Black Bloc Occupiers Turn Violent Against Photographers

On May 2nd, news started coming in that the previous day’s MayDay Occupy protests in New York had turned violent towards photographers. At first, people viewed the assaults as unplanned, isolated incidents; but since the attacks took place, a piece on Anarchist News has been released to set the record straight: photographers, apparently, are the enemy.

To our enemies: if we won’t hesitate to directly confront hundreds of cops and to destroy property, what makes you think we hold the lens of your camera to be sacred? You want to preserve your four thousand dollar camera to watch us break everything else? We are not doing this for you, and this is not a game. You clearly do not understand that there is no exception. We feel nothing but contempt for you cowardly spectators.

You’d better watch your necks next time.


the “did you know that a photographer’s camera could pay your rent?” collective

It seems the world just got a little more dangerous for photojournalists covering the Occupy movement.

NYC FTP: Police & Press (via duckrabbit)

Image credit: Black block stretches by Simon Oosterman


    Shouldn’t occupy protestors be unclothed? Price of clothing could pay rent…

  • Celine Chamberlin

    They apparently fail to realize those photographers are helping spread their message. Their protests aren’t going to do any good if no one sees what’s happening.

  • Bobby

    I might have to take a trip to the next occupy occupation, I’d LOVE to confront one of these worthless individuals with the 8.5lbs of metal I carry.

  • Matt

    They pay rent?

  • Jackson Cheese

    I stand with the OWS movement, and feel strongly about their cause, but they are going about it all the wrong way.

  • Jackson Cheese

    Hey look everybody, it’s an “Internet Tough Guy”!

  • Eldorath

    This is the sort of crap that’s going to lead to more violence. As this ‘Black Bloc’ group condones violence.. they’re going to pick a fight with the wrong person.. and that person is going to end the fight by popping off a few rounds into the protesters. Worst part, is the people that will die over it, will probably not be the ones condoning violence. *sigh*

  • Bryan Castles

    I fail to see how the anarchists in the article = ANONS? The image even shows the “masked people” as hooded people with their faces covered by cloth, not Guy Fawkes masks. 

    A photographer that punches a woman in the face after being warned and pushed back isn’t purely a victim either. 

    Hmmm PetaPixel… spin much?

  • Makofoto

    I don’t get it? They want their actions to happen in isolation? Don’t they realize that it hasn’t happened if it’s not recorded ?

  • Bryan Castles

    I should add that I obviously know that the article linked to is from the other point of view… but I think it’s important to note that there are two sides AND THEN the truth. Just because it’s from “the other side” doesn’t mean it isn’t some degree of factually correct.

    Still doesn’t mean that putting the face of ANON on it in the photo above is appropriate either.

  • Carmina Rodríguez

    Not very clever. Did you know that a photographer’s camera could help you spread your message??

  • Nate Supplee

    Um… doesn’t the media spread the message they are hoping to convey to the world?  If there is no one reporting on it (and taking pictures/videos), no one will hear about it.  Once your protest goes largely unheard, you are not accomplishing anything.
    And I thought that Occupy was for the most part non-violent… what happened?

  • Dannto

    don’t bring none won’t be none… touch the d7000 and it’s on.

  • Eddie Yasi

    Maybe the guy (pun intended) on the right is just upset at how photographs make his thighs look big.

  • Bryan Castles

    Not that I know enough about this group to say for sure, but what I got from the article is the issue being taken with Photogs was the mission to “unmask” the people marching. According the article, a few physical responses broke out, some when photographers entered the bloc to take photos. Looks like a bad scenario for all really.

  • Zach D Roberts

    I’m a photojournalist covering the OWS. This isn’t the occupy movement, this is a bunch of assclowns. 

  • Filmmaker1290

    Remember, these people are NOT the most intelligent members of our society.  Which is why they are the ones complaining about not having jobs, instead of intelligently figuring out how to deal with hardship.

  • Filmmaker1290

    PetaPixel is not spinning.  I believe these guys are from Davis, CA, one of the most liberal cities in the US.  

    These protestors destroying property, halting economic growth, physically assaulting people should be reported on exactly how their actions dictate.

  • Cwosrun

    That’s funny because I feel nothing but contempt for those that do violence and destruction behind a mask and an unclear ideology. To be sure, the next occupy protest I will be watching my neck, and the necks of otherphotogrphers who are doing our jobs and exorcising our rights. If that makes me another Internet tough guy, then so be it…

  • Bryan Castles

    I don’t agree. A responsible photographer wouldn’t be in the middle of a group of protester’s space claiming to be observing and reporting… it looks like a few people on both sides behaved poorly among a group of very agitated people (I’m not saying I agree or disagree with anyone’s position here). You can’t be in a situation and the outcome be one groups fault because they are “wrong”, “jobless” or less intelligent.  Then putting a familiar face on it so that people who barely follow the news will recognize it… I’m sorry, but I certainly don’t feel like that’s reporting any version of the truth. 

  • Birdies

    These guys are undercover cops….

  • Filmmaker1290

    No, they don’t pay their rent and mortgages, and then complain for government help.

    Here in California, thousands of people have been living in their homes for FREE (paying zero mortgage, taxes, etc) for as long as four years.  

    The government controlled banks refuse to foreclosure on hardly anyone lately.

  • Judy Schwartz Haley

    that group is completely out of alignment with the occupy movement. Its so frustrating when the loudest and most obnoxious are portrayed as speaking for a group. seldom are the most obnoxious the most representative of any group.

  • Kyoshi Becker

    I tell people “You try to mess with my gear, and you will eat it” …

  • Mauricio Andres Ramirez Lozada

    nice, self censoring is the single most stupid thing a protester can do. You want to be seen, unless you are up to no good…

  • Bmt10

    Dear protestors,

    Did you know that without those photographers no one will ever find out about your cause, people will stop giving a damn about you, and your movement will wither and die?

    Announcing that you plan to target media members is a great way to get people to refuse to cover your event.

    If a bunch of morons hold a protest and no one is there to cover it, does anyone give a shit?

  • Joey Duncan

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I HATE the fact that assH*le “anarchist” have to ruin everything. I’m FINE with you wanting to be an anarchist, but don’t propagate the stereo type by destroying property and attacking people. absolutely no good will come from the way these idiots have been acting. 

    And the other guy is right, photographers help, not to mention they have jobs…

  • Sam B

    Touch me or my camera and you will feel the full weight of my 6’5″ 210lbs frame come down on you like a barrel of bricks.  If you are out in public then you are absolved from the privacy of having your photograph taken.  Also don’t think for a second that I won’t wield my camera as weapon in self-defense.  Its insured. 


    These guys who are doing this are involved in COINTELPRO: 

    Don’t believe the hype, stay safe, keep yourself and your equipment protected and, most importantly, keep your camera rolling — it’s your greatest protection.

  • Michael Zhang

    We’ve swapped it out for a different photo. Thanks for pointing that out Bryan

  • Bryan Castles

    Hey, cool… my comments are actually readable! :)

  • Niall

    Maybe they should move their protest to northern Mexico where anybody trying to cover anything ends up dead…maybe that’s the world they want to live in?!

  • Trausti Hraunfjörð

    Is could just as well be some people placed by the police in the midst of the occupy movement.  If the police can dictate events to turn violent, they will have the sympathy of society, which will ultimately turn everyone against these democratic grassroots.  Yes, democratic… thes movement is an expression of people who have had enough of the systematic abuse.  Police has a long history of placing agitators in demonstrations, and I expect nothing less from them regarding the occupy movement.  After all, this is an “attack” against the very fabric of capitalistic society, and there is nothing more dangerous to the system than that.

  • Liam Neeson

    Once I was taking photos at an ice rink and some bro was like hey bro stop taking photos and I was like say what bro and he was like stop bro and I was like no bro I’ll do what I want you douche. We then fighted for twenty minutes he strted choking me with his hands so I choked him with my camera strap and bludgeoned him with an ice skate. Then all the other bros on the planet and the other continents said I am not to be fucked with and they have my back all the time wherever iAM.

    That’s how every hypothetical I-am-Liam Neeson or I-am-a-spartan internet motherfucker who talks up hard with his typewords sounds to me.

    (aimed at Bobby)

  • Giuseppi’s

    I know “99%” is a meme and all. They’re like a religious preacher on the street, forcefeeding their view to everyone else. I wonder what percentage of the population they actually represent? They’re a pretty small time deal in comparison to the MILLIONS of people who are enmeshed in capitalism, expenditure, money and banks. They aren’t really the 99%, they’re probably about 0.1% with a nice catchy title that makes them think they’re responsible for everyone on the planet.

  • Simon Brown

    We had a name for these whining morons when I was at school; Bullies.

    The contempt goes both ways. The violent masked thugs and the cowards hiding behind Guy Fawkes(a failed terrorist)* masks at the G(insert number here) conferences; in Greece and London and elsewhere remind me worryingly of 1930s Germany and Stalinist Russia.

    By the way, isn’t it a bit bourgeois for an anarchist to be worried about paying for their rent?

    *yes, I know its meant to be V’s mask. He’s not real you know… its a fantasy comic.

  • Robert Fitzgerald

    These fools are not Occupy Protesters. They are anonymous assholes who are looking for an excuse to be violent and hurt people. Unfortunately, that is the direction that lawless disorganized mobs tend to go. Then they wait for someone with charisma to take up the mantle of leadership. Then they point their collective finger at the imagined enemy and the genocide begins. Think it can’t happen here?

  • Dougiefreshgraphics

    I would beat your ass with my camera if I thought it was gonna get broke….might as well break your face with it…oh ya I have a tripod too ,I jam that up your azz

  • jdm8

    I don’t understand this “space” that you say they’re trying to protect.  If it’s public space then they don’t get any say in excluding people from it.

  • Bryan Castles

    The “space” is the space the protesters were organized in… the article eludes to the idea that one of more of the photographers they were writing about, moved into the bloc, rather than staying outside the group to photograph. The bloc is the group of protestors, and if tensions were this high, it seems like moving inside that group is a recipe for an altercation… in the example pointed out in the article, that looks to be the case.

  • jdm8

    I would support self-defense if it’s necessary.  Photography in a public space is a right that can’t be denied through threats and destruction.

  • Matt

    Thugs and bullies only pick on the small and weak, so no worry for you there…  But me and others, its another story. 

  • Matt

    “By the way, isn’t it a bit bourgeois for an anarchist to be worried about paying for their rent? ”
    Kind of what I was thinking. 

  • rtfe

    daddy’s trust fund helps immensely

  • opiapr

    It same like many here aren’t aware of the “Agent provocateur” probleam on OWS or any other protest against the govt.

  • NoemFotoski

    Let’s make sure that the label “anarchist” becomes “Black Bloc anarchist” as I know several anarchists that wouldn’t agree with their behaviour.   

  • Killermotion

    Did you know that you could pay your rent if you get a job? And I feel nothing but apathy for your pointless protest. 
    If you steal my camera, you run the risk getting arrested, then run the risk of prison rape, losing all  your friends and family, you may get aids, or any other disease, that will lead to extremely high hospital bills you will end up needing to pay just to stay alive, you then will not be able to pay your rent and end up on the street, where you will turn to what you have been trying to do the whole time which to steal from others all because you thought that my camera could pay your rent.Signed”my camera could pay for your rent, but if you steal it, you may get raped in prison” collective

  • Richard Ford

    Forget about them.  We have globalisation now and a few billion more people in the labour market.  Natural selection and attrition will sort them out.

  • LevalG

     @f6a213208e2bae64c8eceec02d330bfd:disqusof course it happens. You exist because workers that you don’t see toil the fields, extract raw materials from the earth, transport goods, provide services that directly assist in you being. Just like you choose not to see the struggles so does the photographer choose what to place and exclude from the frame. A photograph doesn’t tell the truth or make people lives a reality. People live and struggle every day and don’t appear in photographs. 

  • John Kantor

    Just proves how incredibly stupid Anarchists are. But all you need to adjust the attitude of an Anarchist is to put a bullet in his face.