the police confiscated his camera and deleted some of his footage, including video documenting his encounter with the police. That may prove to be an expensive mistake. Miller was able to recover the footage, which proved helpful in winning his acquittal. He says his next step will be to file a lawsuit charging that the deletion of the footage violated his constitutional rights.

Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin testified he’d been at the scene alongside Miller, and that arresting officer Nancy Perez had told Garvin he wouldn’t be arrested. Lee writes that “An e-mail disclosed during the trial showed the police had been monitoring Miller’s Facebook page and had sent out a notice warning officers in charge of evicting the Occupy Miami protestors that Miller was planning to cover the process.” Read more

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Journalists arrested at Occupy anniversary protests

Josh Stearns rounds up reports of journalists getting arrested at Monday’s anniversary protests for Occupy Wall Street. Photographer Julia Reinhart and artist Molly Crabapple were among the people who got to check out the inside of police vans. (Jason Boog writes Crabapple’s arrest got attention on Twitter from some famous writers.) John Knefel was among those arrested, which was sort of a trip down memory lane for him; his arrest at an Occupy event last year prompted a Boing Boing piece by Maggie Koerth-Baker on how to define journalists.

Knefel doesn’t work for a major media outlet. But he’s also not just some random bystander. He’s got a political podcast with new episodes three times a week. Do we only call someone a journalist if they have enough page views? Do they have to have a journalism degree? What’s the line?

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press estimates five journalists have been arrested since anniversary demonstrations began over the past weekend.

Here’s Stearn’s Storify document about the arrests: Read more


Occupy’s ‘May Day’ protesters gather outside New York Times building

Protesters are gathering outside The New York Times building on Eighth Avenue this morning, apparently as part of the Occupy movement’s May Day protests. The protests are being organized in concert with labor unions; the Times is involved in a protracted contract negotiation with the Newspaper Guild.

Times freelancer Natasha Lennard was arrested covering Occupy Wall Street last fall; after she spoke about the protests at a public event, a blogger accused her of being an Occupy supporter. Lennard said she was not aligned with the protests; the Times defended her reporting but said it didn’t plan to use her again.

Lennard later said that she didn’t want to be part of mainstream media because she has too many “problems with what does or does not get to be a fact — or what rises to the level of a fact they believe to be worth reporting.”

Armin Rosen comments on Tuesday’s protests:

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Suspect in custody

How journalists can protect themselves & the news they’ve gathered if arrested on the job

A growing number of journalists across the U.S. are getting arrested while on the job. And it’s not just an Occupy Wall Street issue.

Veteran photojournalist Clint Fillinger was arrested in September for standing beyond police barricades while filming a house fire in Milwaukee. The charges were eventually dropped.

“As the number of people who are out on the street with cell phones that record audio and video grows, so does the number of arrests of people recording and taking photographs of police,” Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said in a recent phone interview. “It could be just coincidence, but I doubt it.”

Dalglish believes police are becoming increasing “prickly” as more citizen journalists try to document their actions. Police are also paying less attention to journalists’ First Amendment rights and arresting more reporters working for traditional organizations, she said.

Journal Sentinel photojournalist Kristyna Wentz-Graff, a three-time Wisconsin “Photographer of the Year” winner, was arrested last fall while covering a protest in Milwaukee. A photo shows her being handcuffed despite having visibly displayed media credentials. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said video of the arrest makes it clear she was a reporter doing her job.

“An officer turned towards me, cuffs in hand, and before I knew it, I had become part of the story,” Wentz-Graff said via email.

Arrests of journalists in the U.S. last year grew enough to push the country down 27 spots to no. 47 on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.

Reports so far this year suggest journalist arrests aren’t slowing down. Just this week, Carlos Miller, who runs the blog “Photography is Not a Crime,” was arrested while covering Occupy protests in Miami.

Developing a plan for dealing with arrests

Dalglish recommends journalists start by planning ahead. Journalists working on behalf of specific newsrooms should have editors standing by when they’re covering situations that could put them at risk. “Talk about the protocol for handling an arrest beforehand,” she said.

Dalglish suggests journalists carry identification and wear their press badges while working. She also suggests carrying cash, an editor’s contact information and the number to the Reporters Committee 24-hour legal hotline. “Somebody needs to know if you’ve been arrested so they can get a lawyer down to you,” she said.

The committee is setting up additional hotlines to deal with calls related to this year’s political conventions and G-8 summit in Chicago.

Gavin Aronsen, an editorial fellow with Mother Jones in San Francisco, said in a phone call that he’s been able to avoid arrest by displaying his press credentials and following officers’ instructions in the past. But, as he pointed out in a recent Mother Jones story, that doesn’t always work out.

Wentz-Graff urges reporters under arrest to stay calm and keep reporting. “Outraged, shocked and annoyed — that’s how I felt when the officer placed the cuff on my wrist. But fighting an officer is a losing battle,” she said. “Escalating the situation will only give them more reasons to justify your arrest.”

Should you get as far as the county lockup, Dalglish recommends asking for the supervisor on duty or a public information officer and explaining your role as a working journalist. “Keep in mind the officer who could potentially be on your side of the situation,” she said.

Dalglish cautions journalists against breaking the law in the course of their reporting. “If you violate the law, you will be treated the same as the law violators,” she said. “That means even if you’re press, you don’t get to cross a police barricade unless you have special permission from somebody to do that.”

How freelancers can handle arrests

Freelancers may face more challenges when dealing with police. “If I get arrested, I have no editor who is going to proactively call on my behalf,” said Susie Cagle, a northern California freelance comics journalist. “It’s just me.”

Cagle has been arrested twice since November while covering Occupy Oakland. “If you don’t have a giant professional looking camera, it’s like they see you as fair game to go to jail,” she said by phone. Cagle has found that it helps to obtain official city press credentials and make sure public information officers know who she is and that she’s a working journalist.

Dalglish suggests independent journalists who are threatened with arrest ask for a supervisor and show links to articles they’ve published. “This might help move the process along a little faster,” she said.

Protecting the news you’ve gathered

Several journalists who have recently been arrested or otherwise detained reported having their photographs and video erased.

Casey Monroe, a video journalist for ABC 24 News in Memphis, Tenn., says police erased photographs and video he took of officers issuing a parking ticket. “I identified myself as a journalist, and I was on a public sidewalk,” Monroe said by phone.

Dalglish pointed out that “One of the reasons the cops flip out at a crime scene is because they think you have pictures of their undercover officers.” Still, she said, the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 prohibits law enforcement from seizing or erasing materials obtained by journalists for the purpose of communicating with the public.

That may not always be enough to keep a memory card from getting cleared, but it’s a reminder that every journalist has a right to do his or her job — and advocate for themselves when under arrest.

Click here for a related News University course on newsgathering law & liability.

Correction: Lucy Dalglish’s last name was misspelled in a previous version of this story. Read more

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Report: 6 journalists arrested at Occupy Oakland protest

“As soon as it became clear that I would be kettled with the protesters, I displayed my press credentials to a line of officers and asked where to stand to avoid arrest. In past protests, the technique always proved successful. But this time, no officer said a word. One pointed back in the direction of the protesters, refusing to let me leave. Another issued a notice that everyone in the area was under arrest.”

Gavin Aronsen, Mother Jones editorial fellow

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Press credentials don’t help journalists covering Occupy protests in New York, LA

Capital New York | The City Maven
Robert Stolarik was freelancing for The New York Times, trying to photograph arrests at World Financial Center on Monday, but officers kept pushing him back and blocking his shots. At one point during the confrontation, captured on video (3:05), an officer repeatedly bobs in front of Stolarik. “Are you really doing that right now?” Stolarik asks, then records the officer denying that he blocked his shots. Stolarik told The Village Voice that his press credential was visible; it’s visible in the video. In Los Angeles, The City Maven reports that a new video contradicts a Los Angeles police officer’s contention that a City News Service reporter arrested two weeks ago was drunk and didn’t identify himself. The police department is investigating. “As to why the police department’s original account appears to differ from the video,” writes Alice M. Walton, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith “said there was a major miscommunication between the arresting officers and Media Relations.” Update: Joe Pompeo reports that a Times lawyer has complained to the deputy commissioner, who is looking into that incident and another one. Read more

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OWS creator: ‘May the best meme win’

The New York Times
Adbusters magazine editor Kalle Lasn created the hashtag #occupywallstreet on July 13 to “tap simmering frustration on the American political left.” He intended to create a message that would capture and define a moment and a movement.

“There’s a number of ways to wage a meme war,” Mr. Lasn, whose name is pronounced KAL-luh LAS-en, said in an interview. … “If you’re able to come up with a very sexy sounding hash tag like we did for Occupy Wall Street, and you come up with a very magical looking poster that seems to have something very profound about it, these devices push these memes, these meta memes, into the public imagination in a very powerful way,” he said. … “This is what Adbusters has done for the past 20 years, to come up with these memes and to propagate them,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about: may the best memes win.”

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Morning advisory: Nov. 28, 2011

Here’s what you may have missed Thanksgiving week:

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How Stearns verifies journalists arrested at Occupy protests


Josh Stearns describes how he has tracked and, equally important, verified reports of journalists being arrested at Occupy protests around the country. “I decided early on that I wasn’t going to quibble about who is a journalist, and who isn’t. My goal was to account for anyone who was clearly committing acts of journalism when they were arrested. However, I also recognize that to hold police and city officials accountable for these arrests, those being arrested had to identify as journalists publicly – either with some form of credentials or verbally,” Stearns writes. In one case, he removed a journalist from his list after learning that the person was participating in the protests, not covering them.

He tells me by email that he’s been criticized for including student journalists on his list, “but I reject the notion that student journalists are not full journalists, or somehow doesn’t deserve First Amendment protections.” He also hasn’t heard from any individual bloggers (people unaffiliated with an organization’s site) to tell him about being arrested or mistreated. Read more


Morning advisory: Nov. 22, 2011

New overnight and updates on developing stories:

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