Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bi-coastal Coverage of the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Jane Ready For Action in Oakland 
On 11/09 Jane Tyska, a photojournalist friend, tipped me off that the destruction of the Occupy Oakland encampment was imminent. I flew out from New Orleans the next day. I had a chance to meet some of the protesters and document the site before it was torn down by the police on 11/14. The police did their job with professionalism, unlike an earlier raid where excessive force and tea rgas were used. The press were allowed some access to the encampment during the teardown. The next day there was a march, rally and start up of a new encampment at UC Berkeley. Robert Reich addressed over 5,000 people gathered in in Sproul Plaza, famed as the location of protests in the '60s. I spent the night there while the police kept reminding students who spent the night in their newly built tent city that they were subject to arrest. In the group was Daniel Ellsberg, who chatted with me about the Occupy movement, war and whistle blowers. He told me the Obama administration has gone after more whistle blowers than any other: seven, to date. As morning broke I headed for the airport and a flight to NYC.

As the sun came up on November 17th, I got my first post-eviction look at Zuccotti Park. The police had the park barricaded. except for a few points of access. Cleaners were spraying down parts of the park. Protesters who met across the street before a march on Wall Street were tense. Hundreds if not over a thousand police were on hand. My experience with the police varied: One officer told me that the police are part of the 99% and only doing their job; another used his baton to push me back when there was no back to back up to.

With Occupy Wall Street going into its third month, American journalists no longer have to fly to a distant land to be in harm's way covering the news. Nor do they have to be in a third world country to find they do not have the freedom to cover the story.

Check out my story/slide show on the Atlanic's site on the raid of Occupy Oakland's Camp
and story/slide show from the NYC Day of Action
Watch the Barricades in Zuccotti Park being taken down by Occupy Wall Street protesters
Set of Occupy CA on Flickr
Set of Occupy Wall Street  on Flickr
Riot Police Raid Occupy Oakland
Trading Post at Occupy San Francisco
Berkely Students Marching Before Occupy Plaza

Daniel Ellsberg Early Morning in Sproul Palza
Robert Reich Speaking in Sproul Plaza
 Nadina Laspina Arreseted on Nov. 17th NYC

Police Push Press Back With Billyclubs in NYC

"Pancho" Ramos Stierle Arrested during Raid on Occupy Oakland Camp
Berkeley Student Set Up Tents in Sproul Plaza During Rally

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