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'It's All Political': Eviction and Arrests of Global Revolution Livestreamers Part of Pattern of Crackdowns on Alternative Living

Released from jail after their arrest at a Brooklyn collective living space, livestreamers affiliated with Occupy Wall Street tell their stories.

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 Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and the Almanac Singers had live music at their communal Almanac House on West 10th Street as early as 1939, but history records a December 1960 gathering on Chambers Street organized by  Yoko Ono as the first proper loft show.

Alcohol infractions, too, have become reasons to shut down DIY spaces. In April of 2010, cops raided one of Bushwick's most renowned DIY spaces, the Market Hotel, and shut it down after "receiving a tip that alcohol was being served without a license,"  according to the Brooklyn Paper. The Market Hotel was the brain child of Todd Patrick, AKA Todd P, who has been credited with inspiring the DIY scene in New York. The Arch Collective, too, was legally reprimanded in April, for “ operating an illegal bottle club” while serving wine and beer to party guests. That same month, the Trailer Park, a neighboring collective to 13 Thames, was shut down for fire code violations.

The Silent Barn, also in Bushwick, was raided in July. A DIY/living space like 13 Thames, its residents were temporarily homeless after a Department of Buildings inspection ended in a vacate order. When they returned the next day, the front door was wide open and $15,000 worth of equipment and personal possessions was stolen or destroyed, the Voice said,  adding that "Despite security-camera footage of three men loading equipment into a van, police were less than helpful."

For 13 Thames, this latest brush with the law was not their first time. Police raided their space in April of last year, just days before they were scheduled  to host an after-party for the Anarchist Book Fair. Residents said the police entered without a warrant, checked IDs, and arrested some with outstanding warrants.

One of them, Johnny Ludolph, 19,  told the New York Times he was arrested for old, unpaid tickets issued for drinking beer on the sidewalk. But when he arrived at the police station, Ludolph told the Times the police seemed most interested in asking him about fliers for the NYC Anarchist Film Festival, with 13 Thames Street listed as an address.

Proof that the eviction of 13 Thames was entirely Global Revolution-related is limited. Nevertheless, what is clear is that across the country, people in positions of power are using minor violations and health code ‘concerns’ to evict ideas. That Bloomberg and others either do not understand the thriving livelihood of these spaces, or are so threatened by their ideology they try to suppress it, should not be a surprise. Occupy and 13 Thames derived wealth from creativity and art; they defined their value by contributions to community.  Bloomberg’s wealth stemmed from self-promotion, and is measured by money.

Yet shutting down the space hasn't stopped the Global Revolution crew from working. Immediately following their release, Jai said, they were "back to the studio," preparing to find the stuff they stashed away and keep on working. Their release guarantees the resumption of their activities -- without a home -- but with more attention.

As Teichberg  said after his arrest, “We can do all of this from laptops," not to mention smart phones. 

"You can hit us, but you can't stop us, because we're everywhere," he said, "This will only make us stronger."

*Editor's note: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly identified the videographers.. 

Kristen Gwynne covers drugs for AlteNet. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and psychology.