The Washington Post has this excellent front page story about innocent people being rounded up and detained by the NYPD during the RNC. The major media pretty much ignored or downplayed the issue at the time. It’s good to see the Post doing it’s job on this one. It is interesting, but not surprising to see Bloomberg and the cops continue to whitewash the whole thing as if it never happened.
Throughout the week, police also picked up dozens of people who appeared to have nothing to do with demonstrations, the New York Civil Liberties Union said. Among those swept up by police were several newspaper reporters, two women shopping at the Gap, a feeder company executive out for dinner with a friend, and Wendy Stefanelli, a costume designer with the TV show “Sex and the City,” who was walking to get a drink with a friend.
Bloomberg has acknowledged that police may have arrested some innocent bystanders, but he suggested that it was partly their fault.
“If you go to where people are protesting and don’t want to be part of the protest, you’re always going to run the risk that maybe you’ll get tied up with it,” he said on a weekly radio show on WABC.
Yeah Mike. Maybe you should have handed out copies of your new version of the Constitution to visitors before you wiped your ass with the one that has served us so swell for over 200 years.
Democracy Now! has this story on the use of low cost decentralized messenging tools to organize quickly to breaking news and events. SMS text messaging to over 5000 people, a staffed dispatch center, and VOIP text-to-speech breaking news update phone service were all used effectively to mobilize people. The major media and even the cops themselves relied on NYC.Indymedia to find out the latest protest actions.
On Wednesday, an Indymedia journalist posted the following report: “The Entire Scooter Goon Squad is wrapped around Fifth and 48th reading INDYMEDIA from an internet phone booth. Everyone should come by and bring your video cameras.”
You’d think that with a $60 million security budget the cops would have been able to invest in a few mobile Internet devices.