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On September 22, former BART Police Deputy Chief Dan Hartwig will be called to account in federal court for his role in targeting and arresting independent journalist David Morse during a “No Justice No BART” protest at the Powell Street BART station three years ago. Morse was the only credentialed journalist who was handcuffed, arrested, and held in police custody for several hours, while other reporters with and without credentials were all released without citation from a police encirclement.

UPDATE: Verdict in BART PD Trial, September 29: The jury in US District Court found that — despite BART Deputy Chief Fairow ordering a flier be created identifying Dave Id as a subject for police focus during the 9/8/11 Powell Street station protest, despite BART police discussing arresting Dave Id at a planning meeting prior to the protest (even though all officers who testified said Dave Id had never committed a crime at a previous protest), and despite Deputy Chief Hartwig choosing Dave Id to be very first person arrested when all other journalists were released from a police kettle — Deputy Chief Hartwig did not retaliate against Dave Id for his hundreds of critical reports on BART police. Dave Id and Indybay strongly disagree.
Former Santa Cruz Patch editor Brad Kava, who is still a journalism teacher at Cabrillo College, is now selling a device he invented that offers senior citizens the ability to secure a pepper spray can to their canes. He has named it: "Cane-O-Mite." It is essentially a holster for pepper spray and, in the Indiegogo campaign and YouTube video produced to market it, Kava preys on the fears of the elderly. He cites an increase in news reporting on crime as a justification in his sales pitch for the product, saying "everyone who follows the news knows how bad it [crime against senior citizens] can get."
The new documentary "The Ghosts Of March 21" focuses on March 21, 2009, when a shoot-out between Lovelle Mixon and members of the Oakland Police Department resulted in the death of Mixon and four police officers. The documentary examines the encounter’s underlying contradictions and challenges the mainstream narrative of the confrontation. The film opened in Oakland and Berkeley on March 20 and 21, San Francisco on March 22, and Santa Rosa on March 23.
Santa Cruz Sentinel photographer Dan Coyro has called members and supporters of the Santa Cruz Eleven "roaches" and "street vermin" in recent public statements, in addition to making comments disparaging the local needle exchange program, and calling the homeless "bums" while blasting their photo on social media. The Santa Cruz Sentinel is considered by many to be the newspaper of record in Santa Cruz County, which has some questioning the ability of Coyro to function objectively at his position.
The corporate media's narrative on the opposition protests in Venezuela is that the Venezuelan government caused this crisis, because it is a dictatorship that has ruined the economy in a failed attempt to impose Cuban style socialism. In San Francisco, activists gathered for a rally at the 24th and Mission BART Plaza on February 17, to protest the one-sided media coverage. Another event on March 6 featured a reportback from Venezuela and commemorated the one-year anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez.
On February 11, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled that Indybay reporter David Morse should take his civil rights lawsuit against BART police to trial. Morse was arrested while covering a "No Justice No BART" protest on September 8, 2011. Prior to the demonstration, BART police commanders commissioned an intelligence officer to profile Morse, publish his photograph, and prepare officers to make his arrest. The Magistrate has now ruled that Morse has sufficient evidence to pursue his First Amendment claim against BART for arresting him in retaliation for his extensive and critical reporting on BART's police department.
The National Lawyers Guild and Prison Radio will present two films on repression and resistance on Saturday, October 19 at the The New Parkway Theater in Oakland. The Battle for Oscar Grant Plaza is a short documentary about how the City of Oakland and its police tried to shut down the budding "Occupy Wall Street" movement, turning downtown Oakland into a teargas-filled war zone and injuring numerous people. Manufacturing Guilt takes on Abu-Jamal's contentious case, distilling a mountain of evidence and years of oft-repeated falsehoods which illustrate a clear and conscious effort to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal for murder.
Twelve people injured by the Oakland police department during Occupy Oakland demonstrations have settled a federal civil rights lawsuit with the city of Oakland for a total of $1.17 million. The injuries came as a result of OPD's violent response to Occupy Oakland on October 25 and November 2, 2011. Injured plaintiffs include long-time Indybay journalist David Morse. OPD has agreed to allow the federal court to enforce its compliance with its own crowd control policy, which prohibits police from shooting "less lethal" impact munitions or tossing explosive teargas grenades into crowds, and prohibits mass arrests without warning or opportunity to disperse.
On May 12, writer Jeremy Leonard re-posted a video to YouTube of a member of the Clean Team threatening and harassing a homeless camper in Santa Cruz as he and others did one of their regular "clean-ups." The video and a long interview Leonard did with former Clean Team founder T.J. Magallanes was only up very briefly on the internet before it was taken down, as reportedly there were numerous threats made against Leonard.
Bradley Allen went to the Santa Cruz County Courthouse steps with his camera on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, to cover a demonstration for Santa Cruz Indymedia, part of Indybay, at a time the Occupy movement was at its height. He assumed it would be similar to others he had recently been to, where people had rallied, marched, and picketed banks.
"We Witness": A Panel on Digital Video, Social Media, & Political Protest at UC Berkeley “See it — Film it — Change it” is a slogan of Witness, an NGO that has been documenting human rights violations for 20 years. Lawyers working for The New Media Advocacy Project recently presented Congress members with video of sexual violence in Haitian camps and won some assistance to the victims. Ustream, a commercial service for live video streaming, provided a platform to citizen journalists covering Hurricane Sandy. Rich Jones of Openwatch has a vision of smartphones recording the actions of law enforcement to the point cops become truly accountable to the public. And Ken Goldberg’s Rashoman Project offers new technology for recording volatile protest situations.

All of the above was presented and discussed at a forum at the Banatao Auditorium on the University of California, Berkeley campus called “We Witness: A Panel on Digital Video, Social Media, & Political Protest.” It was held on Monday, December 10 by the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative in honor of Human Rights Day.

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Participating Organizations: Witness || New Media Advocacy Project || Openwatch || Ustream || Rashoman Project (video) || CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative
Attorney David E. Mastagni of the Sacramento law firm Mastagni, Holstedt, Amick, Miller & Johnsen has demanded that the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) remove a post by Vallejo Copwatch. It is unclear on whose behalf the overly broad demand was made as it requests that Indybay "remove any and all information pertaining to public safety officers employed by the City of Vallejo." The specific Vallejo Copwatch post listed in the demand letter, though, identifies Vallejo police officer Dustin B. Joseph as the killer of Mario Romero on September 2nd of this year. The Indybay Collective has no intention of removing the post.
David Morse, a veteran independent journalist and long-time member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) has settled his lawsuit over the University of California - Berkeley Police Department’s (UCBPD’s) improper arrest, imprisonment, and seizure of journalistic materials during a student demonstration he was covering as a journalist. In exchange for Mr. Morse’s agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, the University of California Regents have paid $162,500 and have agreed to modify UCBPD policies and procedures regarding acceptable means of seeking materials from a journalist or anyone possessing materials with an intent to disseminate to the public and have also agreed to conduct extensive training sessions for UCBPD officers regarding protections for journalists under federal and state law.

UCBPD officers arrested Mr. Morse while he was covering a demonstration on the UC-Berkeley campus on December 11, 2009. Mr. Morse was making news photographs of a march on the UC-Berkeley campus, in which some participants caused damage to the exterior of the Chancellor’s house and other property, when UCBPD officers arrived at the scene. Mr. Morse identified himself as a journalist, and offered to show the officers his press credentials. UCBPD officers instead immediately detained and then arrested Mr. Morse and seized his camera, telling Mr. Morse that they wanted his camera because they believed it contained evidence of a crime. Mr. Morse was charged with attempted arson of an inhabited structure, vandalism, participation in a riot, attempted burglary, threatening a university official, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer. His bail was set at $132,500.

As part of this settlement, the UC Regents agreed:
  • To revise and update its policies and procedures concerning protections for journalists mandated by the federal Privacy Protection Act (“PPA”), California Penal Code § 1524(g), and California Evidence Code § 1070, including:
    • Acknowledging that the PPA’s protections apply to both traditional media outlets and new technologies such as the internet, and protects individuals even if not associated with a media outlet;
    • Acknowledging that the PPA requires the use of a subpoena, rather than a search warrant, to obtain unpublished journalistic materials;
  • To mandate that all UCBPD officers – current and future – undergo training on the revised and updated policies and procedures regarding journalistic protections;
  • To pay a total of $162,500 to Mr. Morse and his attorneys.
pdfRead More | Californian Journalist Wins $162,500 Settlement For Unlawful Arrest | Previous Coverage: Indybay Reporter Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against UC Police | Indybay Reporter Succeeds in Quashing UCPD Search Warrant | Eight Arrested at UC Berkeley After Concert and March
Community Media with Indybay will be an introduction to contributing to the all-volunteer website, Santa Cruz Indymedia (aka Indybay). Beginning July 11th, people who are passionate about local independent media will meet every other Wednesday as part of Free Skool Santa Cruz for workshops and discussions on how anyone can publish text, photos, audio and video, either as news articles or event announcements directly to the website.
Around 500 people from 15 cities in Mexico and 11 countries in the world came together in the National Encounter of Autonomous Anti-Capitialist Resistance at the end of May 2012 to share experiences of autonomy and support the uprising and current process of self-government in Cherán, Michoacán. The Cherán K’eri uprising on April 15, 2011 and the process of self-government now underway in that community is, for many, a source of inspiration, a strong show of resistance to be defended, and an experience to learn from.
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