Most of the Occupy videos circulating lately are of massive demonstrations, police abuse of protesters, and various Occupy encampments being removed or resisting removal. For this remarkable visibility we can thank cell phones, powerful cheap video cameras, and the Web – from YouTube to live feeds.
There have been earlier periods of video visibility in the US – for example, TV coverage of the Vietnam War helped stimulate rising public resistance and a bystander’s video of Rodney King being beaten by LA police in 1991 had a profound impact on the country. But for the last decade or so, images of our wars have been more thoroughly controlled by the government and mass media have often ignored major demonstrations, so today’s renewed video visibility is refreshing. The effort to prevent video and other press coverage of the recent trashing of the Zuccotti Park encampment was so unusual and broadly offensive that it incited widespread comment.
One of the videos of this type that most impressed me recently showed the silent vigil that met University of California Davis chancellor Linda Katehi as she walked to her car. I don’t know who thought of it, but I see this response by UC Davis students to the brutal pepper-spraying of peaceful student demonstrators on the ground as a profoundly important development in the Occupy movement’s evolution. A small group of Great Peace Marchers in 1986 passed out tiny cards to their fellow marchers saying “We are walking in silence on behalf of the silent dead of Hiroshima and the silent unborn future” and silence spread through the crowd of over 1000 as we entered Washington DC, with comparable powerful effect. I hope the use of moral silence as a tactic spreads in Occupy. Here’s the video:
However, I want to mainly use this message to highlight another type of OWS videos showing up in my emails – the ones made to inspire us.
Consider the moving videos below – and enjoy them.
Meet the anthropologist, activist, and anarchist who helped transform a hapless rally into a global protest movement