Goodbye Press Freedoms: More Journalists Arrested Covering Occupy, Occupy Tweets Subpoenaed
Since the Occupy protests began, more and more members of the press have been arrested, harassed, or kept from covering evictions-- raising serious First Amendment alarm bells. Indeed, the US has plummeted to 47th in the world for press freedoms thanks to the law enforcement reaction to those who cover Occupy.
A new campaign from FreePress.net asks supporters to take a stand:
"So far more than 50 journalists, including eight last week, have been arrested in the U.S. while covering the Occupy Wall Street movement. Last Wednesday a documentary filmmaker was arrested for trying to film a congressional hearing; another had his footage erased by police."
And the insanity has even bled over into scrutiny of the tweets of occupiers and journalists.
Gawker reports that the Manhattan DA is actually subpoenaeing Tweets related to Occupy Wall Street in New York. Specifically,
On October 1st, [Malcolm] Harris was arrested along with 700 Occupy Wall Street protestors for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge and charged with disorderly conduct. Now, the Manhattan DA has subpoenaed "any and all user information, including email address, as well as any and all tweets posted" to his account, @destructuremal, from September 15th to December 31st, 2011. According to theNew York Times, the DA asked Twitter not to notify Harris but the company nicely did not comply.
When reached by phone today, Harris said he was baffled by the breadth of the material sought. The Occupy Wall Street protest didn't even start until September 17th....
"This is the legal equivalent of busting a party with loud noise and demanding my phone records for 3.5 months to see if I helped plan it," Harris tweeted recently.
Meanwhile, Occupy continues to plan, organize and debate.