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Indybay Feature

"" gets nod from Chronicle regarding "tech-savvy" M19 demos

by woo-ha
All in all, it's a favorable piece on yesterday's demonstrations, organizers, and multi-media support.
S.F. protest a lesson on how to do it right
C.W. Nevius
Thursday, March 20, 2008

... Take a couple of pages from Direct Action.

Be tech-savvy. Although I had to follow a guy wearing a four-foot, papier-mache George Bush head to find the protests early Wednesday, once I hooked up with the group, it was no problem to keep up with the latest news.

Plenty of updates

I was told to simply text message the "DASW text mob" to get up-to-the-minute messages describing the latest action sent to my cell phone. At 3:08:29 p.m., for example, I received a message that said, "DASW current estimate - 150 arrests - thanks for taking to the streets and joining in."

Back at the office, I followed the action on, the Web site of the Bay Area Independent Media Center, which had a "breaking news" box with updates every 10 minutes or so. I also was able to listen to M19 Direct Action Radio (102.5 FM) for live updates.

At 3:15 a radio report came in from a member of the Raging Grannies. She said she was at the Davis Street Air Force/Army recruiting station and, "Someone, I don't know who, just threw a newsstand onto a police car, damaging the hood of his car."

She then stayed on the air to report that more police cars had arrived and that the situation had been defused. All before the mainstream media even knew it happened. ...

by chron
the chron fixed the typo, so it says now.

Wired has an article too that mentions indybay
Indybay has used txt messaging (SMS) for demos in the past, most famously during the Anarchist Action in July 2005 that raised all the troubles for Josh Wolf.

See (mentions SMS used) and (actual reports on that event, not sure if SMS is mentioned there)
by g
The article made it sound like pushing press releases and using technical gadgets like cell phones for text messages and "savy" communicating with the media were just invented. Nevius is such an idiot. This is the same guy who writes all those horrible anti-homeless articles for the chronicle. His critique of the protest movement is obviously from someone who has no clue about the history or complexity of what activists have been doing for a decade now. Since the Seattle WTO (and long before), activists have understood the importance of technology and communicating with mainstream news outlets (or targeting and creating our own media). His mispelling of says it all.

I also have to say, I'm disappointed that some DASW activists in the article commented on the 2003 targeting of mainstream media journalists (like Fox's Jennifer Jolly who was pied) as "really bad". WTF? Since when has targeting the media with direct action become a big no no? Come on folks, this is no time to play good cop bad cop! It's divisive to get on your high horse about various non-violent direct action tactics. Neophyte journalists deserve to be targeted and pied as much as any poilitician who supported the war. Just turn on the TV and watch the shit that they continue to spew, with no accountability whatsoever.
Everyone was so nice to him this time around. He felt welcomed and so he wrote his nicey-nice piece. That and 5 years later the majority now realizes what protesters knew in 2003, that this war/occupation is fucked, so it's real convenient for him to side with demonstrators now.

There must have been some big stink with the corporate media after the pie incident -- at their water coolers they were all aghast that protesters were outraged that their blind cheerleading helped usher in the attack on Iraq. They parroted the Bush administration, beating the drums of fear and war without any real investigative reporting, but we just didn't appreciate them anyway, darn it. Nevius here reveals corporate media types to be pompous, seeing themselves as royalty who expect us to throw flower petals before the ground they walk on, no matter how irresponsibly or contrary to the good of the country and world they act.

And obviously he wasn't paying attention in 2003. DASW had maps then of targets to hit then. There was just about 50,000 in the streets by late afternoon then and a lot more ruckus was being raised. Cops couldn't pull people off the streets fast enough, rounding up whole blocks at a time, packing demonstrators into muni buses. Same exact tactics, just more actions all over.

He seems to prefer smaller demos as they don't offend his pre-occupation with the "quality of life" of middle to upperclass SF citizens. That and he wants to be appreciated.
by Pies for Their Lies!!!
This brown-nosing of the corporate media is absolutely disgusting. Pies for their lies! This "tactic" of corporate ass-kissing is a pathetic and divisive insult. Read this for yourself. Though, none of us should take corporate "reporting" and "quoting" at face value. Here's a snippet:

"The issue is that it is always a challenge when you protest," said Direct Action's Patrick Reinsborough, who described himself as a greeter. "How do you exert pressure and at the same time not piss people off? I am sure there were people asking civil rights protesters if they could be a little quieter. There's nothing new about that tension."

Less alienation

Also, don't go out of your way to alienate the media. Instead, use it to further your own ends. Five years ago, protesters hit KTVU reporter Jennifer Jolly in the face with a pie. And there went any sympathy for the cause from the media.

"That was horrible," Reinsborough said Wednesday. "Member of the media or not, that shouldn't have happened."

As I spoke to Reinsborough, another member of Direct Action, media coordinator Michael Reagan, rushed up. But instead of a pie, he wanted to hit me with a slick, blue media packet. They had everything, I told him: a program of events, a phone number for legal support in case of arrest and a Google map of locations.
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