On Monday, December 31st, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post reported that weapons and high explosive powder were found in the home of a Greenwich Village couple. The article also featured an evidence-free assertion that one of the accused is an “Occupy Wall Street activist”.
As the OWS PR working group emphasized in the immediate aftermath of the story, “There is nothing… to support a link between OWS and the individual arrested."
The NYPD further does not believe that that the accused was active in any political movements, as reported in the New York Times. And when the New York Post reporter, Jamie Schram, was asked by Atiq Zabinski of the OWS Media Working Group to cite his source for the OWS connection, he refused, and abruptly ended the conversation, referring Zabinski to the Post’s legal department.
Occupiers have long been experiencing the tangible impact of hyping falsehoods about Occupy Wall Street, such as how it contributes to real and documented police violence, unconstitutional domestic spying activities, and the marginalization of constituencies and views that deserve respectful treatment by reporters.
The scope of this problem has recently become even more pronounced through the “disclosures that FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”
In response the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team decided to start a petition for concerned OWS activists demanding a retraction and an apology from the New York Post on the same print and Web pages as the original accusation.
Since its inception Occupy Wall Street has been firmly committed to non-violence. Yet this is far from the first time that the Post has distorted the facts of a story in order to associate the movement with violence.
[Via some of the good folks within the Occupy movement]