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Voices of the Occupations: 5 New Media Sources Fighting Against Censorship and For OWS

As Congress debates new laws that could dramatically impact independent media, we look at 5 invaluable sources beating the mainstream media at covering Occupy.

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But it’s garnered the most attention for its live streams from the park, where the site’s media director, Tim Pool, has been active since the beginning of the movement. According to MSNBC, Pool’s coverage of the November 15 police action against OWS drew 20,000 viewers over the course of nearly 16 straight hours.

3. @Blogdiva,Occupy Wall Street

Though she’s based out of NYC, blogger Liza Sabater has used her already sizable following on Twitter (more than 19,000 and counting) to act as a one-woman RSS feed for occupations nationwide, posting information and commentary touching on not just the scene in New York, but all over the country.

Sabater has also used her feed to keep readers up to date on the ongoing protests in Egypt, showing the ever-evolving parallels between the Arab Spring and OWS, all in real-time.

4. Occupystream.com

The site, set up by an OWS sympathizer on his own time, is precisely the kind of outlet PIPA and SOPA might hit hardest. It acts as a one-stop shop for viewers following multiple protests; users provide links to streams following occupation efforts both in the U.S. and abroad.

“I've been waiting for an opportunity to help in the first movements of revolution, but I didn't know how,” wrote the site’s founder, Keith Jimenez. “This site will hopefully connect everyone on possibly ... the planet.” So far, it seems to be working. As of this weekend Jimenez has had to upgrade the site’s servers to handle the incoming traffic.

5. @Jasiri-X,Occupy Pittsburgh

Earlier this year, this Pittsburgh-based rapper weighed in on the Troy Davis case, one of the few musical artists who spoke out against Davis’ execution. More recently, Jasiri was the first artist to publicly express his support for OWS, on the track “Occupy (We the 99)”

Jasiri’s outspokenness led to an awkward encounter at the University of Connecticut, where he agreed to take part in a “Political Awareness Rally,” only to be told he couldn’t do “Occupy.” Eventually, he was told he could perform the song, but would forfeit his appearance fee by doing so. He did the song anyway. But, as an artist who has built himself up in part through his reach via online media (and who has established a program helping young black men do the same), he might also have cause for care if the new bills go through. 

As of this week, SOPA has encountered resistance within Congress with both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif.,  speaking out against it. But it’s likely that, even if this act and PIPA are shot down, they will be the last of their kind. Especially if a reinvigorated OWS continues to grow. Because every YouTube clip, every Twitpic, every “official account” shot down, every act of press suppression, both by police and by media outlets themselves, makes it as clear in the U.S. as it was in the Middle East: the revolution doesn’t have to be televised anymore.

Arturo R. García is the managing editor of Racialicious.