imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Big surprise: Corporate media fucks up chalk walk story

by Rockero Monday, Jul. 16, 2012 at 2:32 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

I don't usually do these opinion-type pieces, but I'm trying something a little different here. Bear with me.

I feel like I need to write a little to give some context to the Occupy LA's ChalkWalk action of Thursday night due to the inaccuracies rampant in the corporate media.

While some journalists actually talked to Occupy and got some background on the CCA and how the chalk action grew out of it, most of them got things horribly wrong when it came to describing who did what at Artwalk.

Just to be clear, I wasn't present, but the next night at Fort Manning (the camp set up at the courthouse to demand the freedom of political prisoner and accused whistleblower Private Manning) I talked to many participants of Chalk Walk. I have also reviewed the video evidence and have been following the movement closely.

The first arrest of the evening was indeed of an occupier for chalking on the sidewalk. Video is available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csdK83r76Po

So is the second:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLNAMF5dWgc

Subsequent skirmishes and arrests, however, primarily involved Artwalk attendees who are unaffiliated with Occupy LA.

The crowd was of Artwalkers drawn by the cops in riot gear who responded to the chalking. (Nothing draws a crowd like a phalanx of riot cops.) It was Artwalk attendees who threw bottles and possibly the other projectiles claimed by media and police (although none of the videos I've seen show anyone throwing rocks).

Occupy LA yells at cops, makes fun of them, gets in their faces, and openly defies them through acts of civil disobedience, such as taking the streets and, now that they've decided it's illegal, chalking. But they do not throw things at them. The apolitical/depoliticized artwalk attendees (hipsters, artists, and homeboys, especially) are not as accustomed to interacting with police in a protest environment and had the natural reaction to witnessing such aggression: rage.

It was these folks, untempered by months of political resistance that has provoked brutal law enforcement response and trained activists in best practices, who let their anger get the best of them, not our occupiers.

Members of street defense organizations (i.e. gangs), unlike the hipsters and the artists, are used to tangling with police in confrontational situations, but homeboys also know how to fight back.

So this was the combination that brought about the volatile situation on Thursday, and brings up a couple of issues.

The first is one of strategy. The anti-chalking enforcement is obviously bullshit. Chalking is a harmless way to publicly express oneself and efforts to criminalize run counter to the principle of free speech that must be defended at all costs. A "chalk-in"--that is, deliberate civil disobedience of the unjust laws being cited by cops to arrest and try people if they are indeed bothering to rely on some section of code, falls directly in line with the tradition of the IWW free speech fight, lunch counter sit-ins, and even such acts as deliberately planting hemp or marijuana for political purposes. Handing out chalk and encouraging its use, in my view, was a brilliant strategy in that it created the opportunity for the civil disobedience to be highly participatory, widely expressive, and simultaneously allowed for outreach that politicizes and empowers.

However, it leads to the next issue, which is actually two issues combined: safety and responsibility. It is incumbent upon event organizers, especially when those events are political, to prioritize the safety of all participants, the unpredictability of police violence notwithstanding. That is, to the extent that it is humanly possible, participants in a political action, especially one intended to break the law, need to know what risks they are taking and what the potential consequences are. They need to be able to freely accept those risks and consequences or walk away from them as they are comfortable or able, especially as things escalate. Think about it like sex with a partner who has a right to say "no" (or use the safety word) at any time. That's practicing consent.

However, it is not clear that all Artwalk chalkers or Artwalkers who became confrontational with police knew those risks and consequences and made their decisions based on knowledge of those risks. In fact, it's pretty clear that at least some of them didn't. This is especially crucial as it concerns vulnerable individuals and communities: folks who are on probation or parole, those with prior criminal convictions, transgender folk, the young, the elderly, the disabled, and of course, the undocumented or those who could become deportable via negative contact with the law (i.e. permanent residents or folks on visas).

Just to continue on this idea, responsibility doesn't end with the action, it continues until everyone entangled is out of the clutches of the police state and its complex. Fortunately, the most conscientious of the OLA comrades are aware of this and are working very hard on the cases of the people who were caught up, and that fact deserves to be recognized.

Before I move on to conclusions, I'd like to point out a few other ways the for-profit media is fucking up. Censorship: KTLA interviewed the same vato as Sam Slovick, but neglected to show his baseball-sized welt. If you're gonna interview the guy that got shot, wouldn't you think you'd mention it and show visual evidence? In all likelihood that was the reporter's intent but these decisions are made at the editorial level, not by the face in front of the camera.

And this last one is pretty silly, but worth mentioning. The photo gallery on the LA Times website has some decent images, but is sorely lacking in accuracy and context. For example, the caption on the photo of the march to Fort Manning Friday night says that the march was in response to the police action. Wrong! That march for Manning had been planned for weeks prior to the Chalk Walk, and was about Pvt. Manning, even of some of the anger about the chalk was still palpable. The photographer (or the captioner?) also fucks up by calling the rubber bullet rifles "non-lethal." Wrong again. Those shits can kill. And finally, on a lighter note, at least one of those pics highlights the fact that it was amateur night. All of us have photos of ourselves standing in front of a row of riot cops (or with them behind us) because we participate in the struggles that bring on the repression. But one of the LA Times pics (and a YouTube video) demonstrate that for most of those people, this was the first time they had ever seen it, and they were snapping up the chance at the "romantic" or "funny" photo op.

Let's move on to conclusions. I contend that the evaluation of this action depends on the outcome, which has yet to be seen. We're already starting to see some of it on both sides, from the anti-Occupy that always crops up everywhere, en masse, usually from the corporate sector and the rightwing commentators (and I'm including those assholes like Randy Treadway who just make stupid comments from their facebook pages on the LA Times comment section and this Robert Vogel motherfucker on YouTube who don't know the shit he's talking about--you seen that?) to the pro-Occupy gallery owner who, post Chalk Walk, realized that "[t]he government is treated [sic] people like dirt and is suppressing our basic rights to be heard." This is the battle of public opinion, and it's still being waged, so don't hesitate to get your voice out there, if not somewhere very public, then at least to your friends and family on your facebook. What you say will influence how they think about it. (On second thought, some of you should probably remain silent.)

But the battle of public opinion on the web is not as important as the opinions of the non-activist people that were there, and whether or not they are politicized or radicalized by their experience. It only takes one good police riot to catalyze a "normal" person into somebody who not only realizes that shit-is-fucked-up-and-bullshit, but who is also willing to do something about it. 'Til then, the jury's out!

Report this post as:

Local News

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Minnesota Racist Churches M26 7:26AM

Paraphysique de homo sapiens numericus M26 12:53AM

Pot-pourri des carcans culturels M25 7:36AM

Shame on Portland Indymedia M24 9:16PM

USA, A Nation On A Collision Course With Its Own Decadent Values M24 6:43PM

The Shortwave Report 5/25/18 Listen Globally! M24 5:10PM

32 page newspaper on Appalachian States continues M24 10:25AM

They Knew What They Did: Texaco in Ecuador M24 9:31AM

The real mission of fbi and cia M24 1:28AM

New York Singer is 'Lost in a Dream' After Winning ,000 Prize! M23 3:08PM

The Corrupted Nature Conservancy And Ecosia Search Engine M23 1:43PM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence M23 9:42AM

Fish Can't Scream. Their Decaying Flesh Is Neurotoxic, Radioactive, And Carcinogenic M23 7:37AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, And Fruitarians M21 4:03PM

Work and Digitalization and A Corpse Governs Society M21 3:14AM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

In praise of indigenous people M20 1:46PM

,000 Reward to Catch My Child's Killers M20 5:35AM

Hikikomori capitaliste M20 1:57AM

Psychonaut Michael Pollan And Psychedelic Therapy M18 1:47PM

Déstabilisation, infiltration, intoxication M18 1:06AM

The Shortwave Report 05/18/18 Listen Globally! M17 4:40PM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

Trump is Old King Coal.. Multiplying Harm M17 11:46AM

Schutzstaffel le monde nazifié M17 1:42AM

Pentobarbital de sodium M14 8:43AM

Bioeconomical resilience M14 6:27AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy