Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OWS dilemma; livestream or not?


"The face of Occupy Wall Street for many of those who've never made it to New York City says he’s under increasing attack from other protesters, and was assaulted recently during a march.
Tim Pool, a mini-celebrity for giving OWS the Walter Cronkite treatment through his nonstop web-based, TimCast live video stream, was involved in some kind of scuffle at around 9:30 p.m.  Sunday night -- there is, of course, video evidence. On other occasions, marchers have been seen harassing him and yelling for him to turn off his camera.  And there are ominous statements directed at him online, like this one: 'I suggest you stick by his side because unfortunately he's probably going to need protection.'"

This is a pretty tricky thing to me.  But it seems that if you don't want to be livestreamed, just make sure Pool isn't around first.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

U.S. mayors coordinate response to OWS


"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has quietly led efforts to coordinate city responses to the Occupy Wall Street movement, the records show. These documents -- which comprise emails to local D.C. officials -- appear to contradict previous statements in which mayors denied any sort of group strategy sessions.
In early November, Oakland's Mayor Jean Quan created a firestorm after admitting in an interview that she had participated in one of the group's conference calls on Occupy. The call, she said, included 18 other cities. As one city encampment after another was razed on similar pretexts, activists charged that Quan and other big city mayors were colluding against them.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, has obtained her own set of conference-call related documents and says the mayors' conference is an active participant in setting the stage for the camp raids. 'These are sessions that were intended in assisting cities in creating the public pretext for the eviction of the encampments,' Verheyden-Hilliard said. 'I think they tried to play a fairly covert role in what was an extremely significant nationally coordinated effort to shut down the occupations.'"

The main thing here that bothers me is that the cities were trying to hype up the extra costs incurred from the Occupy protests to the cities.  I am a named party in an unconstitutional permanent injunction in Florida. This injunction severely limits my ability to protest against Scientology in that state. One of the reasons the judge stated that the injunction was needed is that our protests were costing the county too much money.  This is not only an unconstitutional reason to prohibit free speech, it is also a bogus argument. Us protesters never cost the city a dime.  It was the city itself that decided how much police presence would be at our protests. It was the Scientologists who attacked us that caused legal problems.   Our peaceful protesting has been curtailed for bogus reasons.  And this is the same thing the cities were trying to pull off; put a huge price tag on Occupy protests to have an excuse to curtail free speech.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eyes in the sky for OWS!


"'It doesn’t need to be doing aggressive dogfighting maneuvers,' said Shapiro. 'All it needs to do is hover and take a proper picture.' Instead of relying on constant commands from the ground, the zeppelin and copter will dial in periodically for updates.
An example would be: ascend to an altitude of 40 feet, move to specific GPS coordinates, position the camera at a shot angle of 12 degrees down, face northwest, and pan back and forth 30 degrees at 12 degrees per second. It’s more like directing a camera operator than being a flyboy.
That mellow flight pace allows people to easily take turns with the craft –if they want to or if they need to.
'Even if one operator is compromised, another operator can spring right back up,' said Shapiro."

I ordered a more sophisticated quadrocopter than the Parrot talked about here. It will be able to lift a more robust camera, if I ever get comfortable enough with my flying abilities, that is.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where should protesters go to start a revolution? The Internet!


"Zuckerman's argument is this: while YouTube, Twitter, Facebook (and other popular social services) aren't good at protecting dissidents, they are nevertheless the best place for this sort of activity to start, for several reasons.
First, because when YouTube is taken off your nation's internet, everyone notices, not just dissidents. So if a state shuts down a site dedicated to exposing official brutality, only the people who care about that sort of thing already are likely to notice.
But when YouTube goes dark, all the people who want to look at cute cats discover that their favourite site is gone, and they start to ask their neighbours why, and they come to learn that there exists video evidence of official brutality so heinous and awful that the government has shut out all of YouTube in case the people see it."

 This is a thought-provoking article about what tools are useful for dissidents with oppressive governments.  Basically, it's what's been used so far; Twitter, Facebook, etc.  These sites are difficult to attack because of their size.  They reach the most people.  And they are stable.   That's not to dismiss the arguments against these sites, it's just to explain that there's really nothing better.  A useful read.