Before Occupy Wall Street, I had followed livestream news - you likely did, as well - except it was usually big breaking news on CNN, or MSNBC and a headline would say "Watch live here." Now there are at least as many livestreamers are there are occupy movements in the nation, and since I've been here at Crooksand Liars' OccupyAmerica site, there have been times when I've been keeping my eyes on up to six different streams simultaneously. The livestreamers are worlds apart from our msm's livestreamed news, there are no edits, no scripts, and you always see the truth in their news.
As our own Tina Dupuy writes in a new article at Alternet, "You can sum up livestreamers as those who came to protest and stayed to tell the story. They’re armed with a smart phone, an app and an audience of people at home watching every frame."
Dupuy points out that as Occupy has evolved, that caught in the middle of the debate over peaceful protests vs. diversity of tactics are the livestreamers. What you see on their livestreams are events exactly as they happen. You can't control what everyone is doing while you're filming. If police throw tear gas at protesters, you'll see it live, and by the same token if an occupier throws a bottle or a brick at police that's what you'll see as well. “People are tired of being lied to by the media,” Tim Pool tells Dupuy, and adds, “Transparency is paramount.”
The important moments - and they are countless - of the occupy movement that are captured by the livestreamers are what their new-found profession are all about. The moments that will become part of history, and re-told for generations to come. Events that might not even be believed if it weren't for the citizen journalists.
"Vandalism, property damage, graffiti, sabotage, throwing rocks and bottles at the police and petty criminal acts are not what the perpetrators want on UStream," Dupuy notes. She also interviews OccupyAmerica's own guest-blogger Spencer Mills, who writes under his Twitter handle @OakFoSho and adds "Spencer Mills has been called a snitch more than once. “A dry snitch,” he specifies, meaning not an intentional one but a snitch nonetheless."
Ms. Dupuy continues:
Structurally, Occupy doesn’t have a way to deal with these “autonomous actors.” Yes, they agreed to nonviolence by group consensus and that can include property damage. But they also don’t have any leaders and decided to be in absolute solidarity with their comrades. So when Occupy Oakland steals an American flag and burns it or throws a bottle of urine at a media van, it’s not denounced. Instead there are solidarity marches against police brutality.
It’s a design flaw.
Then there are opinion writers like Chris Hedges, who proclaim Black Bloc to be a cancer in Occupy after celebrating that same cancer when it was in Greece in 2010.
It’s complicated further by arguments over nuances in definitions. Property damage, according to some, doesn’t hurt anyone so it’s therefore not violent. Attacking the police after they attack you is just self-defense, they say. Noting this is a PR war and not an armed conflict, OakfoSho tweeted, “The public doesn’t care about the semantics of what violence is or isn’t.” Indeed, a riot looks like a riot and Americans don’t like riots.
Indeed. Be sure to read Tina's entire article available here. She speaks with several livestreamers, "Uptake" founder and director Jason Barnett, and more.