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Tensions Between Archivists and 'Occupy' Protesters Over Preserving the Movement 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the high-water-mark dept.
An anonymous reader writes "At one point an NYU librarian literally got into a shouting match with a protester at an Occupy protest, trying to make the case for why a digital record should be kept of photos, videos, audio recordings, posters, and other materials, so future scholars and activists can recount what happened. Academics are taking unusual steps to preserve the protesters' stuff, including 'distributing postcards promoting archiving at protests, developing automated systems to download photos posted online, and asking participants to vote on which images are most important for the historic record.'"
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Tensions Between Archivists and 'Occupy' Protesters Over Preserving the Movement

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  • Maybe the protesters were right.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      20 years from now the Amercan Fooie Adenoid Hinkel will use the archives to round-up "subversives" like the occupy people. Good thing nobody thought to preserve the Tea Party stuff, otherwise my butt would be in trouble.

    • FTFA

      One challenge has been getting protesters to note key details that will help future historians organize the vast trove of digital materials. That information, called metadata, includes things like the date and time that recordings were made, said Mr. Millman. “We asked them to follow naming conventions” for their audio and video files, he said, “but they didn’t follow that.”

      lol. Just lol.

      In an age when so many people hold recording equipment in their pockets in the form of

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Well when we have feds go after librarians for lists of who checked out books, we have constitution free zones [aclu.org] that cover 30% of Americans and NDAA which states they can lock you away with ZERO trial if they stick the right label on you? I'm sorry but this librarian is hopelessly naive if she thinks all this wouldn't end up on someone's list somewhere. Remember it is NOT paranoia if they really are out to get you and everything we have seen from PATRIOT on up would bear out the assumption that if you don't

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How about they save a few used condoms, boxes of human excrement, used needles, and unemployment check stubs so that future generations can view in awe and wonder how so many lowlife slackers ever found the ambition to gather in one place at one time...
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      That's right, coward, hide behind your keyboard and slander these working class people who are trying to make our country a better place to live. And whoever modded that garbage up, well, funny it ain't.

  • Golly! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:42PM (#39564869) Journal

    I thought people were afraid of being recognized by police using the archives.

    Turns out they're arguing over whether to call themselves the Judean People's Front or the People's Front of Judea.

    • Re:Golly! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:56PM (#39565057) Journal

      "Ok. Aside from our iPhones, iPads, Androids, YouTube, high-speed wireless to watch YouTube, light, cheap aluminum for our tent poles and backpacks, MRI machines for our broken noses, and worldwide jet travel that supplied how to cook mutter paneer and sushi on the same Sterno..."

      "And the Sterno!"

      ""And the Sterno. Aside from that, what has capitalism done for us?"

      • Wait a minute, you don't cook sushi! Well, except for the rice, I guess. And the tea. And the nice warm jug of sake.
        Yay for Sterno!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You don't cook all sushi. But you do cook some of it. And no, I don't mean the rice. Expand your horizons, try some eel sushi.

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          Whether something is sushi is orthogonal to whether the topping on the rice is cooked. The term describes the rice. (Hence, sashimi is not sushi.) The great majority of fish sushi is not cooked. Vegetable sushi varies. Egg (tamago) and eel (unagi) are generally cooked.

        • And I prefer cold sake, you insensitive clod. It's generally better quality and better tasting.

      • Re:Golly! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:03PM (#39565157) Homepage Journal

        "Brought peace!" [demon.co.uk]

        ...wait. Shit.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Wow, the tea partiers are out in force today and even have mod points to mod up that garbage you wrote. Yes, I know you were joking (Monty Python reference, good job there), but apparently the mods took you not only seriously, but thought you were insightful.

        The Occupy movement isn't a movement against capitalism, it's a movement against unbridled greed and sociopathy. It's against CEOs making millions per year to run their companies into the ground and then get bailed out by the government while they lay o

    • by swalve (1980968)
      Why should they be afraid of being recognized?
      • by godel_56 (1287256)

        Why should they be afraid of being recognized?

        Maybe this is a reason.

        http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/23/2896525/new-surveillance-system-compare-your-face-against-36-million-others-in-one-second#

        • by swalve (1980968)
          That's a tool by which they might be recognized. But why should they be afraid?
        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Of course if they were to win it becomes less of a problem. If Wall Street is broken up and it contents distributed to main street. If corporate control of politics is eliminated. If US society were adjusted so that the rich have less power over the poor. If the US military industrial complex was broken up.

          So being identified doesn't really matter.

          Of course if none of it changes and the slack jawed drooling idiots who don't want to end the exploitation but rather chase the dream of becoming the exploit

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:43PM (#39564895)
    With the media coverage the protests will hardly get forgotten. Let's leave history to the historians of the future, they will be the ones to know what events were important to worth mentioning.
    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      And how does less history archived help future historians figure out what is important? In order to figure out if something is important, it has to be preserved in the first place. Oh, you mean you just want the history that the victors right, not the actual histyr.
    • by anonicon (215837) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:07PM (#39565219)

      Technically, you're correct. However, the coverage the protests received from Big Media are also copyrighted to Big Media, which puts it outside the financial range of individuals who want to use that coverage without paying for very expensive per-item licensing fees.

      For example, I'm personally aware that the University of Kentucky archives contacted CBS to get a 6 minute video clip of their basketball team in action from 1998 to include within a larger documentary about UK's sports history. CBS said it would cost about $10,000 for that one clip. The story's the same for other copyrighted history like the 1979 Who tragedy in Cincinnati, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and countless other historical events.

      The NYU archivists know this, and it's why they can't count on Big Media - they have to do it themselves.

  • Wow. Buncha assholes here.
    • by DC2088 (2343764)
      Any surprise that the troll posts are mostly AC? Nope.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ClintJCL (264898)
        they really out-did themselves here, though; usually you can tell the difference between the fox news audience and the slashdot audience.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          What's worse, they have mod points. Look at the next comment down, lists of things a tiny, teeny, eensy minority of Occupiers are accused of, and the AC is modded "informative".

          Did Murdoch buy slashdot, or did they sell mod points to Koch Industries? WTF, sometimes comments piss me off but today the moderations are worse than the trolls.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, let's record everything about the Occupy movement [verumserum.com] so the future can judge it:

    Arson

    Occupy Fort Collins – Member arrested, $10 million in damage
    Occupy Portland - Member arrested for throwing Molotov Cocktail
    Occupy Seattle – Suspicious fire at Bank of America 2.7 miles from camp
    Occupy Portland – Three men arrested with homemade grenades

    Assault/Threats

    • Good god, you people are scared out of your wits.
    • VerumSerum is a right-wing mouthpiece. Doesn't necessarily mean the stats are wrong/misleading...
      I'm just sayin'.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        True, but look at the numbers and it's easy to see that they are, in fact, misleading. "Occupier takes a bathroom break in the street". ONE lone asshole in a huge crowd. You want lawbreaking? Look at Kentucky after a god damned basketball game. [go.com]

        At least one person was shot and dozens arrested in Lexington, Ky., early this morning as University of Kentucky students celebrated the schoolâ(TM)s NCAA basketball championship win.

        What began as a chaotic celebration quickly turned into mayhem overnight as a c

    • by Rasperin (1034758)
      And you'd think with the amount of people here they would actually be able to effect change. These are the people who can, we are the people who cannot and hide behind our very flawed system. I personally admire these people, even for the issues that the few have caused the many. Large groups of people make easy targets...
    • And that's just what the police did. What about the protesters?

    • by Ragica (552891)

      Hide ya kids! Hide ya wife! And hide ya husband 'cause they're rapin' everybody out here!

      (Seriously, is this the best you can do?)

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Seriously, is this the best you can do?

        No, he can mod himself up with his sock puppet account.

    • Yes, let's record everything about the Occupy movement [verumserum.com] so the future can judge it:

      Sedition

      Sedition is among your list of terrible crimes? How can someone claim to "love America" and yet believe that even the suggestion of revolution or even publicly advocating change in government is somehow criminal and immoral?

      Occupy Burlington – Man kills himself with handgun Occupy Salt Lake City – Man found dead with syringe in his tent Occupy Vancouver – Young woman dies of cocaine and heroine overdose Occupy OKC – Young man with history of drug abuse found dead

      As for this, I would argue that these people would have killed themselves regardless of the Occupy Movement. It's really reaching to be blaming a movement for someone else's suicide.

    • Since that list is basically taking things out of context to make a point, I'll do the same This seriously

      Occupy Toronto – Foot sniffer arrested

      Seriously?

      Occupy OKC – Young man with history of drug abuse found dead

      Seriously?

      Occupy Oakland – Yelling and nonsense at Burger King

      As someone said, considering the number of people that gathered, and how long it lasted this list is not surprising or even high crime rate. I am pretty sure most of these things happen at music festivals( example [independent.co.uk] ), or gun shows (search for gun show accidents provides a nice list) or sport events. Parent's post just gives data, which is not same as information. So instead of infor

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @03:57PM (#39565075) Homepage

    Organizing that stuff is hard work. Work continues getting 1960s protest info cataloged. Stanford had a group trying to organize Martin Luther King's stuff. That took years. Then they got the archives of the Black Panther Party, and are now grinding through that. The archives of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) are at Kent State.

    Much of the plder stuff is too variable for fast scanning. Somebody has to put posters, handouts, and brochures through a flatbed, slowly. The fast book scanners need more structure.

  • what actually did happen? I mean, besides hippies smoking pot in a public park instead of...wherever hippies normally smoke pot. I guess some people with iPhones and iPads got to sit in a public park with hippies instead of a coffee shop...protesting people with money...I still don't know if I would consider that worth noting...
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Wow, the Kochsuckers are out in force today. Which bank do you work for, son?

      • Hah. I was not commenting on the reasons behind the movement. I was commenting on what the movement actually accomplished. Those are two entirely separate issues. Much of the anger behind the movement is justified, they just didn't direct it in any productive or useful way. Sitting around in a park, talking, and smoking pot has never changed anything that I'm aware of. I doubt it ever will. Since they didn't accomplish anything, I don't see what historians would write down.
  • by Rastl (955935) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:12PM (#39565309) Journal

    The Occupy events were held on public property where there's no reasonable expectation of privacy. They uploaded information about the events to public websites. They handed out materials to the general public. There was far too much media coverage. Why should they get ANY say in what's retained in a permanent record? They already made it themselves.

  • by ThorGod (456163) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @04:12PM (#39565311) Journal

    As someone who's tried to locate data before, I wish them all the luck in the world.

    I know this is the internet, so UFOs carry aliens, we never actually landed on the moon, and I'll be trolled for saying this...But, we've never had the modern day's archival abilities before. I'm glad to hear someone's attempting to put it to good use.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just a quick observation - why even bother asking what to archive and what to discard?

    If there is any real interest in maintaining a true historic record then by all means archive everything - including not just the wonder photo-op stuff but also the pooping-on-cop-cars stuff as well. Asking people to vote on how they want to be remembered by future generations will only wind up preserving images that the "protestors" find self-serving and paint a picture of complete harmony. That is, assuming that this w

    • by Noren (605012) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @06:52PM (#39567043)

      sorry, but they're not in the same league as their '60s foregenderneutralpersons

      I have to call bullshit here... but I'm not saying that as a defense of the current movement, but rather I'm objecting to your idealization of the 60's. All too many baby boomers seem to have a fuzzy, romanticized version of what happened in the 60's.

      There was no shortage of bad actors mixed in with more idealistic folks then, just as is the case today. We have, with varying degrees of success, already sugar coated a lot of 60's history. All of the negative aspects you point out in the current movement have analogous issues in the 60's movement.

      Of course, there were a lot of good things that happened as a result of the counterculture movements of the 60's. If we pretend there were no such negative aspects to these movements, and then use this optimistic but false dream of the past to condemn modern movements via a flawed comparison to an idealized version of the 60s that never actually existed... then it seems we have missed the entire point of these counterculture movements.

      • By and large, the big civil rights movements and protests, like those in the 60s, had defined goals and real, reasonable demands.

        Like, say, the civil rights movement of Dr. King. They could clearly articulate their grievance: Blacks are treated differently than whites because of the colour of their skin. They also could say what they wanted: Equal protection under the law.

        Same shit with Vietnam war protests. They wanted the war to stop. Some may not have had good reasons for it (though most did) but they co

      • by elucido (870205)

        sorry, but they're not in the same league as their '60s foregenderneutralpersons

        I have to call bullshit here... but I'm not saying that as a defense of the current movement, but rather I'm objecting to your idealization of the 60's. All too many baby boomers seem to have a fuzzy, romanticized version of what happened in the 60's.

        There was no shortage of bad actors mixed in with more idealistic folks then, just as is the case today. We have, with varying degrees of success, already sugar coated a lot of 60's history. All of the negative aspects you point out in the current movement have analogous issues in the 60's movement.

        Of course, there were a lot of good things that happened as a result of the counterculture movements of the 60's. If we pretend there were no such negative aspects to these movements, and then use this optimistic but false dream of the past to condemn modern movements via a flawed comparison to an idealized version of the 60s that never actually existed... then it seems we have missed the entire point of these counterculture movements.

        sorry, but they're not in the same league as their '60s foregenderneutralpersons

        I have to call bullshit here... but I'm not saying that as a defense of the current movement, but rather I'm objecting to your idealization of the 60's. All too many baby boomers seem to have a fuzzy, romanticized version of what happened in the 60's.

        There was no shortage of bad actors mixed in with more idealistic folks then, just as is the case today. We have, with varying degrees of success, already sugar coated a lot of 60's history. All of the negative aspects you point out in the current movement have analogous issues in the 60's movement.

        Of course, there were a lot of good things that happened as a result of the counterculture movements of the 60's. If we pretend there were no such negative aspects to these movements, and then use this optimistic but false dream of the past to condemn modern movements via a flawed comparison to an idealized version of the 60s that never actually existed... then it seems we have missed the entire point of these counterculture movements.

        For the most part the 60s movements were abysmal failures which resulted in the decline of America starting in the 1970s with the destruction of the nuclear family, the destruction of the single parent income, etc. Now you have to work harder to get less than you got in the 1960s.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          For the most part the 60s movements were abysmal failures which resulted in the decline of America starting in the 1970s with the destruction of the nuclear family, the destruction of the single parent income, etc.

          Utter bullshit. The antiwar movement stopped the Vietnam War. The ecology movement got the EPA instituted, and if you were alive then and lived near any factory you know how bad the environment was. The civil rights movement was similarly successful.

          What destroyed the nuclear family was the fact t

          • by elucido (870205)

            For the most part the 60s movements were abysmal failures which resulted in the decline of America starting in the 1970s with the destruction of the nuclear family, the destruction of the single parent income, etc.

            Utter bullshit. The antiwar movement stopped the Vietnam War. The ecology movement got the EPA instituted, and if you were alive then and lived near any factory you know how bad the environment was. The civil rights movement was similarly successful.

            What destroyed the nuclear family was the fact that STDs were no longer fatal thanks to antibiotics, birth control was cheap and effective unlike before in the world's history, and they legalized abortion. Hell, in the '70s women would walk up to me and ask "wanna fuck?"

            The women's movement did indeed allow corporations to screw us normal working class stiffs over, but having to pay for the war, coupled with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1974 caused the inflation that had more to do with women joining the workforce in droves than the women's movement did. Wages stagnated (helped by Nixon's wage/price controls) while prices skyrocketed. You can't blame any of the '60s movements on that. Greedy rich people were the cause.

            If you were alive during that period, you clearly weren't paying attention.

            The Vietnam war was stopped? Yeah and how many wars have there been since that?

            The 60s movement caused the war on drugs and the creation of for profit prisons. Where were the freedom fighters of the 60s when Nixon started the war on drugs and when mandatory minimum sentences were institutionalized?

            The EPA? How effective is the EPA? They are minimally effective. The 60s radicals of the left served to legitimize the anti-communists of the right. It allowed for the FBI to bring about COINTELPRO. It is best to

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              The Vietnam war was stopped? Yeah and how many wars have there been since that?

              The protests were against that particular war and against the draft. And we weren't in any more wars until Bush Sr. almost a quarter century later, and the last soldier to be drafted went to Vietnam.

              The 60s movement caused the war on drugs

              No, they've been fighting a "war on drugs" since the thirties. It's just that the Vietnam war introduced thousands of draftees to pot, who came home and introduced it to friends and family. The

              • by Anguirel (58085)

                I don't know what you mean by "bringing the war to American soil." The last time there was war on American soil was the Civil War, discounting Pearl harbor and 911.

                Well, I suppose there's the "War" on Drugs and "War" on Terrorism. Both are against our own citizens, and are waged on American soil.

                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  Those aren't war, though. The "war on" bullshit is just that -- meaningless rhetoric.

  • I call Trollfat on this article.
  • A bunch of people started a protest, thousands more aimlessly followed and diluted the effect, branding the movement as a bunch of unemployed hippys who have no idea what they're protesting..
  • by yarbo (626329) <moderkaka@gmail . c om> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @12:04AM (#39568751)
    The article didn't discuss why there's controversy. The best writeup I've seen on why there's tension was an essay [blogspot.com] by Michael Siegal from the National Lawyer's Guild. He lives in the Bay Area so he's focused largely on Occupy Oakland and Occupy SF.
  • Looks like Occupy still hits a nerve, so many asshole and troll posts on this board, occupy must be doing something right to get such a response - I wonder what all the asshole posters on this board are paid - is it per word? or per post and how much?

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