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Thoughts for IMC Camera-blockers

These tactics need to be changed before they do more damage.
A few thoughts for the indy media camera blockers...

1) You are ensuring that local media personnel get pissed off at protesters, thereby making anything even remotely resembling balanced reporting less and less likely. The people who get sent out to cover things have to come back with something to make a "package" (a story) from. That's how they make their living. When you fuck with them, you push them away. These are the same people who write the voice-overs and edit the stories; they will harbor a grudge and their reporting will continue to become more antagonistic of progressive actions.

2) If they air footage of people blocking their cameras it will appear to their audience as if there is something to hide. There's a story right there for a reporter who got their shots blocked. I can hear the promo now... "What are the protesters hiding? Find out tonight on KATU!!"

3) Local media pool their resources and make them available to other organizations who are free to editorialize as they wish. Without footage of events, stories about protests (negative or positive) don't hit the air and mainstream Amerikkka never knows that they occur.

4) You really should do some more research into how modern tv media works and maybe even do a stint "on the inside" to really figure the shit out and develop effective techniques.

5) Have you heard of free speech or maybe freedom of the press? I have to agree with Chomsky, in the sense that you're either for or against it. Good job employing fascist tactics in an attempt to supress a viewpoint that you just don't happen to like. Perhaps this is the work of some provocateurs?

By the way, I don't work for any corporate media organizations. I have done my homework in order to develop effective propaganda strategies, including a stint working in the news. I am not trying to piss you off; I am trying to point out a dangerous hole in your strategy that could do more PR harm than good.

Good luck and cover your ass.
you have battered wife syndrome 25.Mar.2003 11:57

camera blocker

people who defend the corporate media sound like women who can't leave abusive partners. "if i'm nice to him this time, maybe he won't beat me again."

you are deluded.

the tools of the enemy cannot be used against the enemy.

look at your history books -- how did the nazis convince an entire population to go to war and consent to concentration camps? their propaganda machine. the current propaganda machine -- known as the corporate media -- is much more sophisticated, as your defense of it shows. they actually have you believing that they're not out to hurt you.

well guess what -- they *are* out to hurt you. in a struggle between the oppressed and the oppressors, there is no neutrality. those who claim to be objective are siding with the oppressors. by making the choice to *not* work for justice and peace and against war, people who work for the corporate media are working *for" injustice and killing. they are complicit -- more complicit than most -- in the slaughter of people in Baghdad right now.

your own addiction to the corporate media reveals itself in your denial of their true means and aims.

that war is wrong is not a point of view or an opinion -- it is a fundamental truth. that it is wrong for the police to pepperspray someone in the face for being in the crosswalk when it goes to "Don't Walk" is also not a point of view or an opinino -- this, too, is a fundamental and brutal truth. those who work against that truth are the enemy, and the corporate media are foremost among them.

the corporate media have a long history of demonizing protesters. to blame their current demonization on a few people blocking their cameras is woefully ignorant and giving them excuses for their slanderous excesses.

the corporate media are not our friends and if they happen to say something in our favor every once in a while it is an exception, not the rule. if you had a car on which the brakes only worked 1 in a 100 times, would you keep driving it, counting on that small chance that it would stop when you wanted it to? or would you go out and get a new car? or, to take the metaphor further, get a damn bike (indymedia) and get around that way?

convincing the masses that war is not the answer cannot happen through the mass media. besides the corporate news, there is propaganda in movies and television shows, too. the only way to reach other people through media at all is to make our own. some people say this is impossible. many people would also say that stopping war is impossible, so that's not an argument for not trying.

look at indymedia's success. in 3 1/2 short years, it has become a global network that consistently scoops stories or is the only outlet that is on the scene to report something. the only journalist in Arafat's compound during the IDF assault last year was an indy journalist. the only videographers on third and second avenues, during the police attack on peaceful protesters last thursday were independent. the only venue to publish photographs showing that the forest service and the bush administration were lying about the forest fires last year was this website. the indymedia domain name gets more hits than rush limbaugh, more than newsweek online, more than many other places that people like you might claim are more popular. according to the alexa website, the indymedia domain name is currently ranked as the 732nd most visited. that's nothing to sneeze at. to be in the top 1000 most visited websites is incredible.

indymedia is working. more and more people are posting their news to indy and getting their news from it. here in portland, the indymedia is so well known that it has attracted the attention of the city government and police. (the corporate media's stories about indymedia have shown absolute ignorance of how it works, and that could definitely be willful).

i feel sorry for people like you who see no other option than to work with the institutions that are oppressing us. you lack imagination and hope, and are brainwashed because of your addiction. it's sad. you're like prisoners asking the guards for better treatment rather than plotting your escape. do you want liberation, or do you want bigger cages and longer chains? if you are counting on the corporate media, you will not get any of those things. your efforts will be wasted as they roll over you and move on to the next thing. they don't care and they never will. indeed, it is their job *not* to care.

i love people and the world, so i will continue to fight oppression where i see it. and one of the most dangerous sources of that oppression is the corporate media. i will not touch them. i will not assault them. i will do no violence to them and i will always stay within my legal rights and theirs. and those legal rights mean that i can stand in front of their cameras and block them from their destructive processes. it's like preventing a bomber from taking off or sitting in a train track to block a load of tanks. to block the corporate media is to block the war machine.

nonsense 25.Mar.2003 11:57


In the past week several reporters have referred to the anger of protesters directed at the corporate media. Though the reporters marginalized the anger as the rantings of conspiracy theorists, just introducing the idea that the media might have critics on the left is entirely new. Genuflecting before the media will not improve coverage but will encourage the myth of the "free media" a myth which needs to be shattered.
For those of us who have participated in the peaceful, thoughtful protests and limited CD only to be portrayed as crazy troublemakers, the open hostility to the media provides some measure of vindication.
There is no point in trying for merely shitty coverage rather than openly hostile coverage, that plan is thankfully dead.

People do what they do 25.Mar.2003 11:58

corporate media representation

The above points are very well thought out, and merit a response. I think the camera blockers are doing a great service to the protestors. If all people took the defeatist attitude of nunya biznis, then I don't think people would be protesting at all.

Just because the corporate TV stations have the power to make the protestors look good or bad, does not mean the protestors should pander to them. I am well aware that the news casters and cameramen are out there "doing there job". However, if they piss you off, then you should do something about it, and make their job harder to do.

This seems to be the whole point behind protesting at all. People do not occupy bridges or buildings because they are trying to work with the police, city, and federal officials. People do these acts of protest because they feel marginalized. If a person feels they are not being listened to, and they feel strongly enough about it, they will react by acting in a fashion that forces people to listen to them.

Many protestors feel the media does not represent them. This attitude is not unfounded or irrational. During my normal course of checking the news on-line, I try to go to this site, and other larger independent sites, as well as CNN and Foxnews, and all that jazz. There are two different worlds there, and very, very, different 'facts'.

Nunya biznes invokes Noam Chomsky as a defender of freedom of the press, which he is. However, Chomsky also says that diverse view points lead people to a closer approximation of the truth. Corporate media does not give people diverse view points. They present their news as the 'correct' news.

I think that the people who block cameras are making the point that corporate media is fundamentally incapable of conveying the point of the protest. This is because the point of the protest is to make a view which is generally marginalized heard. This cannot happen through the corporate media because they are precisely the people who are marginalizing viewpoints, by the exclusive nature of what news is.

some thoughts 25.Mar.2003 13:00


When I cam home from the M20 protest I caught a bit of fox's late night coverage. What occurred to me was the *fundamental* lack of understanding about what the protests were about. The reports and commenteray were one of the most banal, inane, and incoherent things I've ever heard ("I'm sure the protesors want to go to jail rather than sit in the cold rain all night"). Which left me with this truth: You cannot communicate that which you do not understand. The corporate media for the most part (I acknowledge that their may be some employees that are working for peace and justice) do not, and can not understand what this about. Therefore, they can never communicate it. They can put all the pictures they want on the screen and say all the stupid things they want, but they will not convey the thoughts and emotions behind the actions. Ultimately, this tactic, for me, is one that I do not oppose nor endorse (at this point). If someone feels it is effective and wants to pursue that course of action, then I support them but I have not engaged in this tactic myself.

ideas 25.Mar.2003 17:10

usual suspect

I heard here on imc that the local corporate media has hired goons to "protect" them when they cover actions. These people need to have their photos put up on indymedia so we know who they are. And why not video the newscasters as if they were the freaks and then post that? And even though they're also sellouts why not give OPB radio reporters special treatment, access to interesting people to interview, scoops. etc. to piss off the more commercial media?