Tag Archives: New York City Police Department

First Amendment Under Siege

21 Nov
After a week in which journalists and police clashed at Occupy Wall Street and related events around the country — and the NYPD arrested 12 reporters — leaders like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are starting to feel the heat. Our campaign demanding that all mayors defend the First Amendment and rein in these attacks was featured in today’s New York Times.
So far 30,000 people have joined our action, urging all mayors to protect journalists’ right to free speech. If you have not added your name yet, please sign our petition today. We’ll be delivering them soon.
Once you take action, check out the New York Times article and share it with your friends. This is a fight for the freedom of our press — let’s keep the pressure on.
Thanks — Josh


Mayors: Protect Press Freedom in Your Cities.

Dear Ismael,
Early Tuesday morning, the New York Police Department forcibly evacuated Zuccotti Park, home of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The move provoked a clash not only with protesters but with the press. In what appears to have been a coordinated effort to block coverage of the raid, the police barred many journalists from reporting on the police action.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the police kept the media away “to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect members of the press.”
But according to the New York Times, one journalist told a police officer “I’m press!” and the officer just responded “Not tonight.”
If the mayor of our country’s largest city thinks protecting the press means silencing them, we’re in big trouble. And he’s not alone. Police harassment of the media has been reported during “Occupy” protests in Chicago, Denver, Oakland, Portland and beyond. Arrests of journalists continued throughout the week as protesters took to the streets nationwide.
It’s time to tell mayors across the country to uphold our press freedoms.

Tell Mayor Bloomberg and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to publicly commit to defending the First Amendment and letting journalists do their jobs.

The NYPD is using more than words to fight journalists. Since Tuesday, 13 reporters have been arrested, another was put in a choke hold, another was beaten with a baton and others were subjected to police harassment.
In fact, since the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement two months ago, 26 journalists have been arrested2, 3 and countless others have been roughed up, tear-gassed and pepper sprayed. There have even been reports of police using high-powered strobe lights to disable video cameras and block people from recording their actions.

Demand that all U.S. mayors publicly commit to protecting freedom of the press.

Please sign this action and we will deliver your letter to Mayor Bloomberg and the Conference of Mayors and demand that they drop all charges and make this crucial commitment to upholding the First Amendment.
The freedom of our press is fundamental to our identity as Americans. As elected representatives charged with serving the people, our mayors must rein in these aggressive and violent tactics by local law enforcement.
Please take action right now.
Josh Stearns
Associate Program Director
Free Press
P.S. Great news: If we raise $300,000 by Dec. 31, 2011, two longtime supporters will kick in an additional $300,000. Donate today and your gift will pack double the punch in the fight to protect the First Amendment and journalists everywhere. Thank you!
1. Brian Stelter, “Reporters Say Police Denied Access to Protest Site,” New York Times, Nov. 15, 2011: http://act2.freepress.net/go/7342?akid=3075.9918148.4u_m9d&t=13
2. See a list of all journalists arrested at Occupy events since September, plus related videos and articles. http://act2.freepress.net/go/7343?akid=3075.9918148.4u_m9d&t=15
3. See a statement from the Society of Professional Journalists condemning the arrests. http://act2.freepress.net/go/7344?akid=3075.9918148.4u_m9d&t=17

“The Whole World Is Watching! The Whole World Is Watching!”

7 Oct

Sign Petition

Does that chant sound familiar? It’s what the crowd at Occupy Wall Street began crying 2 nights ago when a police officer began swinging his baton into the crowd without provocation, and police allegedly pepper sprayed journalists.
Sign our letter with CREDO to NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the NYPD: trampling on protesters is not acceptable in Cairo or New York. Let’s protect the constitutional rights of the brave Occupy Wall Street patriots, not desecrate them.
We just broke 100,000 signatures on our letter for a good reason: Americans know the NYPD shouldn’t beat ’em – it should join ’em.
Thank you for all you do to make this movement real.

John Sellers, The Other 98%
Want to support our work? We have a tiny staff ensuring your donations go a long way. You can chip in here.

Stand with Occupy Wall Street

5 Oct
There’s a heartbeat on Wall Street. It’s the first thing you notice out of the subway and it electrifies the air. It’s not just the drums coming from Liberty Plaza, it’s everything about Occupy Wall Street: the buzz of activity, the willingness to stick it out day after day in spite of the rain and pepper-spray, the determination on young people’s faces, the kindness among strangers as people of all stripes take care of the myriad of volunteer tasks required to keep this encampment going strong into its third week. I’ve lived in New York City my entire life, and now I suddenly live in a village.
We need your help in this movement. Please sign our petition with CREDO Action demanding that the NYPD respect the protesters’ constitutional right to peaceful assembly. This petition will be hand delivered to the NYPD.
I’ve been involved since the planning stages of the occupation, mostly giving trainings to people who want to participate. We cover the tactics and philosophy and history of non-violent direct action. After a training a man came up to thank me. He smiled broadly and started to speak, but surprised himself when he couldn’t get the words out and began to cry. He looked around the park and said “I’m sorry. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. All of this… I’ve never… I didn’t think this could ever happen. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to come up to you and cry, but this is just so incredibly beautiful.”
The power of Occupy Wall Street is that it’s more than a protest against financial criminals and corporate personhood. It’s also a demonstration of the human qualities we wish were better represented in our government and society. The occupation does both at once and in full view of anyone who cares to look or participate.
Occupations have spread to over 100 cities already. Come out to an occupation near you or start one of your own. This is the moment to get out from behind our computers and into the streets.
The people in this reclaimed square are modeling the future. Rather than a protest, it is a demonstration of the equitable, care-focused government we’d like to create, and the will and power to fight for it. We’ve set up a kitchen that can feed us all good food, and an action team that will lock arms around us if we’re threatened. There is spontaneous art and music that keeps our message creative and human, and a media center that blasts it out all over the world. There are general assemblies where the governance of the occupation happens, where committees report and anyone can speak.
This is the other 98% in action (newsflash: another 1% of the population has joined our ranks! woohoo The 99%!). We are a cross section of people who aren’t benefiting from the financial collapse and are struggling to pay our mortgages and student loans and know that there are bankers and corporations with names and addresses that are responsible for stacking the deck against all the rest of us. And we’re not leaving until America works for us.
Join us, and our allies at CREDO, in sigining this petition in support of Occupy Wall Street.
Thank you,
Samantha Corbin
Actions Director at The Other 98%
Want to support our work? We have a tiny staff ensuring your donations go a long way. You can chip in here.

The Other 98% is making democracy work for the rest of us. Our website is http://other98.com/. This email was sent to ismael.melendez@hotmail.com. If you have received this email in error or wish to unsubscribe click here.

Wow — he maced them again

30 Sep
He did it again.  Footage has emerged of a second macing of nonviolent protesters by NYPD officer Anthony Bologna (below).
The NYPD is claiming it’s going to investigate, but Commissioner Raymond Kelly is skeptical that Bologna did anything wrong!  He said of the footage of the incident: “In my experience, proponents of a certain position would show you just what they want to show you.”

We need to make sure the NYPD holds a legitimate investigation, and that this doesn’t just get swept under the rug like so many other instances of police abuse before it.
Will you click here to demand a complete investigation and any and all appropriate discplinary action and criminal prosecution?Thanks,
The Demand Progress Team
P.S. Let’s make sure this incident doesn’t get swept under the rug, like so much police abuse before it.  Will you urge your friends to sign on too?

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