As I’m writing this it’s 11:30 pm PST here in SF. Occupy evictions are happening in LA and Philly. If something goes pear shaped at the evictions there will be a world wide coverage by the media. Like a good psychic, I want to get my predictions down and posted before the event so later I can say, “I predicted this!” I also want to suggest to people what they can do instead of just watching and shaking their head if my predictions come true.
I want to remind everyone:
If there is reported protester on cop violence DON’T ASSUME THAT IT IS TRUE.
Do not trust the official spokespeople from the police.
Do not trust the first reports from the media when they say OccupyLA or OccupyPhilly protesters fired a shot, threw a bottle, punched a cop, etc.
Do not trust reports that the shooter/rock thrower is an actual OWS member and believer in OWS goals and principles as outlined by the GA.
Remember what we learned in Oakland– when the media covers a chaotic event like this, they rely on authorities to tell them what happened. In many cases they don’t even trust their own eyes/cameras.
Why not trust media reports that some Occupy Wall Street protester shot at cops? Because anyone can come to the event. The Black Bloc Vandals clearly didn’t follow the non-violent principles of OWS and the methods that the group had decided upon. But when they started smashing stuff they became “The Occupy protesters” (Fortunately for us they wore black and masks and it was daylight.)
If some Black Bloc vandal, agent provocateur, Blackwater mercenary or random crazy person starts shooting, the first media reports will be that is an Occupy protester.
It will take time for the shooter to be identified, caught and brought in for questioning. Then we will need to find out and his intentions and his connection or lack of connection to the cause and their history of violence or inciting violence.
Hopefully we will have film of the shooting but it will be dark and chaotic. We can then look at the footage to see who did what when, but who is going to do this leg work? Not the media. They already have their story! They will run with the headline, “Occupiers shot at cops!” Because that is all they know by deadline time.
The “embedded media” won’t be out there trying to find out the truth about the identity of someone shooting, or throwing bottles because they will be part of the group advancing on the people.
What You Can do Following a Report of Protester on Cop Violence.
1) Challenge the assumption that the violent protester(s) are actually Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The media move fast, they don’t believe it is their job to know who started the violence, just that it started. If someone looks like an Occupy Wall Street protester, they are an OWS protester, even if they are an editor from the Right Wing publication American Spectator who is at the protest specifically to discredit the movement.
2) Scour all the footage and photos you can find of the instigators of the violence at the protest.
3) Crowd-source the images and ask for help identifying them.
4) Write a post about it on a blog with info on the person(s) and their background.
5) Contact the media and demand that they update their story when new facts are found out. Suggest they remember how to use the word “alleged” again.
We need to do this because the media won’t. And we need to act fast because the official story needs to be challenged or it gets solidified.
Remember during the Oakland police crack down the police spokespeople said, “We aren’t using flash bang grenades, the protesters are throwing fire crackers and M-80′s”? This was incorrect. Was that intentional or was the spokesperson just out of touch? We don’t know, but the media ran with that because that was the official story. They could have looked at their own footage, but that would be like calling the spokesperson a liar. That’s just not done.
It wasn’t until a blogger analyzed the video and then highlighted the police throwing the grenade that the official narrative had to be changed.
If it hadn’t been for that analysis and then distribution of that video to the world the media would probably still be running the police party line. The interesting thing was that it was KTVU footage that was used by the blogger, but KTVU didn’t break the story, they just ran with the official line.
The good news is that there are still lots of cameras and video at the Occupy events even if they are not “official media”, but the time between identifying the shooter and the finding out he will take awhile and in the gap it will be “OWS shoots at cops!” from the MSM. The right wing will be trumpeting how the cops had to protect themselves. (I mean look at how the cops said they were “cut off” up in Davis. That was clearly not true but they said it anyway. The video shows what a lie it was.)
This is my prediction. I’ve been 3 and 0 for predicting what will happen at OWS events. I’m not sure if this will happen at these two evictions, but I’m pretty sure that it will at an eviction and I want us to be prepared to be the media since the MSM aren’t on our side anymore. They haven’t been for years. They picked their side, they have embedded with the 1%.
So it’s 2:12pm PST after the event. It appears that in the case of the OccupyLA and OccupyPhilly evictions my tricorder looking into the future was wrong. (Probably because I had to use stone knives and bearskins to make the circuits in this century, but I digress.) Unlike other prognosticators I’ll admit when I guessed wrong. I’m pleasantly surprised and glad that someone didn’t hijack the event with violence. Violence that would be attributed to OWS protesters.
I respond further to Popeye below. I might just be early in my predictions, but my suggestions for how to respond to an eviction that does appear to be protester on cop violence still applies. We need to prep for the instant misinformation that will be slotted into standard news stories, and we need to do some quick research to help the media tell the truth. We now have the tools to do this.