Occupy "Bat Signal for the 99%" light projections: the "making of" video, shot by Mark Read and crew

Above: #Occupy Bat Signal for the 99%, a beautiful short film by Mark Read and friends, shot inside Denise Vega's home in the projects opposite the Verizon building at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Video from the #occupy bat signal crew. Inside look at this series of inspirational video projections on the side of the Verizon building on November 17th.

Video remix: UC Davis pepper spray incident viewed from 4 different perspectives

Andy Baio says,

I was stunned and appalled by the UC Davis Police spraying protestors, but struck by how many brave, curious people recorded the events. I took the four clearest videos and synchronized them. Citizen journalism FTW.

Video Link / Sources listed here.

Massive rally at UC Davis, some protesters carrying "pepper-spraying cop" meme-signs

Photo: Ramon Solis

Hard to estimate numbers, but by some accounts, well over 15,000 students and supporters are gathered at UC Davis for a rally and Occupy GA right now, following an incident Friday in which a police officer pepper-sprayed peaceful, seated student protesters at point blank range.

Here's a Twitter list to follow. Reporter Cory Golden from the Davis Enterprise is there, as is Doug Sovern from KCBS radio.

Above, a photograph by student journalist Ramon Solis, who has been tirelessly covering the events at UC Davis: a bouquet of carnations, bound together with #OWS tent-poles.

And below, again shot by Ramon just now: Occupy Lulz-themed signs carried by protesters, with image macros making fun of the grim scene just days ago at the very ground on which they're standing. Recursion overload.

You should follow Ramon, too.

Update: Katehi apologizes but doesn't resign.

Photo: Ramon Solis

Tent Hope

By Mike Estee. Here's a PDF. (thanks, @nicoles).

In NYC, Kafka-licious policies say press can avoid arrest by getting press pass they can't get

Wired.com's Quinn Norton has been tirelessly covering the Occupy movement from the front lines in cities throughout the US. In New York, it's a very good idea to have a press pass when you're doing that, if you'd like to avoid being beaten or arrested—and, you know, who wouldn't? Earlier, Elizabeth Spiers at the NYO posted about how that's functionally impossible for most reporters. And Quinn's Wired.com editor Ryan Singel now has a piece up at Wired about the NYPD's nonsensical series of hoops reporters must jump through to obtain press passes that they won't be able to obtain anyway. They're not issuing any until January, 2012.

Wired has been trying to get NYPD press credentials for freelancer Quinn Norton, who is on special assignment to cover the Occupy movement. Even before this week’s arrests, the NYPD made it clear they would not issue her credentials, as she first had to comply with Kafka-esque rules, such as proving she’d already covered six on-the-spot events in New York City — events that you would actually need a press pass to cover.

When I asked if six stories on Occupy Wall Street would count, Sarubbi said no.

I then tried to make the case that issuing press passes to legitimate reporters might help prevent arrests and prevent police from beating reporters, as happened to two journalists for the conservative Daily Caller on Thursday, and that the lack of spots until January seemed odd, and Sarubbi got angry.

“Don’t tell me how to do my job and I won’t tell you how to do yours,” she said.

Sarubbi then hung up without even a goodbye.

PHOTO: An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator marches in front of a group of police officers in riot gear in New York. (REUTERS)

UC Berkeley police give "Beat Poets" new meaning: poet laureate Robert Hass on his violent encounter

University of California, Berkeley poetry professor and former US poet laureate Robert Hass writes in the New York Times, on what transpired when he wandered down to the Occupy with his wife, to see for himself if reports of police brutality against student protesters were really true:

[UC Berkeley] is also the place where students almost 50 years ago touched off the Free Speech Movement, which transformed the life of American universities by guaranteeing students freedom of speech and self-governance. The steps are named for Mario Savio, the eloquent undergraduate student who was the symbolic face of the movement. There is even a Free Speech Movement Cafe on campus where some of Mr. Savio’s words are prominently displayed: “There is a time ... when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part.” 

Earlier that day a colleague had written to say that the campus police had moved in to take down the Occupy tents and that students had been “beaten viciously.” I didn’t believe it. In broad daylight? And without provocation? So when we heard that the police had returned, my wife, Brenda Hillman, and I hurried to the campus. I wanted to see what was going to happen and how the police behaved, and how the students behaved. If there was trouble, we wanted to be there to do what we could to protect the students.

Once the cordon formed, the deputy sheriffs pointed their truncheons toward the crowd. It looked like the oldest of military maneuvers, a phalanx out of the Trojan War, but with billy clubs instead of spears. The students were wearing scarves for the first time that year, their cheeks rosy with the first bite of real cold after the long Californian Indian summer. The billy clubs were about the size of a boy’s Little League baseball bat. My wife was speaking to the young deputies about the importance of nonviolence and explaining why they should be at home reading to their children, when one of the deputies reached out, shoved my wife in the chest and knocked her down.

PHOTO: Occupy Cal demonstrators gather in Sproul Plaza at the University of California, Berkeley November 15, 2011. Throngs of anti-Wall Street protesters converged on the University of California at Berkeley on this day, vowing to set up a tent camp in defiance of campus rules a day after police dismantled a long-standing encampment in nearby Oakland. (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Measuring Pepper Spray on the Scoville scale of chili pepper hotness

If you're heading out to an Occupation today AND you're a fan of tasty, tasty chili peppers, you'll want to read Deborah Blum's "About Pepper" essay in Scientific American.

The reason pepper-spray ends up on the Scoville chart is that – you probably guessed this - it’s literally derived from pepper chemistry, the compounds that make habaneros so much more formidable than the comparatively wimpy bells. Those compounds are called capsaicins and – in fact – pepper spray is more formally called Oleoresin Capsicum or OC Spray.

But we’ve taken to calling it pepper spray, I think, because that makes it sound so much more benign than it really is, like something just a grade or so above what we might mix up in a home kitchen. The description hints maybe at that eye-stinging effect that the cook occasionally experiences when making something like a jalapeno-based salsa, a little burn, nothing too serious.

Until you look it up on the Scoville scale and remember, as toxicologists love to point out, that the dose makes the poison.

(via @chaplinscourage)

AFP journalist films her own arrest at Occupy protest in NYC

Video Link.

NYPD is facing growing condemnation for its treatment of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street marches and encampements in the city.

About half a dozen journalists were arrested during and soon after Tuesday's massive police operation against the protest tent camp in Zuccotti Park. In this video, a freelance video journalist working for AFPTV captures her own arrest on camera near Zuccotti Park, despite her clearly indicating that she is a working member of the media.

"Somebody lock her up!," the officer shouts, ignoring her increasingly anxious cries of, "I'm with the press!"

After police violence, UC Davis students plan large rally Monday

Following the widely-reported pepper spray incident which left multiple students injured, #OWS-affiliated students at UC Davis will hold a rally Monday, November 21, at noon.

Read the rest

UC Davis chancellor Katehi issues statement on police pepper-spraying of student protesters

After police cracked down with shocking force on UC Davis student demonstrators, and those students in turn confronted the university's Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi in an unusual and dramatic way, the Chancellor announced that two police officers would be put on administrative leave pending an investigation, and then issued this statement today.

Read the rest

Police Executive Research Forum: We aren't involved in guiding Occupy crackdowns. Oh wait, yes we are.

A US police organization can't seem to make up its mind about whether it is or isn't playing a significant role in crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street in cities around the US.

Above, a tweet from Chuck Wexler, the Executive Director of PERF, dated November 1.

He's referencing this document (PDF). The contents of the document aren't all that shocking, really, and some of the advice seems reasonable—engaging with large crowds in a non-confrontational way instead of coming out in "Darth Vader suits" (their words, not mine) and full riot gear.

But this is all very interesting when contrasted with a press release issued by PERF today, after last week's reports that PERF, local police chiefs, and mayors participated on a number of conference calls about OWS:

Read the rest

Occupy Lulz

Everything becomes a meme, eventually: Occupy Lulz. Here's a direct link to the photo collection. More "greatest hits" below.

Read the rest

Interview with a pepper-sprayed UC Davis student

Photo:Brian Nguyen/The Aggie.

22-year-old UC Davis student W. (name withheld by request) was one of the students pepper-sprayed at point-blank range Friday by Lt.

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One day after pepper-spraying, UC Davis students silently, peacefully confront Chancellor Katehi

[Video Link]

I thought I wouldn't see a more dramatic video than the ones yesterday of the pepper-spraying of students by police at UC Davis. I was wrong.

In the video above, UC Davis students, silent, with linked arms, confront Chancellor Linda Katehi just one day after the incident. It's hard to tell exactly how many of them are present, but there they are, a huge crowd. They're seated in the same cross-legged-on-the-ground position their fellow students were yesterday just before Lt. John Pike pulled out a can of pepper spray and pulled the trigger.

Note that Katehi remains silent during what looks like her perp walk. She does not acknowledge the presence of the students. And yet, within an hour she was live on CNN explaining away the pepper-spray incident to host Don Lemon, who had to cut her off a few times because her responses were so long-winded.

Student videographer Anna Sturla shot the video above for the Davis Senior High School's newspaper/website's, The HUB.

More at The Second Alarm blog:

A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for 2:00pm between the UC Davis Chancellor and police on campus, did not end at 2:30. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage. A group of highly organized students formed large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms.

ME: Chancellor, do you still feel threatened by the students?
KATEHI: No.

One of the students pepper sprayed yesterday, a young man wearing a brown down coat over a tie-dye shirt, said he met with Kotehi and personally showed her a video of pepper spraying attack. Speaking to about a thousand students with the “human mic,” the young man said he personally asked for her resignation.

More about yesterday's pepper-spraying videos, from Brian Stelter at the New York Times:

Some protesters were hospitalized afterward, according to local reports. Ten were arrested. Interviewed at a hospital by a local newspaper, The Davis Enterprise, one of the protesters, Dominic Gutierrez, said that he had been sprayed while trying to shield others.

“When you protect the things you believe in with your body, it changes you for good. It radicalizes you for good,” he said.

Boing Boing reader Sarah Messbauer, in the comments for this blog post, writes:

So proud to say that I was there tonight. The greatest words are those left unspoken, and I sincerely hope Katehi got the message.

And Boing Boing reader William Fertman, who was also there tonight, sends in the reassuring news that the revolution comes with pizza:

Read the rest

After pepper-spraying incident, UC Davis redesigns website

Link. They might want to rethink that motto, however. (thanks, @justinq!)