Street action at billionaire mayor’s mansion – photographers, videographers, livestreamers will bring NYPD misconduct to public attention.
Outraged New Yorkers and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) members will protest ongoing NYPD interference with members of the press including citizen journalists on Friday, January 6. In recent months NYPD has refused to recognize press credentials, summarily seized press credentials, harassed, physically blocked, assaulted, and arrested--without cause--members of the press.
WHAT: Vibrant and visual protest including street performers. Many photographers, videographers, and livestreamers will participate and film.
WHEN: Friday, January 6, 3pm-8pm
WHERE: Bloomberg mansion, 17 East 79th St., NYC - assemble at 5th Ave. and 79th St. Protesters will vigorously assert their First Amendment rights to be within sight and sound of the mayor’s residence.
WHO: Outraged New Yorkers, members of OWS, journalists and media makers who have been subjected to harassment and arrest for covering Occupy Wall Street and other political protests.
The protest will bring this issue to the doorstep of New York City’s billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg. In recent remarks Bloomberg called the NYPD his “own army.” The mayor, a member of the wealthiest 1% of the country, ordered the forcible removal of Occupy Wall Street from Liberty Square on November 15th. The working press was prevented from covering that police raid – either ejected from the site or prevented from being close enough to do comprehensive reporting. This week a group streaming live video of Occupy Wall Street activities was forcibly evicted from a space in Brooklyn and arrested.
Attacks on the press have gotten so numerous and severe that several journalist organizations have formed the Coalition for the First Amendment. More information and many links to news coverage are on the New York Press Club website: http://www.nypressclub.org/coalition.php . Also see http://storify.com/jcstearns/tracking-journalist-arrests-during-the-occupy-prot for OWS-related arrests of journalists around the country.
To date the Mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have failed to stop these attacks or ensure a thorough and untainted investigation.
The working press is essential for holding government and other institutions accountable. No democracy is safe without a free press. NYPD’s shameful behavior against journalists by some rank and file officers and commanders has been going on for years. Letters of protest by journalist organizations have been ignored by police. Attacks on members of the media continue to flourish under the mayor and his police commissioner despite their promises to the contrary.
Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%. For more info: www.occupywallst.org