On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, the World's Laziest Journalist went to San Francisco Public Library's main branch to see what books were being offered at the front steps sale of used books and we didn't expect to cover any news. After buying a copy of Hunter S. Thompson's "The Great shark Hunt," in good condition with the dust jacket in used condition, we noticed that some event was going on in front of City Hall. We were carrying our trusty Nikon Coolpix, just in case. We wandered over and found that medical care for the pets of the homeless people was being provided. Thinking this might provide some good material for a column, we took a few pictures. Next thing we knew a young lady came up and advised us that we should ask permission to take any photos.
We improvised a better suggestion: since the World's Laziest Journalist's experience assessing newsworthiness stretches back to Sixties and since new trends in journalism keep happening, we should defer to the young lady's editorial expertise and let her organization hire a PR firm so that they could very carefully micro-manage the news and the group's message to potential donors.
On Saturday, we were in downtown Berkeley CA talking with a fellow who has been active in the Occupy movement in Oakland and Berkeley and we mentioned that we were planning to go over to the Occupy the Farm protest being conducted on land owned by the University of California in Albany CA. Our contact advised us that if we did we should make it a point to ask for permission to take any photos because, he informed us, Occupy protesters are not taking kindly to outsiders insinuating themselves into the narrative of their complaints.
Back in the Seventies, Vietnam Veterans held a sit-in in the lobby of the VA Hospital in the Westwood Section of
Early one morning, the police came and very gently and respectfully removed the protesters (Wasn't the photo of Ron Kovic that ran in the New York Times the next day, a great shot?) from the facility. The summer hire was also present for the news event and he took photos that appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, the next day. One of his pictures was used by the Associate Press wirephoto division.
Our past experience indicated that there would be a window of opportunity for some (possibly) dramatic news photos to be taken when the looming confrontation at the Occupy the Farm site occurred.
Unfortunately the young fellow who took the photos of the news event at the VA wasn't available on the morning of Monday, May 14, 2012, (last we heard he was working in L. A. as a staff photographer for the L. A. Times [he'd be in his mid fifties now and perhaps we shouldn't use the expression "young lad"?]) and since it seemed that both the Police and the protesters don't want the World's Laziest Journalist to take unauthorized photographs at news events, the decision to stay in bed on Monday morning when the protesters were being evicted from the Albany site and not be concerned was a gimme.
On KCBS news radio, the reporter said that some of the protesters had to be wrestled to the ground while being arrested. Obviously, if the police didn't follow standard procedures during the round-up, the protesters will provide photographic evidence of any potential and hypothetical misconduct and it will "go viral" on the Intenets.
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