mellowtigger: (people not profits)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
I advocate that "information is always free". I don't fully understand people who claim privacy or copyright to information, events, or depictions (written recollections or photo recordings) that should rightfully belong either to someone else, to no one, or to everyone at large. Paranoia about keeping some kinds of truths hidden or controlled is a strange twist of human psychology.

Here in Minneapolis I've heard paranoid objections from people regarding the recording of discussions. Yes, we livestream our activities. Why would it matter if someone records? Yes, the local Sheriff's office has tried to characterize this group as dirty vandals who cost taxpayers money. At first, local media tended to "take the bait" and accept the Sheriff's authority on the topic. I think they might be growing wise to the Sheriff's lack of impartiality. Indeed, local media performed much better during an incident this week with a box of riot gear. Someone left a box at our kitchen table. The box included bricks and a sign that read:

RIOT EQUIPMENT:
Needs:
-- bricks
-- large but throwable stones
-- gasoline

Gee, is there anything obvious about that obvious obviousness?

Justified:  Occupiers notified officers on site about the man. An officer questioned the man at the light rail station then let him go. Yes, they let him just ride away. Later, the Sheriff's office released a statement about the box that led to full-blown hyperbole from the local NBC station that seems merely to reproduce their statement for them. The Independent and even FOX were much more thoughtful in their evaluation. Previously, (or so I'm told) officers gave someone a $700 ticket for smoking a cigarette on the plaza, and they gave him a notice of trespassing to make sure he doesn't visit the plaza again. A man drops off a box of "riot gear", though, and they let him go. Do I detect something incongruent in these responses?  Fertile ground for paranoid theories.

Just sad:  Similarly, Bob Carney Jr., a local Republican advocate, attends our nightly general assemblies and then publishes statements about this Occupation such as, "Communists, "hooligans on the left" seek to shape Occupy agenda. Carney has observed extensive involvement in the on-going Minneapolis event by leftist, socialist, and Marx/Lenin Communists." Sure, there are Socialists involved. I've told you so myself, but I also point out the presence of a wide variety of opinions. I try to avoid relying on tired old dichotomies just for their scare value.

Just a WTF:  Considering these experiences with journalists, maybe some healthy amount of paranoia is justified? But the Oakland group had gone so far as to actively chase away (sic a dog on someone) their local media! So we shouldn't be totally surprised when television stations then turned their backs on the protesters as the police launched their militarized assault. Sure the stations can be rightfully offended, but their dislike should never have led them to abandon their 4th branch role in government. Media is necessary to ensure public accountability from government, if media is functioning properly. The Washington Post, however, had the gall to stage a "pet the dog" defense of the assault in Oakland with their "pet the kitten" front page photograph.

Anyway... I try to resist the paranoia machine. I record, I write, I collect online, and I share what I encounter. This event-in-the-making belongs to everyone. I make no money from my efforts. My interest in blogging is entirely for bringing issues to light for proper discussion.

No problem can be solved if it remains ignored. I disapprove of secrets. Information wants to be free. :)

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