....LMB: "DNC2K"....

May 08, 2004

During the first day of protest outside the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, the police went nuts. There was a large crowd there to demonstrate, and a large crowd there simply to watch performances by Rage Against the Machine and Ozomatli. During Ozomatli's set, the police abruptly cut the power, and started ordering everyone to disperse. Without giving the crowd much time to even try to disperse, the cops began unloading with rubber bullets and bean bag guns and their usual riot weaponry. Some members of the crowd sued the city for violations of their civil rights.

Today, the city agreed to pay 91 plaintiffs a grand total of $1.2 million, but insists that the LAPD did nothing wrong.

As a sidenote, I think it's a damn shame that news stories about this event systematically forget to mention Ozomatli. They're a great band, and they were playing when this cop riot began, yet they are forgotten in all this.

Posted by Jake at 12:25 PM | TrackBack (0)
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I don't know fo them but I'll give them a listen. BTW The LMB pins came in today, thanks again for taking the time and resources to make them. I've got my local inde/radical store Free Radicals to visit your site daily and they recommend it to their customers.

Posted by: Buddy/Brian at May 8, 2004 12:32 PM

How weird is that? Ozomatli was involved in a police brutality incident here in Austin over SXSW. I don't know if you know the details, but basically they and their fans got pepper sprayed for violating a sound ordinance. Watch this video:

http://www.news8austin.com/content/sxsw/stories/?SecID=292&ArID=101389

A couple of friends of mine were there and they said that it was more than just the band that got hurt during this. At least two dozen people got pepper spray in their eyes for nothing more than standing in the street and watching the band play.

Posted by: Amanda at May 9, 2004 03:47 PM

I left just as RATM finished, when some people started to climb the fence in our "area" (more like "protest pen").

Took the subway down Wilshire where it ends, caught the #22 bus, walked into my apartment, turned on the TV, and considered myself lucky that I wasn't blinded by tear gas and trampled on by a police horse.

Posted by: Incadenza at May 9, 2004 05:40 PM

Just to add some measure of perspective to this, I'd like to add a bit of first-hand information.

I attended the 2000 convention, not as a protestor but as a credentialed participant. I respected the rights of the protestors (and hell, agreed with them on a range of issues, just as I suspect that if you sat many of them down and went over issue by issue, they'd agree with most of the convention attendees), but they had little to no respect for mine. The LAPD had done such a pitiful job of protecting entryways, my sister-in-law and I had to make our way through a phalanx of protests just to get to the entry tent. We were jeered, jostled, spat at, pushed down, kicked, cursed, and generally disrespected as we made our way through. I was incredibly disgusted with the whole affair.

I certainly don't endorse the LAPD taking any sort of unwarranted or violent measures to peaceful protesters, but some (certainly not all, to be fair) protestors weren't of that type.

Posted by: bakerkm45 at May 10, 2004 06:59 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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