Dear Human Being,
Perhaps at some time in your life, you've felt the clench of panic upon realizing that your car has been towed or impounded. Maybe your car has even been impounded as you traveled in an unfamiliar city. Perhaps your possessions were in the car, and you were unable to retrieve them. Maybe you even learned that it was going to cost over 2000 dollars to retrieve the vehicle. If you were like 99% of Americans, you probably did not have that much money.
That is the current crisis a group of citizen journalists are facing in Chicago, Illinois.
It is no secret that the mainstream media has minimized the importance of the the Occupy Wall Street movement, the violent responses inflicted upon occupations by local police forces, the national attempt to supress and silence the 99%, just as it has failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of the OWS Movement.
The most iconic footage from the Occupy movement thus far has been shot by protesters and citizen journalists. It is only because of the sustained efforts of these citizen journalists who blog, live tweet and live stream that the whole world has been able to view real time raw footage of protesters being pepper-sprayed as well as the peaceful protests and creative celebrations that have energized this movement.
These citizen journalists refuse to allow mainstream media to control what is reported from the front lines of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. There efforts are occasionally noted. On May 16, 2012, AlterNet's Sarah Seltzen reported Occupy's First Real Trial: Acquitted Thanks to Citizen Journalism! However, most of these citizen journalists work selflessly because they believe that a better world is possible and that the people who are not on the streets should be able to see the efforts of those who are.
Among these journalists is a group known as Team Occupy Your Mom. TOYM has traveled the U.S. since the start of Occupy Wall Street on Sept. 17, 2011, in New York.
One of its members who has been consistently committed to covering the Occupy Movement uses the Twitter handle @Korgasm_ (don't forget the underscore at the end).
@Korgasm_ and members of Team Occupy Your Mom came to OccupyNOLA and filmed the eviction that occurred on Dec 6, 2011. Occupy New Orleans did not have a livestreamer at Duncan Plaza that morning. In a strange city in the pre-dawn hours, Korgasm broadcasted to her Ustream channel what would inspire the first female citizen journalist of Occupy NOLA to begin livestreaming herself.
Occupy NOLA has not forgotten their efforts as well as their support of our small and often struggling occupation.
Members of TOYM have supported many occupy groups by visiting them and livestreaming and were present at Occupy Congress and Occupy The Courts in Washington, D.C., as well as at Houston Port Shut Down.
Their blog posts such as Chicago, activists prepare for 2012 NATO summit offer carefully-researched advice for citizen journalists and activists.
When they are not livestreaming and live-tweeting, they live streams and report via Twitter for Atlanta, Denver, Oakland, Portland, Tulsa, Auckland (New Zealand) and other occupies in need of eyes.
This past weekend, they joined activists in Chicago for the 2012 NATO summit.
On Saturday, May 19, 2012, Korgasm's vehicle was impounded by the Chicago Police Department upon her refusal to give consent to have it searched. The belongings of TOYM are in the car.
As of Tuesday, May 22, 2012, the total needed to pay in order to get the car back was $2,190. It is probably more now.
Occupy NOLA would love to see @Korgasm_ and TOYM retrieve this vehicle from impound. You can donate to their WePay account to help cover the costs of this impound.
We are all in this together.
Please spread the word and help TOYM leave Chicago in their vehicle today!
With Love and Solidarity,
~ Magpie Anthony from Occupy New Orleans
An Open Letter to Human Beings - Citizen Journalists from TOYM Need Support Getting Car Out of Impound in Chicago