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affinis's picture

I'll spend most of the rest of this post on the LA media blackout.
[12/2 - Update added at end of post]

Again, an (unfortunately successful) attempt to limit media access, using a system of embedded reporters (ala U.S. military). Non-pool reporters were required to leave the area being raided (under penalty of arrest for noncompliance).

Articles about the media blackout from the Village Voice, LA Weekly, and BagNews blog.

On the topic of media lapdogs:

LAPD was mostly reasonably well-behaved. However, one person taking photographs (Tyson Heder, 35) was beaten and arrested (yep, gotta enforce that information blackout). The video of that incident was posted on YouTube. However, KCAL (the same CBS station that blacked out helicopter video relating to the raid) immediately had the YouTube video removed for copyright infringement. The only remnant is this image in Google cache.

And I couldn't find the video in a readily accessible form on the KCAL website.

LAPD also fired beanbag rounds at treesitters.
The original NY Times (Isvestia) language for this: "as dawn approached, officers fired bean bag rounds to try to coax down some protesters who had climbed trees."

Oh, I love their use of the word "coax". I suspect this received some critique, since the NY Times has now changed the language to: "In a few cases, the police said they had fired bean bag rounds to force people to come down."

The LAPD media laison, Andrew Smith, referred to this is as "a minor use of force incident". Now, watching OakFoSho's video last night, Andrew Smith seems like a basically decent guy - butI wonder if he'd still consider it "minor use of force" if he himself was the one getting shot with beanbag rounds.

And the LAPD media manipulation appears to have proven pretty effective in preventing MSM witness of police violence.

On a final note, LA officials trotted out (and really played up) the old "health and safety hazard" rationale for raiding the camp, claiming MRSA staph risk, etc. In that context, I'd like to again reference an earlier comment about tactics that very effectively undercut such moves during the WI Capitol occupation earlier this year. In short, front page newspaper photos of bottles of hand sanitizer taped to all the walls really obliterated this rationalization for eviction.


Here's a new LA Weekly piece up: Tyson Heder, Photojournalist Mauled by LAPD, Still in Jail After Occupy L.A. Raid; Others Allege Baton Brutality.
LA Weekly pointed out the fact that CBS/KCAL repeatedly had footage of the Tyson Heder incident removed from YouTube and also removed the footage from its own website. Following publication of the LA Weekly piece, CBS/KCAL reposted the video.

Tyson Heder is also a videographer, and one of the bands he has worked with (shooting video) has put up a Free Tyson Heder page online. Excerpts:
"November 30, 2011 Tyson Zoltan Heder went out to shoot the occupy movement. As a credentialed journalist his rights to cover thispiece of history is protected by the Freedom of the press laws as part of the first amendment."...."We are excepting donations on his behalf to help pay for bail, lawyer fees, and to help replace the camera that was taken from him without cause by the police."

In the raid on OccupyLA, the LAPD also arrested Yasha Levine, an investigative journalist and editor of The eXiled Online. The eXiled is an online newspaper that emerged from the ashes of The eXile, a satirical Moscow newspaper critical of the Kremlin and the Russian oligarchy, that was suppressed by Russia in 2008, then re-emerged in an online form. Yasha Levine also writes for The Nation, Alternet, and various other publication. From The eXiled piece on Levine's arrest:

The irony of the LAPD arresting Yasha Levine–a political refugee from Soviet totalitarianism– for the crime of reporting on a demonstration against oligarchy power, a demonstration protected by the Constitution, reveals again just how depraved and corrupted America has become.

Yasha Levine emigrated from Soviet Russia to the United States just over two decades ago with his parents and siblings–they came here as political refugees from the Soviet Union police state, where political dissent and critical journalism were not tolerated. And now he’s sitting in a Los Angeles prison for the same crime he’d have been imprisoned for back in the Soviet Union.

In 2008, Yasha was forced to flee a second time from Russia, following the Kremlin attack on our Moscow newspaper, The eXile. We were investigated for alleged “extremism”–that is, for regularly publishing articles critical of the Kremlin, satirical and aggressive, and for regularly publishing columns in The eXile by one of the leaders of the democratic opposition to Putin’s rule, Edward Limonov....

Since returning to America, Yasha and I have both been amazed and appalled by the similarities between America–essentially taken over by an oligarchy over the past decade– and Russia, whose nascent democracy was overthrown and replaced by an oligarchy in the mid-1990s.

Also - a point unrelated to the OccupyLA raid. NYPD continues to engage in media suppression related to OWS. Journalists who attempted to cover the OWS protest outside the Obama fundraiser were physically prevented from doing so by NYPD oficers (I'd wondered why this protest hadn't received more converage in the media - apparently this is one reason).

And here's a final piece regarding the recent media suppression:
Inside The Frozen Zone: Death Of The First Amendment

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Submitted by lambert on

Once again, there just can't be too much detail, especially since our famously free press doesn't report it.

And on the "copyright violation" -- how does a guy's cell recording get removed by CBS? Was the CBS Eye in the shot or something?

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

I don't have a clear answer on this. My guess is that the video was being taken (and perhaps streamed) by a CBS/KCAL reporter. CBS/KCAL repeatedly had copies removed from YouTube and also removed the video from their own website - LA Weekly wrote a piece that drew attention to CBS/KCAL's actions, and the video has now been reposted. I have a bit more info on media suppression and I'd add an update above when I have a chance.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

How can even conservatives think not having a free press is a good idea? It's not the 22nd amendment, It's the First!! Now I see how amazing it was that Amy Goodman and her crew snuck in to Zuccotti during the raid.

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Submitted by zot23 on

Sometimes, I like to hunt squirrels and "coax" them out of the tree with a .22 rifle. If they aren't properly realigned when they hit the ground, I let the dogs "cajole" them the rest of the way. Then I give them a little "tickle" with a skinning knife.

Doesn't that just sound so pleasant and playful? You should se it when those little rapscallion coyotes come by at night for a playdate and some hi-jinks. The dogs (and chickens) just love those ribald lil' devils and their late night pranks.