December 4, 2018

A weapon against the powerful and privileged

GUEST: DeeDee Halleck, media activist, founder of Paper Tiger TV, co-founder of Deep Dish TV and Democracy Now! Television, and Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, talks about her upcoming Supreme Court case, Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck.

DeeDee Halleck

It was a pleasure having DeeDee Halleck on the show. Her belief in the video camera as a revolutionary tool has made her an important pioneer in using technology to achieve social change.

She was the right person to have on our side a decade ago in Kingston, NY, when she filmed our small, Palestinian rights group being told that the park was "closed for the day." According to the police, the park had been rented out for Israel Day, and our flyers were against the law.

"Even on the sidewalk?" we asked the sergeant.

"There you are blocking business," we were told.

We watched DeeDee's tape over and over again, and finally sought out a lawyer who would take the case. When it came down to a trial in Albany, we had all our witnesses ready. But the video DeeDee had made was too damming, and at the last minute, the lawyer for the city of Kingston offered us about $25,000 to settle the case. Our group, Middle East Crisis Response was funded for the next ten years!

Justice sometimes comes when wrongs are documented on tape. Technology becomes the guaranteer of truth, a weapon against the powerful and privileged who often lie through their teeth.