Clarification on charges of misinformation on Twitter at Occupy Oakland

“People with good info were drowned out by your ignorance @MikalJakubal”

Yesterday, the police raided the Occupy Oakland vigil and tree sit, arresting around a dozen people, three at the tree-sit and the rest at the vigil area or on 16th Street just to the north. I was in the area for most of this and tweeted and livestreamed throughout. I was later accused of putting out misleading information. What happened, instead, was a small cascade of miscommunication, based on assumptions, information gaps and protocol lapses, that led to misunderstanding of and false accusations against my reporting. At the end of the day, none of it was of any consequence to the outcome but, in another situation, it might have mattered. I’m posting this hoping that others can glean some bit of experience from it.

I own my mistakes and challenge the other parties to own theirs. read on!

Occupy Oakland and OPD campaign of arrests and harassment today.

Last night I went to the Alameda County Jail at 7th & Jefferson to cheer-on the folks getting released after the bust of the 10th and Mandela foreclosed home occupation. Afterwards, part of the small crowd went to Oscar Grant Plaza as part of the ongoing vigil. During the night, a new tree-sit was started in one of the sycamores on the north edge of the plaza, this time a different tree than the one Running Wolf and others had been occupying earlier. Three people went up, with two ultimately staying the night there.

Whole lotta more words and action videos and stuff

New Occupy Oakland encampment started today.

Here’s a Google Earth screenshot of “Zion Cypress Triangle Park”, the newest in what is becoming a constellation of Occupy Oakland sites. It is presently a bare patch of dirt surrounded by a fence, with uncertain ownership status. The name was given by occupiers, according Jaime Omar Yassin in his always-worthwhile blog Hyphenated-Republic, to represent “the symbolic biblical paradise, the historical name of the neighborhood, and the shape of the lot.” Hopefully, it’ll get nicknamed something simpler, like “Cypress Triangle.”

Zion Cypress Triangle Park, new Occupy Oakland camp site.

a bit more to read

More on gadgets for “Drone Journalism”

The previous post got a friend and I talking on Google+ this morning. He suggested RC blimps as platforms for live aerial videography. It’s an intriguing thought. Since a helium-filled blimp is self-lifting, much less power is needed, thereby vastly extending battery life and aloft-time. It would also be a very quiet and stable platform, especially for long, static events like large demonstrations that don’t involve a fast-paced march. Keep reading, there’s way more

Update on previous post “Drone Journalism—Occupy Airspace”

According to an article on Alternet, Occupy Wall Street livestreamer Tim Pool is using a Parrot AR drone to livestream aerial images of protests, exactly what I’d been fantasizing about in my previous post on the topic.

Parrot AR drone

(Okay, well, not exactly. See further down in the post for “exactly”.)

The small, lightweight, four-rotor craft is controlled with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or Android phone. Two cameras, one facing down and the other facing forward, are built in, allowing control from your phone’s touch video screen. keep reading, more cool videos and stuff

iPhone Journalism

“I call them ‘iPhone journalists,'” one corporate news reporter said derisively to another, describing the crowd of us citizen reporters at the November 14th eviction of Occupy Oakland.

In the pre-dawn hours of November 14th, 2011, the Occupy Oakland encampment experienced its second eviction. This one was less traumatic than the previous one, partly because we all knew it was coming, partly because the cops exercised a bit more restraint—refraining from tear gas and steel-shot-bag guns, for example—and partly because they came in with such overwhelming numbers that any active confrontation would be pointless.

I was awakened by my phone buzzing with texts about the raid from street-medic comrades, but by the time I got there, the area was sealed-off two blocks away on all sides but one. I made my way through the buildings to the south of the Plaza and ended up on 14th Street, west of Broadway, directly across from the tree that was still occupied by Running Wolf as the last arrestees were brought out without incident. Continue reading

When the world shakes, time has to expand to make extra room for so much living.

It’s been three months since the first Occupy Wall Street camp-out, and one year since Mohamed Bouazizi doused himself in gasoline in Tunisia and ignited the Arab Spring. If only somehow he could have understood, as he was dying, what he was setting in motion.

Those who put out a simple call-to-action to occupy Wall Street certainly never thought it would be the protest that started the biggest progressive mass social movement in the U.S. in decades. Can any of us ever know what our actions will accomplish?

Today, civilians are battling soldiers once again in Tahrir Square and Syria, while in New York and Oakland, police are arresting protesters in the streets in a movement that, contrary to many claims, is not waning, but shifting gears and finding its way.

The whole world really is watching and, so it seems, caring. After a thousand of us were gassed and attacked by police at Occupy Oakland in October, the Egyptians held a solidarity march to the U.S. embassy in Cairo, decrying police brutality in Oakland. We returned the favor with a solidarity march a little while later. Did either event make a difference? It did for those who participated and watched. As we globalize solidarity, these connections will become more and more real.

Three months of Occupy, one year of Arab Spring. So short, but it seems like forever, as if the clocks and calendars were reset. Where do we go from here? Forward. That’s all we can do. Keep going

#D12—Oakland Port Shutdown Day.

I’m chronically late for the revolution these days. Partly because I sometimes have a hard time getting motivated for marches after decades of marches, partly because I’d rather take my time and be prepared than rush out the door and partly because Occupy Oakland marches actually start on time!

Watching the livestream from the march as I get ready to go join it.

The morning march began from West Oakland BART station at 5:30am in order to be at the port in time to block the morning shift. When I went to bed at 11pm last night, I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m., knowing even that would be too little sleep. I was right, but got up anyway and was on BART headed to West Oakland by 6:30am.

A slow trickle of protesters made their way out of the port area as I walked in, probably headed to work after the pre-dawn march. lots more words and pictures…

Arise, amoebas!

What, exactly is Occupy? It is obviously not an organization or a political party, nor is it defined by a specific goal or activity. Yes, it’s a “meme”— a contagious idea—that promotes discussion and prompts people into action, but what do you call the social phenomenon itself? How do you describe hundreds of actions, all linked yet independent, all ephemeral yet recurring, spread across the world, arising unpredictably and evolving constantly? I always wrinkle my nose a bit when, for lack of a better term, I write “movement,” as it seems so inadequate. More words occupying this page

Whose data? Our data!

Okay, doesn’t really work as a chant. Still, Occupy Research is a promising new wiki platform for doing sociological research on the Occupy movement, described as “an open, distributed research project that anyone can participate in.” I highly recommend that you click here and take their 10-minute (or less) survey. The more data we have, the better able we’ll be able to understand what we can do to make Occupy a more effective movement. The survey is also for people who haven’t been involved. Continue reading