The Fourth Amendment promises “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...”
To raise awareness about this blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment by the United States government, Occupy The Stage's
Guise of Fawkes Krewe joined Krewe of Kolossos in its second annual July 4th parade on Bayou St. John in New Orleans. The "freedom" theme was perfect for a #RestoreThe4th demonstration!
In a canoe dubbed "The Lulz Boat," we gave out information about political prisoners and copies of the 4th Amendment. Spy Versus Spy puppets employed by the NSA accompanied flags about Restore The Fourth! Special thanks to Mail To The Jail
for helping with addresses of political prisoners to share!
This demonstration was in response to the information recently leaked by Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the NSA surveillance program. Edward Snowden
had been working at the National Security Agency for four years when he leaked material from one of the world's most secretive organizations – the NSA
. These leaks revealed four independent programs: the bulk collection of telephone records, the Prism program, Obama's implementation of an aggressive foreign and domestic cyber-operations policy, and false claims by NSA officials to Congress.
Documents describing the (PRISM) program Snowden disclosed
were released by The Washington Post on June 6. The newly released documents provide details about how PRISM operates, as well as the supervisory control of NSA and FBI. The Washington Post
The top-secret PRISM program allows the U.S. intelligence community to gain access from nine Internet companies to a wide range of digital information, including e-mails and stored data, on foreign targets operating outside the United States. The program is court-approved but does not require individual warrants. Instead, it operates under a broader authorization from federal judges who oversee the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Some documents describing the program were first released by The Washington Post on June 6. The newly released documents below give additional details about how the program operates, including the levels of review and supervisory control at the NSA and FBI. The documents also show how the program interacts with the Internet companies." This search and seizure of data is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The United States government and NSA should abide by the Constitution. The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
has some helpful information about demanding a full accounting of America's secret spying programs—and an end to unconstitutional surveillance!
To voice your concerns about NSA spying, dial 1-STOP-323-NSA (1-786-732-3672). The automated system will connect you to your legislators. Urge them to provide public transparency about NSA spying and stop warrantless wiretapping on the communications of millions of ordinary Americans. Call now. Tell Congress to end the spying.
You can also visit Stop Watching Us
to demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.
We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's and the FBI's data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:
- Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
- Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
- Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.
Occupy the Stage (an affinity group of Occupy NOLA
), spent July 4th holding a creative demonstration about this violation of the Fourth Amendment. We shared information about the 4th Amendment,#RestoreThe4th
, and also distributed pocket Constitutions and information about political prisoners and Obama's war on whistle-blowers.
Here is a photo-set and a few videos from our July 4th demonstration.
Preparing the Lulz Boat
In the Lulz Boat
Giving out #MailToTheJail info in The Lulz Boat
Our boat received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, and many attending the parade asked us for information to write to political prisoners and to call Congress about the NSA. We hope this will lead to more awareness of the United States government's war on whistleblowers and the number of political prisoners who need our support.
Thank you everyone who helped make this a great day! If you like the work Occupy The Stage is doing, please considering donating here to help with materials costs to make more creative demonstration materials.
We are also selling our hand-painted NSA banner. It will be posted in our Etsy shop soon.
We are asking $200 for this original one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, but we will also consider offers of $100 or more.
if you have questions or are interested. We could combine this with other artwork!
~ Occupy The Stage
Jeremy Hammond's mother holds Free Anons flag outside Federal Courthouse.
On April 10, 2013, I sat in courtroom 12 A of the Federal Courthouse in New York City with dozens of Jeremy Hammond supporters. I watched Jeremy Hammond, dressed in a grey jumpsuit, as he was escorted into the courtroom to sit with is defense team. Once seated, he turned around and said quietly, “What’s up everybody” while smiling. His mother was in the courtroom for the first time since his arrest on March 5, 2012, and his friends and family smiled and waved until Judge Loretta Preska entered the courtroom.
Jeremy is accused of accessing the intelligence firm Stratfor and its database, releasing emails that were later released to the public by WikiLeaks. He could spend 37 years to life in prison for allegedly accessing information detailing a global surveillance system Trapwire
that's been monitoring activists groups like Occupy Wall Street and PETA and the spying on victims of the Bhopal disaster. See What would we know without you, Jeremy Hammond?
I traveled to New York specifically to show court solidarity for Jeremy's appearance. Although I have never met Jeremy, I cannot ignore the level of governmental corruption surrounding his case. Already, Jeremy Hammond has spent over one year in prison with time in solitary confinement; he has been denied bail by a judge with a conflict of interest, and he has been refused access to his own case materials. These materials include 59,00 chat logs that contain 3.5 million lines of text. During the fourteen visits between Jeremy and his defense team, the government issued laptop has only been available four times. Since the February 21, 2013 recusal hearing
Jeremy has had five additional hours of time with a computer to work on his defense, bringing the total amount of time to eleven hours. This is simply not enough.
In Judge Preska’s courtroom, the defense attorney explained that despite the fact that a laptop was provided to them in January by the U.S. Government, they have been unable to review materials related to Jeremy’s case in a timely manner. While they have been working with Adam Johnson at the Metropolitan Correctional Center to make sure this computer is available when they visit Jeremy, the defense has experienced what seems to be a communication problem amongst staff at MCC. It is my understanding that the defense puts in a request for the computer to be available prior to a scheduled meeting with Jeremy. Mr. Johnson receives the request and then puts the computer up front, but the staff may change shifts and not know the laptop is there when the defense arrives to meet with Jeremy. This causes delays as defense attorneys wait in the MCC for the staff to find this laptop and has severely limited the time they’ve been able to spend reviewing the “discovery.” Moreover, the computer itself cannot access the internet, so the defense is unable to conduct internet research while meeting with Jeremy and may have to leave the meeting to conduct research elsewhere. Eleven hours is not enough.
Computer access is critical for the defense, and considering the current conditions of Jeremy’s incarceration, it seems unlikely that he can possibly receive a fair trial. Had he been released on bail, he would have been able to analyze this material with his defense team constantly. As it stands, the defense team needs to be able to review these 3.5 million lines of text with Jeremy because only he may recognize information that will aid in his defense. Preska’s denial of bail has heavily impacted this case to the point that one questions whether Jeremy’s entrapment by an FBI agent whose plea bargain was presided over by none other than Judge Loretta Preska and lack of access to his own case materials is by design. This system does, after all, allow Stratfor to engage in secret, illegal surveillance; the federal government continues to pursue activists and journalists like Matthew Keys
and Barrett Brown
and obviously wants to keep some of its secrets hidden (Occupy NOLA is especially grateful to Matthew Keys for providing this information about the FBI monitoring NOLA activists
). It seems likely that Jeremy's freedom jeopardizes this web of secrecy and entrapment. While the FBI had no problem allowing the Stratfor emails to be turned over to WikiLeaks, their use of an informant
and nature of the “discovery” (the 3.5 million lines of text with possibly up to 45000 chat participants/co-conspirators) indicates that the United States does not want more of its secrets uncovered. I have not seen the “discovery” but question how the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jeremy Hammond is guilty.
They are undoubtedly attempting to prove just that; the US government can access these documents whenever they want; additionally, they can be assisted by the very hacker/informant who orchestrated the Stratfor event. I am under the impression that Hector Monsegur (aka Sabu) is allowed to access the internet to assist the US government and possibly wreak havoc on the lives of other activists, while Jeremy Hammond is not able to work with his attorneys on his own defense.
At Hammond’s April 10 court appearance, the US Attorney requested an additional twenty days to determine a trial schedule. These twenty days will not count towards the speedy trial provision.
The courtroom was packed with family, friends, and supporters in what Jeremy’s twin brother Jason described as the largest group of courtroom supporters since Jeremy’s arrest. The defense requested a ten minute visit for Jeremy and his mother and brother.
Judge Loretta Preska asked the U.S. Marshalls if they could accommodate this.
“It’s up to the judge,” one Marshall replied.
Judge Preska permitted a ten minute visit that could not allow physical contact or passing of papers. After the courtroom emptied, Jeremy Hammond was able to turn around in his chair and face his family from his chair across and talk. Jeremy Hammond was granted his first meeting with his mother and brother since his arrest, and it was ten minutes long. After the gross abuse of power by the courts, this ten minutes seemed like a precious gift and not what citizens should be able to expect from the Criminal Justice system.
Outside the courthouse, Jeremy’s supporters gathered and discussed the case, and my footage is available below.
After the wonderful noise demonstration at MCC the previous night, at which his family and friends sang to him from the sidewalk beneath the prison, it felt good to know he had seen his mother and brother.
This Revolution Will Be Televised (in the streets)!
TriLumination Guerrilla Projection Squad has launched in New Orleans! A few members of Occupy The Stage are projecting images and videos on public walls! For a long time, we've been wanting to share activism-related Indy Media with the general public. Our Free Anons Mardi Gras float was well-received, and locals made it clear that they were interested in learning more about political prisoners but didn't know where to find the information. We'll be bringing the revolution to the streets.
The First Few Days!
We've finally gotten a projector rigged up to a tricycle, complete with a car battery and charger! TriLumination Guerrilla Projection Squad embarked upon its maiden voyage on March 19th, 2013.
We're still working out the technical aspect, but right now, we can project videos and slide shows onto walls by placing a projector, car battery, and inverter in the basket on the back of a large tricycle.
My car is so old, it doesn't have a working cigarette lighter socket, and logistically it seems easier to use the tricycle so we don't have to worry about finding a parking place AND a decent wall to project on. To figure out how to supply power to the projector while using a tricycle, we used the Projection Bombing tip sheet from Instructables and the great tip sheet from The Illuminator website. What we used:
- Trike with basket
- Optoma Projector
- MacBook with special adapter cord to connect to projector
- 750 w Power Inverter (where you plug the projector cord in)
- Car Battery (connects to inverter)
- 1 Amp Slow Charger Battery Charger (charges battery from electrical outlet)
- Plywood cut to size of trike basket
- Zipties and bungee cords to secure battery to basket
- Videos supporting Free Anons on YouTube
- PowerPoint to make slideshow if we weren't using internet connection
- Photos, facts, info about NDAA for NDAA slideshow
- Hotspot to give WiFi to laptop to show videos
- Backpack to carry laptop and projector while en route
- Headlamps to wear while riding bikes
- Android to livestream the experience
We don't have very loud speakers yet, so we made a slideshow about the NDAA and a playlist of Free Anons videos that had a lot of text on them, so important information would be accessible visually. We also had to come up with a name for our Guerrilla Projection project, and Other Possibilities Network helped us brainstorm. J (@ots_nola) came up with TriLumination!
- Tri - because the projector is on a tricycle!
- Lumination - because we want to light up the nation with information mainstream media isn't
- Squad - because we're a very small unit of OTS members focusing on Guerrilla Projecting!
Maiden Voyage March 19
With the battery partially charged and the projector and laptop in my backpack, J and I headed downtown to Frenchmen Street. I rode my bike and he maneuvered the tricycle through the construction on Esplanade.
A live band was playing on the street corner on Frenchmen, so we decided to set the projector up on a side street where we could project on a garage door. Music from the live band played as we first showed the NDAA slide show and answered questions as people walked by and stopped to ask what we were doing.
We're really looking forward to showing more Free Anons videos and slide shows, as well as videos and images related to activist causes, Indy media, the Occupy Movement, the NDAA, NOKXL, Walmart Strikers, and issues the mainstream media ignores! We'll be sharing #OpPenPal info when we show videos of political prisoners, so we hope this will raise awareness about the political persecution and help with Mail to The Jail!On a personal note, I seriously want to live in a city where less people ask me "Who is Jeremy Hammond?" A lot of people just aren't getting the information, so we are trying to change that.
If you have any videos or images that you'd like to share with us so we can project them, please CONTACT US or holler at @small_affair on Twitter. Videos that include text or captions in the actual video are ideal right now because we don't have a loud speaker system yet, and it's New Orleans, so there might be a band playing in the street at any time!
Thanks to everyone who offered technical tips and watched our first night of Guerrilla Projecting!
Check out our livestream of first TriLumination Guerrilla Projection Squad
It's been a busy Mardi Gras season at Occupy The Stage.
On January 19, Occupy The Stage rolled in krewedelusion - the parade that follows Krewe du Vieux, which kicks of Mardi Gras.
Our Krewe "Guise of Fawkes" made a "You can't jail an idea" float to show solidarity with imprisoned hactivists and Free Anons.
We were thrilled to receive donations of flags and stickers from Hammond Support Network
to use as throws during the parade. Along with our own handmade throws (voodoo dolls, chalk with Chalkupy instructions, and buttons we made with our button machine), these stickers made our parade great, and we hope to have raised awareness about Jeremy Hammond's unfair bail denial and the prison sentence he is facing.
Check out our full write-up
and the photo set below!
Guise of Fawkes "Go Fawkes Yourself" in krewedelusion 2013
Full text from slide show is available here
Interview with Local Artist
Interview with NOLA Cab Driver unable to get inspected despite fact that he upgraded to meet city standards.
The Super Bowl Should Not Be NOLA's Cross to Bear
Occupy The Stage met at 3pm in Jackson Square on Super Bowl Sunday and held a creative procession to celebrate our First Amendment right to free speech show solidarity with local artists, vendors, and workers. A female Jesus led a procession of monks who chanted while holding wooden hand-painted signs bearing slogans that included "Thou Shalt Not Create a Police State" and "Honor The Small Businesses." Our slideshow and video are below.
Mardi Gras and #OpValentine
Occupy The Stage's Mardi Gras Krewe - Guise of Fawkes - rolled with the Society of Saint Anne
on Mardi Gras Day (February 12).
Our Free Anons float included paper hearts people could use to write Valentines to mail to political prisoners as part of #OpValentine
! We've collected and addressed the Valentines and will be sending Mardi Gras love to political prisoners.
See our Mardi Gras Day slideshow below!
It's been a busy few weeks, and we are really grateful to all of our online and on ground supporters.
Happy Valentine's Day!
On July 25 in New Orleans, we Chalkupied the Amphitheater near Jackson Square with messages to President Obama, whose $250 Victory Reception was nearby.
We had to wait for the torrential downpour to stop before chalking, but we learned that chalk looks brighter when the pavers are wet.
The French Market Security and Manager told Occupy NOLA Chalk is "graffiti" and a felony, threatened to have everyone arrested if they didn't clean up the Chalkupy, and then had their employees clean up the Chalkupy.
Here is the video the livestreamer took of security telling Occupy The Stage chalk is graffiti. http://bambuser.com/v/2854777
Thank you to everyone who came out in the rain and supported this action!
As Occupy The Stage and Occupy NOLA
headed to Jackson Square to Chalkupy
their concerns to President Obama, ominous gray clouds unleashed torrents of rain on The French Quarter. Obama's reception at House of Blues wasn't going to start until 3:30 pm, so most Occupiers waited under an awning holding newly handmade signs. However, one brave Anonymous protester stopped traffic on Decatur Street with his Stop NDAA sign and Guy Fawkes mask.