By J. DeVoy
Around this time last year, large bands of police descended upon “Occupy” encampments from coast to coast, seeking to decamp the rebelling hipsters once and for all. What you may not know, though, is that the Los Angeles Police Department radically changed their press policy immediately before its efforts to disperse the movement: only members of the “official” press pool were allowed to report on the raid. (Source) Rogue journalists, as defined by the LAPD, would be arrested on sight.
Surely there was some kind of previous, quiet announcement of how to become a member of the official press pool so that bloggers, citizen journalists, and other non-traditional news sources wouldn’t (theoretically) be prejudiced, right? Apparently not:
[T]he day before [the raid], the LAPD had selected a handful of local news organizations and given them permission to report on the action from an embedded position. If you weren’t on the list, you weren’t a journalist. It was that simple.
NSFWCorp’s article (which is, by most standards, safe for work) draws the important parallel between the modern police state and prior repressive regimes around the globe. Political activists are detained with painful zipcord handcuffs, held for hours and even days, and even forced to sit in their own excrement. While Levine is not unbiased, his account requires little imagination to believe.
A year later, Levine is still being prosecuted for his crimes as not being a member of the official press pool. While California and Los Angeles fiscally burn, the LAPD seem content to play their fiddle for one man possessing the temerity to document their actions.