Anarchists Think Photographers And Reporters Are The "Fu*king Enemy"
<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/05/08/are_anarchists_acting_like_the_nypd.php"...
<p>A week ago, <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/05/01/photos_chaotic_wildcat_march_from_c.php#... hundred protesters ran through Lower Manhattan on a "Wildcat march"</a> that was coordinated around other <a href="http://gothamist.com/tags/mayday">May Day protests.</a> Some black bloc tactics were used, but most of the violence was directed towards photojournalists, as several fought with protesters who were attempting to damage their cameras or prevent them from covering the march. A <a href="http://anarchistnews.org/content/nyc-ftp-police-press">thread on Anarchist News calls</a> the photographers "vultures" and notes, "journalists are fucking enemies." But how many protesters actually believe this? And what does it say that a faction of anarchists seem to be <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/12/12/video_nypd_blocks_credentialed_phot.php"... a page</a> from the NYPD in <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/03/07/video_nypd_officer_strikes_credenti.php"... what press can and cannot cover?</a> </p></td><td><img title="We need to do more propaganda around how the 'free press' isn't free nor tellers of great truths." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/fallingbear_freedom.jpg"></...
<p>The issue of some protesters targeting photographers covering the Occupy Wall Street movement came to the fore after videographer Tim Pool <a href="http://www.onthemedia.org/blogs/on-the-media/2011/nov/18/q-tim-pool-on-s... footage of protesters letting the air out of an NYPD squad car's tires the night of the eviction.</a> Since then, protesters engaged in black bloc tactics—illegal actions that some in the Occupy movement embrace as part of a "diversity" of tactics—have <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/01/30/is_filming_ows_protesters_without_c.php#... to damage or confiscate cameras documenting them.</a> </p>
<p>"The protesters' argument is righteous, but is also silly," José Martín, a 30-year-old activist and Marxist who has been involved in militant actions for over a decade and attended the Wildcat march, says. "Still, there is some philosophical legitimacy to what these people are saying. We're not here to legitimize the state. If journalists are willing to incriminate those engaged in illegal actions, it's very difficult for me to suggest they shouldn't be angry with the photographer."</p>
<p>He points to videographers like Tim Pool, <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/01/30/is_filming_ows_protesters_without_c.php#... "If you're willing to say, 'I want to hold these people accountable,' and you have this mentality that you're not just an objective observer but one with an agenda, I can definitely see why protesters want to prevent him from filming."</p>
<p>But isn't censorship a tool of the state as well? "I don't think it's a question of censorship, but more of a tactical necessity. That said, if I saw someone beating a photographer or trying to steal their camera, I'd probably try to stop it." Martín, who says he has an idea of the type of person who may have posted the article on Anarchist News, calls the site, "a dumping ground for communiques on the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-leftism">ultraleft.</a>"</p>
<p>Pool responds via email, "Everyone wants accountability for others and not themselves. I cannot judge someone for what they do but I can show the world what happened and<br />
let them decide." He adds, "I generally just film what happens around me, I don't seek out certain behaviors."</p>
<p><span class="mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-image" style="display: inline;"> <div class="image-none"> <img alt="5812wild2.jpg" src="http://gothamist.com/attachments/nyc_chrisrobbins/5812wild2.jpg" width="640" height="423" /> <br /> <i> NYPD TARU officers take video from multiple angles of a protester's arrest on May Day (<a href="http://www.jessicalehrman.com">Jessica Lehrman</a> / Gothamist)</i></div> </span></p>
<p><a href="http://ellenmoynihanphoto.com/home.html">Ellen Moynihan,</a> an independent photographer who had black paint thrown on her face and portions of her camera during last week's march, says, "The idea that people who are anarchists can tell me what to do is ridiculous. If you're going to create a public spectacle in a public street you're out of your mind if you think people aren't going to photograph you." </p>
<p>Moynihan's camera ended up being fine, as did <a href="http://www.stephaniekeith.com/">Stephanie Keith's,</a> another independent photographer who <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/photographers-attacked-by-black-bloc-o... in a tug-of-war</a> for her camera with a protester masked in a bandana. "This idea that we're all making a ton of money off exploiting their image with our fancy cameras, it's crazy" Keith says, referring to the signature on the Anarchist post that reads "the “did you know that a photographer's camera could pay your rent?” collective." </p>
<p>Keith didn't sell any of her images from last week's march. "I didn't make any money," she tells us. "But this is still my livelihood. I'm worried that these people are going to be sprinkled in with the Occupiers, most of whom are happy that we're there shooting. And mostly what we're shooting is abuses by the NYPD." </p>
<p>Keith adds that she was lucky: <a href="http://www.metro.us/newyork/national/article/1141920">Lucas Jackson from Reuters ended up trading punches with a protester, </a>and at least two other photographers were involved in physical altercations with protesters. The Anarchist post <a href="http://gothamist.com/upload/2012/05/2012_4_blackflag5.jpg">uses a photograph taken by our own Jake Dobkin to misidentify Guardian reporter Ryan Devereaux,</a> claiming he "attacked one of our female comrades." This reporter accompanied Devereaux for much of the march, and didn't see any evidence of him tussling with a protester. A representative from The Guardian tells us, "Ryan wasn't involved in any altercation on the march, and any suggestion that he was is false." </p>
<p>Martín questions whether the Wildcat march had any lasting effect, in part because it seemed to be focused on tactics and not strategy. "Fetishism of tactics, the fetishism of journalism, fetishism of non-violent protests, of GA's, even the word 'occupation' is very harmful to a movement," Martin believes. "When that happens, people stop thinking in a strategic, analytical way." </p></div>
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