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Warrant Issued for DeAndre Harris’ Arrest in Charlottesville

Zach D Roberts 

Last night (Monday, October 9), we have learned that the DeAndre Harris story has taken a twist that would, in a different era, be surprising. With several of DeAndre's attackers still on the run - and police showing no interest in going after them - DeAndre just had an ...more

Second Man Arrested In Connection With Charlottesville Neo-Nazi Attack

Greg Palast 

On Monday, August 27, police finally arrested the second of two assailants identified from Palast Investigative Fund photographer Zach D. Roberts' Charlottesville photos. Alex Michael Ramos, who surrendered himself to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia on Monday evening, has been charged with one count of malicious wounding ...more

Palast Calls The FBI to Report A Crime In Charlottesville

Greg Palast 

On August 12, 2017 a 20-year old school teacher named De'Andre Harris was brutally attacked with iron bars and pieces of wood by a group of neo-Nazis.
The attack took place in a parking garage on Market Street - right next to the Charlottesville Police Station. Our photographer Zach Roberts took photos of the attack, which ...more

Charlottesville: A Gun In His Face,
But He Got The Photo

Greg Palast 

Don’t look away. Four white neo-Nazis are beating a Black man, crawling on the ground, with their metal poles and a yellow hunk of lumber. The beating continues - there’s blood on the pavement. Our photographer, Zach D. Roberts, continues to shoot - even as a white militant raises a 9mm pistol to his face. ...more

Naughty Nuns, Bad Bankers
and Ballot Bandits

Greg Palast 

For Truthout

On May 6, 2008, twelve fraudulent voters, dressed as nuns, attempted to cast ballots in the Presidential Primary in Indiana.

Luckily, ten of them were caught, stopped cold by Indiana’s new voter photo ID law.  The law had been found to be constitutional by Federal Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It turns out the nuns that Posner’s ruling turned away were, in fact nuns.  All the sisters had photo drivers licenses, but they had expired (the licenses, not the nuns).  The Sisters of the Holy Cross, had, mercifully, given up driving (they were pushing 90 years of age.)

It was a cute story that ran nationwide.  What wasn’t so cute, and ran nowhere in the US press, was that 72,000 Black voterswere blocked at the polls by this Posner-blessed photo ID law.

It was Posner’s decision that first allowed …more

UPDATE: Cops beat our cameraman ZD Roberts

Greg Palast 

[New York Monday March 19]

Our photographer ZD Roberts was beaten by New York City cops with nightsticks while covering Occupy Wall Street’s attempt to re-take Zuccotti Park Saturday night.

Zach yelled several times, “I’m PRESS! PRESS!” yet was slammed on the head twice after he’d been thrown to the ground when the police shoved back the protesters. Zach, whose photos of Occupy Wall Street have been seen all over the world on the front page of The Guardian, showed his press badge, an act for which his hair was grabbed, head pulled back and slammed again with a club.

If you remember, Zach was arrested while covering the story three months ago. His trial is coming up (he refused to cop a plea).

We’ve covered the world but who thought that the toughest combat assignment would be New York?

Here’s Zach story and comment in his own words and photos:

My head hurts. The NYPD did this to me.

3 months after my arrest during an Occupy Wall St. protest on #D17 and two days away from my meeting with the Assistant DA about said arrest – I got beaten by cops just outside of Zuccotti Park.

I wasn’t the only one, and I have no doubt I won’t be the last. The NYPD has complete authority in this town – I hate using the word police state, but when I saw a girl thrown from a bus, in handcuffs, having a seizure being tossed to the ground – I really am at a loss for any other words.

Cameras documented it. Here’s one of the photos I took. There’s tons of video. I can tell you from being there that there wasn’t a single police officer with a look of concern on his/her face as the girl continued having a seizure on the hard pavement of Broadway.

It took 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. I’m told 5 minutes is the usual response time in this part of town.

This is Commissioner Ray Kelly’s city, we just live here.

There was no ambulance needed for me. I was lucky or maybe just stupid.

After the second cleansing of Zuccotti Park, Saturday night, the police continued their pushback under the guise of ‘safety concerns’ – basically a standard operating procedure to keep protesters and journalists from being allowed to witness arrests and to disperse the crowd in different directions.

It works quite well, that is until it doesn’t. The thing is, when you’re pushing back with billy clubs and metal barricades, sometimes people can’t move back quick enough. Or sometimes, people refuse to move from a public sidewalk. Well as a photographer, I get caught in the middle quite often – usually I’m deft enough to get out of the way – this time I wasn’t.

I fell back, and while trying to get up – there was another push from the police – they saw me fall, mind you. Just didn’t care.

Two or three people made it over me without falling as well, using me as their sidewalk (they didn’t have any other choice) – but then came the rush – four or five people fell on top of me.

The police kept pushing. Then came the batons. I couldn’t see if the people that were on top of me previously got hit at all but I certainly did, twice to the back and once on the head.

I’m not quite sure what the logic is of literally beating a man when he’s down. But once he saw that his baton beating wasn’t getting me going he decided to try to pick me up by my hair. That didn’t work either – but by then I was up enough to get my footing under me as I continued screaming “PRESS!!! PRESS!!!” That was enough to get the beating to stop – but I still was pushed/thrown back into the crowd, again almost losing my footing as I had to leap over a pile of garbage into the street.

Checking my bag and camera for damage I moved outside of the crowd to compose myself before pushing back in.

Read the rest at SuicideGirlsblog.com later tomorrow and visit our facebook page for some exclusive photos from the raid.

Please support our kickstarter campaign to support the research and filming of a DVD and book on Billionaires and Ballots.

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

Our Photographer (& His Lens) Busted
@Occupy Wall Street

Greg Palast 

Special to Truthout.org

“So this Bishop, three priests and a comedian are locked up together in this paddy wagon and ….”

Zach! This is NOT funny, and I do NOT want to hear the punch line.”

Actually, I appreciate the fact that our photo-journalist has a sense of humor about getting busted and jailed at Occupy Wall Street on Saturday.

But it’s not a joke. On Saturday, our man Zach D. Roberts, along with a bishop of the Episcopalian Church and three ministers of various faiths, plus a stand-up comic were pushed face first into the dirt at Duarte Park, hand-cuffed and hauled off in a police van to the lock-up in Lower Manhattan.

I did NOT appreciate that this follows his previous bust at Occupy, the busting of our $600 Tokina 11-16 f2.8 lens by a cop slamming his nightstick down on Zach (reparable) and hitting the lens (not reparable). [Heck of a photo, though, just as the stick is coming down.]

Zach, who is working with the Palast Investigations Team via a Gil Palast Memorial Fund journalism fellowship, has been covering the Occupation since Day One. His astonishing in-the-action photographs from #OWS have been featured in Portfolio Magazine and on the front page of The Guardian. However, credits and press credentials did not impress New York’s Finest.

But hey, they weren’t impressed by Bishop George Packard’s red robes. His Excellency was handcuffed and charged along with Zach and another newsman for trespassing on the property owned by the bishop’s own church, Trinity.

In the holding tank, Zach was put in with an OWS protester who wore a green cap with red blood oozing out from it, the Christmas color-scheme caused by an excess of NYPD holiday zeal.

Zach was there to cover the Occupation’s attempt to re-establish their encampment. OWS asked to use a parcel of empty land owned by Trinity, the oldest and arguably the wealthiest church in America, landlord for much of the real estate called Wall Street.

According to the Bishop (in an interview recorded, I kid you not, while cuffed in the wagon), his Church plans to lease the property to a developer for a skyscraper and is afraid that allowing protesters to move in would devalue their holdings–bring down the neighborhood, so to speak.

Despite the pleas of Bishop Packard, several priests and even fellow Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Trinity’s administrators refused Occupy’s request, choosing, in Tutu’s thinking, Mammon over the church’s moral mission.

The ecclesiastical issues of this Schism, while not exactly on the same order as Luther’s split from The Vatican, were serious enough to be decided by the cops who moved in after Occupation activists (clerics included) used ladders to breach the construction fences.

What concerns me is that the One Percent are clearly using their blue enforcers not just to stop protesters but to stop coverage of the protest. Not every cop went along. One policeman, told to arrest Zach, resisted the command, “This guy’s a journalist! What are we doing!?

That cut no ice with his bosses. I guess if you can bust a bishop, a journalist is kind of small stuff.

These are Zach’s photos from the demo, including the one at the right he shot while face-down on the ground, before they grabbed our equipment.

The shot you see of Zach under arrest was taken by CS Muncy, a top-rank freelancer whose work appears in The Wall Street Journal. Frighteningly, while trying to cover Wall Street, a cop grabbed his press credential necklace but, in the mayhem, Muncy was able to yank it back. While I’m concerned about Muncy’s neck, I’m more concerned about this new–and increasingly violent–attack on press freedom.

Note: Funeral services will be held for our Tokina 11-16 f2.8 lens this week at our New York offices. Zach has requested that, instead of sending flowers, donations be made to the Palast Investigative Fund.

Zach, who was released early Sunday morning, has a court date set for February. We will keep readers informed via our Facebook page, which will include more of Zach’s photos and his own diary of events.

*****

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores, released in the US and Canada by Penguin.

You can read Vultures’ Picnic, “Chapter 1: Goldfinger,” or download it, at no charge: click here.

 

 

All photos by Zach D. Roberts. Permission granted for use with credit.

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Palast crew reporter Roberts…
just before the cop busted the lens.

Greg Palast 

2a.m. Zuccotti Park, Wall Street, New York

Zach D Roberts, photographer for the Palast Investigative Team, a split second before the copy cracked the lens”“”“and whacked Zach. See that spot on the left? That’s the night stick hitting the lens.

Tonight: Palast on “Why We Occupy.”

…more

Drowning Fish?

Greg Palast 

July 3 would have been my parents’ 67th Anniversary. 67 years. Maybe it was the triumph of Hope over Reality (still have that Obama 2008 poster?). Or maybe something else, something that those of us who haven’t walked that far down the path can’t imagine.

My Dad’s last wish the night before he died last November was to dedicate some of his small savings to the Palast Investigative Fund.

It’s the only time I wished he’d been an investment banker. He wasn’t, so the Gil Palast Memorial Fund is small. And therefore, I appreciate deeply the donations many of you added to it.

My mom asked me to wait until my parents’ would-have-been anniversary to announce the recipient of the Gil Palast Really Tiny Memorial Fellowship in Investigative Reporting.

And the winner is: Rob Roberts, fish biologist. …more

ZD Roberts Has Something to Say

Greg Palast 

I just wanted to send a thanks to all those who have donated to the Gil Palast Memorial fund over the past couple of months. I know Gil would have been happy to see that so many people still believe in the power of journalism.

Back in 2008 I got to meet Greg’s Dad – he was crotchety and using a walker but that didn’t stop him from getting into a heated fight with me over politics. I told him that I didn’t like who won the 2008 primaries, and that opened up the can of worms that I didn’t vote for his candidates in previous elections. It wasn’t that Gil was a partisan (though he had his leanings), it was that he liked a good fight or maybe he was testing me – I’m not sure.

Eventually Gladys Palast settled us both down like any good Jewish mother by yelling louder than both of us. “Leave the boy alone! Let him vote for who he wants!” Gil grumbled and we agreed to let past elections be forgotten. I love a good verbal brawl and Gil was always up for one of those (I think it’s in the Palast genes).

Either way, I voted and I cared – that was what was important. I know that his parents were happy that someone my age still gave a s*** about politics. Later that evening I would find out how important the vote was to them when Greg interviewed them for the 2008 Elections piece that would later be in the DVD ‘Palast Investigates.’  I filmed it, finding it hard to keep the camera steady as they shot back and forth at each other remembering their first vote over 70 years ago like some Jerry Stiller routine. If I remember correctly it was for FDR, “all four times” – told them I was jealous they got to vote for him at all. The interview wasn’t just a cute throw-a-way for the film – Greg’s parents vote were thrown away. Let them explain why – [http://www.youtube.com/user/GregPalastOffice#p/a/u/1/35enlgOG0Rk]

As a thank you to those who’ve donated over $50 I’d like to send you an 8×10 print of one of photos that you see at the link – http://www.flickr.com/photos/zroberts/sets/72157626963094861/

Thanks again – ZD Roberts

zach@gregpalast.com

The Razorcake Interview:
“Vote Theft: Class War by other Means”

Greg Palast 

by Chris Pepus for Razorcake.org 

We need to learn the issues. People are unarmed. That is, people know that they’re getting shafted, but they don’t really know exactly how.

The American press corps has finally begun to report on illegal activities of the Bush administration. However, the subject of election theft remains largely ignored. In recent years, the Republican Party has used an array of tactics to subtract votes from opposing candidates. These include sending defective voting machines to strongly Democratic precincts and removing low-income and minority voters from electoral rolls.

Reporter Greg Palast has been covering this issue since 2000, when he revealed that Florida officials ensured the election of George W. Bush by illegally suppressing the African-American and Democratic vote. (Learn more about that subject here.) In this interview, I asked Palast about his reports on the GOP’s dirty electoral tricks since 2000 and the possibility that the ’08 election will be stolen. He explained how the Help America Vote Act actually helps crooked …more