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NYC Settles Lawsuit Brought by GlobalRev, for Zuccotti Park Raid

Photo of damaged laptops shown as evidence

Breaking: NYC has to reimburse Global Revolution TV Collective for the equipment destroyed during the raid on the #OWS Zuccotti Camp in November of 2011.

A year and a half after NYPD officers under orders of Michael Bloomberg surrounded the #OccupyWallStreet occupation in Zuccotti park in lower Manhattan and proceeded to “evict” the non violent protest against the inqualities in our society, the city settled with a some of the groups who were working in the park for failing to allow them to remove equipment and material that was vital for their work in telling the story of the expanding movement.

“By targeting equipment used for media as well as literature in the peoples library, the city in effect not only tried to deny our movement a place to gather and organize, but also went after the tools we use to communicate in direct violation of our first amendment rights” said Vlad Teichberg of Global Revolution TV.

The city agreed to reimburse Global Revolution collective $75,000 for the costs of equipment that was destroyed in the park, as well as almost $50,000 in lawyer fees. This number represents a fraction of actual material lost by members of the movement during this raid as well as subsequent attacks against all occupations around the country and the world that we are now learning have been coordinated at the highest levels of US government.

During the raid itself, all corporate media were pushed outside the park, and the only reporting that came during the incident was from livestreaming citizen journalists who broke the media blockade and showed the whole world what was happening in real time.

In addition to the monetary compesantion the City has been forced to express regret for destroying and not taking care of media equipment during the raid – quoting directly from the settlement – “Defendants acknowledge and believe it unfortunate that, during the course of clearing Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011, computers, wifi hotspots and similarly related live-streaming equipment were damaged so as to render them unusable, and additional live-streaming equipment is unaccounted for. P …. Defendants recognize that when a person’s property is removed by the City it is important that the City exercise due care and adhere to established procedures in order to protect the legal rights of the property owners.”

Wylie Steklow, lawyer representing Global Revolution TV remarked:

“The livestreamers showed us the real, uncensored police brutality that was often downplayed in the major media… until it went viral and could not be ignored. The livestreamers of Global Revolution TV have been distributing live streaming gear and done trainings of citizen journalists not just in Zuccotti Park but all over the world from local occupies around the USA to media collectives in Tahrir, Tunis, Spain and other countries and for their troubles, thousands of dollars of their equipment was seized and destroyed in the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011.

In resolving this litigation, it was important that the language of the document stress the fundamental rights that global rev was protecting. Whereas there is no dispute between the city and GlobalRev as regards the importance of computers, wifi hotspots, and similarly related live streaming equipment to plaintiff's efforts to promote an educated and informed citizenry and to plaintiff's efforts to protect and promote the rights of the occupy community.”

The money that GlobalRev recovers from this settlement will be used to outfit more citizen journalists, and to train and equip more people to bring us the real stories of what is going on in the streets.

One of the members of the media collective said on hearing the news of the settlement “It is interesting that this money that the city led by the quintessential member of the 1% has to reimburse GlobalRev for basically destroying their media capability is now going to be used to empower citizen journalists all over the world as well as help enhance the current ows media efforts in NYC.”

The People's Library and Times Up New York were also part of this historic settlement.

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