Saturday, August 13, 2011


General Assembly

Saturday afternoon this group :
gathered in Tompkins Square Park under the Hare Krishna Tree to organize a movement that will cause 20000 people to descend on Wall Street September 17 , 2011 .This organizing action of course being a public political action utilizing a public resource , Tompkins Square Park .

A number of individuals , in considerable ignorance of the law of the land, complained that their pictures were being taken .We were lectured quite arrogantly and condescendingly at length to respect the privacy of individuals  .

TSP isn't the dorm rec room or the recitation hall folks , it is public property , public space .There is no expectation of privacy here , especially when engaged in a political act .In such a political situation any request for privacy is moot , the peoples right to know trumps all . If you don't want to be seen involved in political organizing then do it on your laptop in a cafe or at home . Organize in a private space if it is important not to be seen .Everyone can do so . Otherwise  stand up , speak up  and bear the consequences of having been recorded present , standing  for something . .

They should wear masks like a certain left wing youth group, or a certain southern fellowship if public anonymity is desired. Oh, that's cant wear masks in NYC anymore.........
Way to go Bob!!! They seem to think the world revolves around them. There outed now.
Something like that Bobby . Very politically naive group.
They may want to rethink their Facebook page too.
Really Grieve.I never touch that stuff . Tell me all about it.
Hahahha! Totally right, Bob.
I love how they didn't want their photos taken while convening in a public space at an event to which the public was invited! I would love to hear a response from the organizers. And I hate to break it to them, but people are going to take their picture the day they occupy Wall Street, too. I know it's a shocker.

And who are they to come to our park and insult the EV's best street photographer. Bob, you are a class act and a trust artist. Hope these idiots didn't offend you.
Why wouldn't they want to publicize their cause?
Why worry about photos when there is little doubt that already there are police agents among them? Often in these situations the cop/ intelligence agents try to find their way to leadership positions.

So the question remains: How to struggle for change?
Secret affinity groups?
Bob,do they have an "Idiots guide to General Assembly"???,and if so,perhaps me and you should chip in and purchase a copy to send to them?....
Maybe the law is different where they come from in
Angryscrawnynerdlvania ;)
Well done, Bob - would have to echo everyone else's comments here. If they really believe in their cause - and want to be successful - they should not be afraid to stand up and be counted.

Doesn't anybody study history anymore? Sheesh.
digitally mesmerized sheep who don't even know the laws yet they want to protest.
VH , there is much that is wrong here .We can mostly thank the contemporary education industry for that .
I work at Broad St and Beaver St (no, I'm not a Wall Street schmuck, I work in photography!) and this will be interesting to see if it goes down.

The entire area in and around the NYSE is like a police state. There are already 20,000 tourists down there daily blocking every street, sidewalk, and building entrance, so 20,000 more is gonna make for quite a spectacle.

Lastly, this is no big secret. The FBI and NYPD read this blog as well as all blogs in the NY area. And I guarantee there are both undercover FBI and NYPD already in that group anyway.

I. Guarantee. It.

Have fun with this and see you on Sept 17th!
it works like this...

photography, to these "protestors" is only good when it's taking picts of cops busting heads, not when "protestors" are having a "secret" meeting in public.

these people might want to read up on what "general assembly" means.
So, this was a secret public meeting in public? Ok... Good on you, Bob. If I'd known, I would have stood right next to you with a camera in each hand.
Yes Goggla , a secrete meeting in public!
So on the one hand you romanticize the crusties, as if getting high all day is some sort of noble calling that stems the tide of gentrification and preserves neighborhood culture, but when people who look like they are actually gainfully employed get involved in left-wing activism, they're political naive for not wanting to be photographed.

Of course, you can photograph anyone you want in a public space, and VH is right that if they are actually dedicated to what they're doing, they should be willing to be identified.

But the vitriol on this comment thread exposes that the purported East Village mainstays care foremost about identity politics, rather than ideology or essence. Do you support left-wing activism or not? You cheer on people like Penley whose actions have no effect, but god forbid left-wingers in khakis don't want to be photographed. I don't think this Wall Street protest (which was called for by Adbusters, a fairly radical left-wing political rag) will do much of anything, but I am impressed that the crowd looks different than the same tired coalition of lefty hippies/punks whose presence delegitimizes the causes for which they endlessly protest.
I have never romanticized the Crustys.I do at times speak to their humanity though.I do not necessarily support Penley either . I certainly do not cheer him on . Read more closely from now on .You are missing the important part .I photograph and write about what happens here in this neighborhood .I often write in jest of many things .I photograph and write mostly of things that nobody else will cover .There is still some local color here , I photograph it and write about it but that does not mean that I support it or that I am romanticizing it .Much of what you find here is little more than entertainment , cheap thrills and nothing more .Sometimes I do take a serious stand on an issue or an event. I do so publicly , openly with my name clearly displayed . I stand on a corner too , and speak to what I believe publicly and at times I am even recorded ,photographed doing so .. .

Yes this crowd does look different .It looks to have more wealth than the average Crusty .It looks to be educated and perhaps even professional, but this does not entitle anyone in this crowd to a unique consideration which would allow them to hide in a public park while they are participating in a political activity .

This event was obviously a news worthy event and there is an obligation on my part to report on this or any such event , left or right .This is what I did . If some people don't like this ,well too damn bad grow up and live in the real world .

Rarely have I seen such a politically naive and precious group in TSP .If they didn't want to be seen then why were they organizing in a public park .The members of this crowd no matter their khakis and what ever else they might be wearing are not entitled to some sort of free pass to speak and be seen and not be recorded and thus held accountable for their public actions.
suckers, they shot themselves in the foot anyway. one person got angry, causing everybody to turn their faces toward the camera. SMILE SUCKERS! amateurs.

and @S.Malanoski,

NO, you are not allowed to wear masks in NYC. read up on the anti-mask laws of new york. the police can arrest you for wearing a mask. the police have a lot of small (discretionary) laws on their side that they can harass you with. jaywalking, wearing masks, blocking traffic, interfering with government administration (bothering a cop). etc. if they want to they can use it against you.
the guy in the far right, black shirt, adidas, cap, is a cop.
I find it pretty funny that in a blog post where Bob calls out people for not knowing the law the first reponse to the post by S. Malanoski also shows ignorance of the law. It is not illegal for an individual to wear a mask. New York State penal code ยง 240.35(4) clearly states "Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities;" So in short you can wear a mask you just can't wear mask in a group.
call jewels
Bob, with the great work you do, you should never have to deal with rancorous young fools.

But, you know that people often object to being photographed, and some people object to it violently. Photography can be felt intrusive, even in public. Now, a private meeting in the park -- that's ridiculous, but activists can be truly absurd. Maybe they have to be.

Obviously they don't know you Bob, and in fact they are mostly not local. I got on their list after their meeting and have been pointing out to them that too much concern for privacy is counter to both their means and their goals.

I dropped by late in their meeting, finding them a typical mass-movement start-up, full of youthful enthusiasm. I plan to help out, although occupying Wall Street on a Saturday is silly, and I'm confident that Wall Street couldn't care less no matter what they did. But I like a people-power movement, even if they are right now all young and white and mostly European or South American. (So if the education system is at fault, Bob, at least it's not ours this time!)

Indignities from callow youth are nearly insupportable. You have every reason to rail against them.
Yeah, the gestapo agents don't like having their pictures taken in public, in a year or 2 someone will be able to look back at this page and point to so and so and realize they were gestapo - oh yea, she was so nice and babysat for me several times or he was really loyal but maybe I shouldn't have gone to VA with him to buy some pistols...who would've thought they were FBI we even did heroin...
Bob,i agree with you i was taking photos at the anarchist book fair, when someone grabed my camera by the lens. It was an anarchist woman. i was so pissed off i told her , ur lucky i did'nt cut ur hand. At Union Sq. some wannabe gangsta try to take my camera, little did he know i had my knife out ready to shank him the moment he grab my camera. my friend Jason intervene. Jason called me recently to tell while at T.S.P somebody was saying you must be a cop, and why is he taking our picture.If they had there way would they ban cameras, in their new free society.
They should be concern about the snitches in their groups.When it comes down to it, you can'nt trust white kids, if they are facing long prison sentences. Green scare snitches were not random photographers taking their picture, but one of their own.
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