Reporters from the progressive websites OpEd News and FireDogLake have taken a lead in documenting how a right-wing agent provocateur created a violent police reaction Oct. 8 against peaceful Occupy Washington antiwar protesters. This shut down a Smithsonian museum and led to arrests. Furthermore, the role of the disrupter from The American Spectator was ignored by most mainstream news coverage until the next day. Instead, establishment reporters initially relied on police and museum spokespeople for spin-filled, dubious accounts of a demonstration that occurred in plain view near the center of the historic Mall.
Rob Kall, publisher of OpEd News, and his colleague Cheryl Biren have shocking photos of the event to illustrate their account. She was pepper-sprayed three times despite her credentials as a journalist and such important work as her photo at left. They and other journalists below have helped piece together an account of how the confrontation escalated because of a pre-planned stunt by an American Spectator editor identified as Patrick Howley, left. Howley is partly obscured in Biren's photo just behind another and larger unidentified demonstrator in the black tee-shirt. Biren says she compared her photos of the unidentified, heavyset man carefully with the mug shot of a New Jersey rightist reputed on some websites to be him, but believes they are not the same person. Over the past week, FireDogLake's Charlie Grapski did most of the detective work, and published an updated report on Oct. 10 called, Anatomy of a Deception: How a Conservative Magazine Attempted to Discredit the Occupy Movement, Read his coverage and that at OpEd News in such columns as, "Occupy" Participants Beware: Agents Provocateur Like The One at Air Space Museum Are Threat. Then help report the news widely through your Facebook, Twitter and other accounts.
Update: Park Police offers 4-month extension to Freedom Plaza permit: Organizer. The Park Police offered protest organizers a four-month extension to their permit at Freedom Plaza, according to an Occupy DC organizer.