NYC FTP: Police & Press
<table><tr><td>The only explicitly anarchist march called for Mayday in New York was the Wildcat March that left from Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side. While it didn't include the same smashing seen in Seattle, Portland, and Oakland, it was the biggest bloc seen in New York since the RNC in 2004. Upwards of 300 people showed up and immediately took the streets after a violent confrontation with the hundreds of police intent on stopping us. Despite a slew of errors that were made both before and during the march, we still kept the streets for 45 minutes—no small accomplishment given the heavy-handed police presence brought about by the widely-circulated NYPD SHIELD Counter-Terrorism memo that detailed the importance of stopping the Wildcat March from happening.
The militancy of the march wasn't in the smashing (or lack thereof), but instead in the confrontations with the media.</td><td><img title="More Militancy doesn't equal more awesome. That said, every camera is a prison sentence waiting to happen, every wielder a jailer." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2011/cameraguntohead.jpg"></td><...
At least six arrests were made as the march tried to leave the park. Although a few de-arrests were successfully executed, the photographers that formed a line between the rest of the march and the front lines impeded the ability for either further de-arrests or a coordinated retreat. Comrades that were nearly pulled away from the pigs were lost as a direct result of the media's interference. Concerned only with getting a decent photograph, their presence not only prevented the possibility of further de-arrests, but also put those in the front lines in potential legal danger by photographing close ups of their faces after they were unmasked by the pigs.
Photographers were continually confronted throughout the demo. These vultures not only put people at very serious legal risk by shooting their faces, but physically interfered with the march's movement and the capacity for people, masked or not, to act. Most telling, however, was the fact that photographers in the midst of the bloc explicitly stated their intent to de-mask participants. This is indicative of their function in identifying those engaged in direct struggle – a role, whether sanctioned or not, that is imperative for police repression to be successful.
One photographer, who has yet to be identified, was confronted by a masked young woman. She told him to “get his fucking camera out of [her] face”. After repeating this several times, she pushed his camera away, and he promptly sucker punched her in the face. When she lunged for him, she was pulled back and restrained by another participant in the bloc who insisted it “wasn't worth it”. While the individual that kept her from attacking her assailant surely had good intentions, he was sorely mistaken. We MUST attack those that both put us in immediate physical and legal danger and serve the same function as the police.
Demonstrative of this, only one block later, another photographer – Jeremy Sparig with Metro – was confronted about taking pictures within the bloc; when he refused to move outside of the bloc, he and a masked individual traded blows, which ended in two other masked assailants promptly retrieving their comrade whilst attacking and putting down the photographer. A number of cameras were nearly seized, and a few lenses were spray painted or paint bombed.
Such actions taken towards photographers demonstrate our intent to be neither incapacitated by the media, nor represented by an apparatus which we despise. Aggressively confronting photographers is an element shared by most of the major blocs which acted on Mayday, which is indicative of a clear desire to refuse the traditional, liberally-oriented paradigm of pandering to the media. While the bloc in NYC did not reach the level of physical destruction demonstrated in numerous other cities, its aggressive response towards those infiltrators from the media actualized an increase in militancy unprecedented within the context of recent demonstrations in the city. For anyone who is not acting in order to acquire social capital or to grace the cover of the Post, it must be made unequivocally clear: journalists are fucking enemies.
To our enemies: if we won't hesitate to directly confront hundreds of cops and to destroy property, what makes you think we hold the lens of your camera to be sacred? You want to preserve your four thousand dollar camera to watch us break everything else? We are not doing this for you, and this is not a game. You clearly do not understand that there is no exception. We feel nothing but contempt for you cowardly spectators.
You'd better watch your necks next time.
the “did you know that a photographer's camera could pay your rent?” collective
The initial confrontation with the police. The media is everywhere.
The man in the army-green button down in the bottom right corner of this
photo attacked one of our female comrades. If you recognize him, make
his name known.