Occupy Wall Street's Livestream Operators Arrested
Occupy Wall Street is in the middle of one of its day-long marches in New York Tuesday, protesting the National Defense Authorization Act, but for those following along on the Global Revolution livestream, the real action is happening in the broadcast studio itself. That's because police have apparently just raided the Brooklyn studio of Globalrevolution.tv and taken some of the project's key volunteers into custody.
The raid Tuesday follows a notice to vacate that police delivered to the Bushwick studio on Monday night. Victoria Sobel, a Global Revolution volunteer, said Vlad Teichberg and a guy named Spike, both of whom maintain the live feed aggregator, had been taken into custody by police, along with four or five others.
In Manhattan, about 100 Occupy protesters (according to Animal New York's Twitter) marched to the offices of New York senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, where they told stories and made impassioned cases for the wrongness of the NDAA. They plan a final rally at Grand Central station at 5 p.m., which should make for some fun interactions with hurried commuters. Lots of people were watching the proceedings on live feeds operated by Globalrevolution.tv, but now that site has stopped broadcasting the New York protest and is showing footage of Occupy Maui.
If you were following along earlier today, you may have been startled at about 1:45 p.m. to see the live feed cut away from the street-level action and to the face of Vlad Teichberg, one of the main organizers of Global Revolution. The new shot showed a large, graffittied space where Teichberg and a couple of colleagues were confronting a man they identified as the landlord, who had apparently broken in their door. They put the camera on him, he threatened to call the police, they said he had no right to come into the space by force, and he eventually left.
But Sobel said that was just the start of the day's conflict. Shortly after the confrontation, the police arrived. "Within the past hour, the police came in and removed people that were inside the studio," she said. "I believe the police just began knocking on the door and saying they would kick the door down and saying they would arrest people on the spot." The Global Revolution studio is now locked, Sobel said. The live feed has finished its Hawaiian broadcast and is playing a pre-recorded video. "The message is that even if they take the space, the [broadcast] will continue to be maintained," Sobel said. But right now, it seems to be out of commission.
Police and buildings department officials had served the Buswhick, Brooklyn space with notices to vacate on Monday night, declaring it "imminently perilous to life." The blog A Great Big City picked up this photo of the notice to vacate from the studio from the Twitter stream of Glass Bead Collective:
There is a handful of live streams that regularly cover Occupy events, such as Tim Pool's The Other 99 and Spencer Mills's OakFoSho. But Global Revolution is considered the main channel. It's an aggregator of live streams worldwide, borne of the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park. And this wouldn't be the first time the headquarters had moved.
In an Oct. 4 profile, The New Yorker's Andrew Marantz wrote: "For the first few weeks of the protest, Global Revolution operated from under a tarp in Zuccotti Park, using wireless hot spots. Two weeks ago, the group, frustrated with the amount of equipment they were losing to theft and rain, moved to NoHo." Global Revolution operated from a building at Lafayette and Bleeker while journalists such as New York's John Heilemann and Wired's Sean Captain profiled it. Heilemann's Nov. 27 piece described the 39-year-old Teichberg as "so jacked in to the electronic grid that he comes across like a character out of Neuromancer." By Dec. 11,, when The New York Times wrote about the rise of live feeds in publicizing the Occupy protests, the Global Rev. headquarters had moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn.