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Little Brother is Watching

Chris Anderson Jan 27, 2005

By Chris Anderson

The introduction of the videotape once again demonstrates the growing importance of video activism in the legal arena. Videos shot by members of Indymedia and other media groups have been extremely useful pieces of evidence during activist trials.

While the identity of the videographer who shot the footage that freed Dennis Kyne remains uncertain, the story of how the tape ended up in court is a remarkable one. “A search for evidence led to a video which caught an image of a Florida photographer taking pictures of Kyne’s arrest,” says one source close to the case. “The person who filmed THAT video recognized the photographer and knew his name! So the photographer was contacted, and HE knew of the videographer who caught it all on film, and then HER tape was the one introduced at court. I think one more step would have led to Kevin Bacon, or something.”

The introduction of the videotape once again demonstrates the growing importance of video activism in the legal arena. Videos shot by members of Indymedia and other media groups have been extremely useful pieces of evidence during activist trials.

GENOA, ITALY

The trials of Italian paramilitary police and anti-globalization activists in the aftermath of June 2001 anti-G8 summit protest in Genoa, Italy, have turned into a “battle of videotapes.”

Both plaintiffs and defendants involved in the lengthy legal battles have produced video evidence in an attempt to implicate the other side. Italian authorities were so disturbed by the work of Indymedia during the Genoa protests that they staged a bloody raid on the Independent Media Center on the summit’s final day.

F15 ANTI-WAR MARCH

A voluminous amount of video evidence accumulated during the February 15, 2003 anti-war march in New York City. It documented the aggressive behavior of the New York police department during the protest. Footage of police misconduct was screened by Indymedia videographers for the mainstream press in the days following the march, and footage has also been used at City Council hearings.