The Occupy Movement Goes High-Tech

OWS Geeks It Up With State of The Art Laser Projections


The New York City Verizon building displays a 99% 'bat signal' to the November 17 protest marchers.

OWS Goes High-Tech With Batman-Style Laser Projection
Movement Rises To Mayor Bloomberg's Childish Taunting Challenge
NewsFocus, by Tim Watts - 111811

The New York City Occupy Wall Street movement took their protest to a high-tech level with their November 17 march on the Brooklyn Bridge. Leaders of the movement put together a high-tech laser display on a prominent city skyscraper for all to see.

Responding to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's calculated and premeditated taunting in a press conference following the Zuccotti Park arrests, protestors were back in droves, however, this time with a new twist. Despite Bloomberg's provocative challenge, stating that less than a thousand people would show up, the protestors were indeed back, but this time with an expensive new toy right out of the comic pages, a Batman-style laser projection display to bolster their message.

The 99% signal was cast with a $10,000 12K lumen projector, onto the face of the 32-story Verizon tower from a nearby apartment building for all to see during the march. It flashed chants and saluted other OWS cities in the national movement.

The idea came during an OWS leadership meeting, suggested from a protestor known only as "Hero." He and fellow activists Mark Read, Will Etundi, Max Nova, and JR Skola came up with the plan and set it in motion. Read went through a nearby city housing apartment complex putting up flyers asking to rent an apartment for a few hours on the 17th. He found a taker in resident Denise Vega who lived on the 16th floor. Fortunately for Read and crew, Vega was enamored with the idea and donated the use of her space for no charge, saying, "I can't charge you money, this is for the people." After their meeting she enthusiastically proclaimed, "Let's do this!"

When asked about the execution of the display, Read explained, "The whole thing was a combination of high tech and super jerry-rigging on the fly. The Modul8 software we were using can do amazing things: sense the angle you're projecting at, even if it's extreme, and modify the image so it looks straight. But then, we held the projecter in place with gaffer tape, a broomstick, some baling wire. We only had 20 minutes to get it ready."

Asked if they were worried about getting in trouble with the police, Read said, "I was so sure it was not against the law, but I didn't ask my lawyer friends. I didn't want to really know. The police knew where we were. They were pointing up to the window. But no one stopped us when we left."

During the event Vega and her family said, "If they want to come up they're gonna need a warrant!"

The crew said they were able to hear the response of the crowd below during the march. "Oh, we could hear the crowd from the window. We heard them screaming, yelling," Read said.

Read was asked how he felt when it was over. He stated, "I feel immense gratitude to these youngsters for kicking my ass into gear. I'm feeling so much gratitude to everyone, for putting their bodies on the line every day, for this movement. It's a global uprising we're part of. We have to win."

A channel 5 FOX News helicopter was said to have taken the video footage that is now making the YouTube rounds. The video can be seen below.

NewsFocus Slideshow


REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi


REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all! -Mario Savio Dec 2, 1964

 OWS Batman-Style Signal On Verizon Tower

 Interview With Organizer Mark Read

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