I’ve been wanting to write something here about Susie Cagle’s coverage of Occupy Oakland for a couple weeks now. But, given the occupation’s escalating nature and Susie’s work on it being ongoing observation and documentation for an eventual full report, there was not an easy way in to hang a post on. Recent events and the press attention given them makes this seem like a good time to jump in. Occupy Oakland has been a strange story to try to follow, from the reports that make it all sound like a raging riot in the Guardian to the feel good piece in the LA Times on Thursday morning about protesters grabbing breakfast burritos from a food truck with the dockworkers Union boss. Add to this the such mindblowing events as solidarity protests in Tahrir Square and it’s all just a bit much to take in. One thing is certain, however, The Oakland Police Department is deeply fucked up. That’s not a big surprise to anyone, but it is shocking that the press has repeatedly been on the direct receiving end of their repressive measures — from their dusting off the riot playbook last Tuesday to this weeks imprisonment and intimidation exercises. Susie Cagle has been one of the most visible targets of their insane anti-journalist campaign — catching an exploding can of teargas right in front of her face (video above) to her arrest, imprisonment and the holding of her personal belongings by the police over the last few hours. As of this writing they are still holding her stuff, including her apartment keys. Yet, she is determined to follow this story until the end despite all of this. That level of commitment is a true inspiration. Just be safe out there, Susie. I don’t ever want to see you added to this roster at CPJ.
Follow Susie’s regular updates from the occupation on Twitter.
Susie’s homepage “This Is What Concerns Me“. You will want to also check out her Copyright Explained cartoon and her investigation of Bay Area faith-based ‘pregnancy centers’ What Every Woman Should Know and the accompanying Behind The Scenes report.
UPDATE: Posted late today on YouTube, Susie’s video from the plaza raid right before she was arrested. Yes, the footage is a bit rough. If I was ever in a situation where a large group of people were being told “Get on the ground, you’re under arrest”, I would probably try to run, break into a building, something–all Gordon Freeman style–because I would assume the alternative was far worse…