A-News. May 9:
Why The Media Must be Assaulted
Although the author of this piece believes that members of the main-stream media should be assaulted *strategically* at any place and time, this piece was heavily influenced by what I saw occur on May 1st 2012 in Seattle Washington. As an anarchist in Seattle, this is written mainly for a Seattle audience although hopefully there are some things people from other places will be able to take away from it.The main-stream media will never be on our side. We don’t even need to get into which company owns what media outlet, let’s leave all that aside, they are scum and we know this. Beyond this, almost all forms of media that are not “our” media will almost never be on our side. Luckily, in the radical scene in Seattle, this something nearly everybody already knows. There is frequent talk of how the media lies to the public and a common understanding that they will intentionally distort our “message”.
While this is an accurate analysis, it does not run deep enough. This analysis places the media in a role that is much more passive than the actual role they fulfill. Many of us have seen the images and videos from the G20 in Toronto, or the Vancouver hockey riots, or most recently the London riots. Those of us who have seen these images are also probably aware of the way that the state attempted to identify people who they perceived to have commit crimes. While much of this footage came from security cameras (which should also be smashed as frequent as possible, obviously), in each case there was also a good deal that came right from the media reporters who were present at all of these actions. In several cases the media either gladly handed over the footage the cops were interested in, or simply broadcasted the crimes in real-time, giving open access to anyone who had a desire to review the footage.
The media is not a passive enemy, but a quite active one. The presence of the media at our demos does not only distort our views or delegitimize our struggles and confrontations, it puts people in jail or prison. All of the major media outlets in Seattle were just handed a subpoena endorsed by Detective Ric Hall, stating that they had to hand over any material or footage they have from May Day, they are specifically interested in the footage in which people appear to be committing crimes (go figure). Although, as of now it is unclear whether or not the outlets will comply with this request, they probably will. However, even if not all the outlets complied, there is already information floating around that KIRO has already given all of their material to the police, and it is currently being reviewed. While we can certainly hope for the best, realistically it will not be a shock if they end up indentifying people from these videos and charges end up being filed.
We have already seen the way the media has portrayed May Day, day where the anarchist terrorists brought mayhem to our peaceful little green city. After all, what’s to say one of those windows couldn’t have been your living room, or the doctor’s office where your elderly mother was attending her appointment. So we can only assume that this trend will continue, and that they want to see us “held accountable” for our terroristic actions. They will most likely offer any information they have to the police, aiding in the apprehension of the criminals. Once, again even if in some miraculous turn of events they don’t hand over all of their raw footage, the stuff shot live still exists, and the police will probably not have too hard of a time accessing it.
The police claim that they were well prepared for May Day. However, it is rather hard to imagine why they would let the federal court house (among other things) be attacked on a day where they were (allegedly) so well-prepared. They are eager to identify people and charge them with these crimes. They must be feeling beyond embarrassed about all of the property damage that occurred, and they also have the downtown business association breathing down their neck to apprehend those who destroyed their property. We must assume that they are going to go to pretty great lengths to try to get some convictions. The task force has already been set up, and if they don’t already exist, I don’t think special snitchlines and websites are very off. They feel embarrassed and need to prove to “the public” that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and that the consequences will be very real.
This is why the media must be assaulted, there is a very real chance that people will end up in jail because of the footage taken. However, many in Seattle did do a great job at scaring away some of the more timid reporters (props to all those who used their flag-bats for the right purpose). Several of the reporters were assaulted by those in the bloc, and a few of them even had to run away because they felt too unsafe. Reporters were paint bombed, struck with flag-bats, punched, kicked, and slapped. Over all I would say the this particular march was not very a peaceful atmosphere for reporters, despite what that guy over at the stranger said. We cannot shame them away. Yelling can be good and invigorating, but it will not do enough, we must treat them like the lap-dogs they are and physically remove from the area. Although this could be done without violence, it would probably take a lot longer, and let’s be honest they definitely deserve it.
If we are successfully able to remove the media from core areas of our demos, or at the very least severely limit their access, there is much better chance of incriminating footage not winding up in the hands of the pigs. At this point, it is kind of a given that there will be at least some cameras around while the crimes are being committed, those who are choosing to document this stuff need to be very particular about the way they do it. I would say that it helps if people actually know who you are and have a relatively clear conception of why are there holding a camera. However, don’t be surprised if anyone shows any hostility to you for trying to capture images or film, because in most cases it’s obviously for the better if our crimes don’t get caught on film.
If the media is going to be actively complicit in putting us in cages, then they must be actively attacked.
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Seattle Times. May 8:
SPD puts out call for photos, videos of May Day protests
In an effort to identify people who damaged property and committed assaults during last week’s May Day protests, Seattle police are asking for photos and videos from both the public and media outlets.
Seattle police are asking anyone who photographed or videotaped last week’s May Day protests — including local media outlets — to submit photos and footage to a team of detectives trying to identify those who damaged property and committed assaults before taking cover in the crowd.
At a Tuesday media briefing, Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said subpoenas have been served on several news outlets seeking photos and video of the protests.
“To my knowledge, we have not received such a subpoena, although our attorney was told that we would be served,” said Times Executive Editor David Boardman. “We are in discussions with counsel about how we might respond should we be served.”
The Times has received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office requesting that the newspaper not purge for 120 days any photos or videos taken by staff members during the downtown protest that erupted in sporadic violence, which was largely attributed to a group of 50 or 60 black-clad, apparent anarchists.
Eight people were arrested, but only one, possibly two, were connected with the larger group of people dressed in black, who armed themselves with sharpened stakes and other weapons that police later seized, Pugel said.
Four of the eight were charged last week with third-degree assault for alleged assaults on different officers.
Pugel also encouraged anyone who has not yet reported an assault or property damage to give the information to the temporary task force, which has been set up to identify May Day lawbreakers.