GlobalRev Press Release: NYC settles Lawsuit GlobalRev Brought for Zuccotti Park Raid

 

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April 10, 2013 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Breaking: NYC has to reimburse Global Revolution TV Collective for the equipment destroyed during the raid on #OWS Zuccotti Camp in November of 2011.
A year and a half after NYPD officers, under orders of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, surrounded the #OccupyWallStreet occupation in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and proceeded to “evict” the non-violent protest against the inequalities in our society, the City settled with GlobalRevolution.tv, Times Up!, and the People’s Library, some of the groups who were working in the park, for failing to allow them to remove equipment and material that was vital for their work in telling the story of the expanding movement.
“By targeting equipment used for media as well as literature in the People’s Library, the city in effect not only tried to deny our movement a place to gather and organize, but also went after the tools we use to communicate, in direct violation of our First Amendment rights,” said Vlad Teichberg of Global Revolution TV.
The city agreed to reimburse the Global Revolution Collective $75,000 for the costs of equipment that was destroyed in the park, as well as almost $50,000 in legal fees. This number represents a fraction of actual material lost by members of the movement during this raid as well as subsequent attacks against all occupations around the country and the world, which we are now learning have been coordinated at the highest levels of the US federal government.
During the raid itself, all corporate media were pushed outside the park, and the only reporting that came during the incident was from livestreaming citizen journalists who broke the media blockade and showed the whole world what was happening in real time.
In addition to the monetary compensation, the City has been forced to express regret for destroying and not taking care of media equipment during the raid. Quoting directly from the settlement: “Defendants acknowledge and believe it unfortunate that, during the course of clearing Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011, computers, wifi hotspots and similarly related live-streaming equipment were damaged so as to render them unusable, and additional live-streaming equipment is unaccounted for. […] Defendants recognize that when a person’s property is removed by the City it is important that the City exercise due care and adhere to established procedures in order to protect the legal rights of the property owners.”
Wylie Stecklow, attorney representing GRTV, remarked: “The livestreamers showed us the real, uncensored police brutality that was often downplayed in the major media… until it went viral and could not be ignored. The livestreamers of Global Revolution TV have been distributing livestreaming gear and done trainings of citizen journalists, not just in Zuccotti Park but all over the world from local Occupies around the USA to media collectives in Tahrir, Tunis, Spain and other countries, and for their troubles, thousands of dollars of their equipment was seized and destroyed in the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011.
In resolving this litigation, it was important that the language of the document stress the fundamental rights that Global Rev was protecting: Whereas there is no dispute between the City and Global Rev as regards the importance of computers, wifi hotspots, and similarly related live streaming equipment to plaintiffs efforts to promote an educated and informed citizenry and to plaintiffs efforts to protect and promote the rights of the Occupy community.”
The money that GRTV recovers from this settlement will be used to outfit more citizen journalists, and to train and equip more people to bring us the real stories of what is going on in the streets around the world.
One of the members of the media collective said on hearing the news of the settlement, “It is interesting that this money that the city led by the quintessential member of the 1% has to reimburse GlobalRev for basically destroying their media capability is now going to be used to empower citizen journalists all over the world as well as help enhance the current OWS media efforts in NYC.”
For further questions, you can contact members of Global Revolution Collective at editors@globalrevolution.tv or @globalrevlive on Twitter. Attorney Wylie Stecklow can be reached via http://www.wylielaw.com. Times Up! can be reached via http://times-up.org .
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Photos courtesy Isaac Wilder for Motherboard.

Photos courtesy Isaac Wilder for Motherboard.

Photos courtesy Isaac Wilder for Motherboard.

Photos courtesy Isaac Wilder for Motherboard.

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