Video Shows NYT Freelancer Speaking To Occupy Wall Street Strategy Meeting

On October 2, NewsBusters reported the arrest of a New York Times freelancer at the Occupy Wall Street rally that shut down the Brooklyn Bridge.

Big Government's Lee Stranahan on Sunday uncovered a video of Natasha Lennard speaking at an OWS strategy meeting on October 14 (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity warning, relevant section at 1:30):

NATASHA LENNARD, NEW YORK TIMES FREELANCER: Well, that’s what I don’t know. Let’s experiment. But I do think there are a few conditions that disallow for that that are at play now. So if we can address those, maybe it can be a more open possibility. The state of the square now, I know a lot of people who would be sitting on this side, if you want to call it a side which is problematic, and definitely not definitive, would not speak at the park because being an outright anti-authoritarian or an anarchist is not really something that people like to be live streamed across the world with a f--king police pen around you. So there is a silencing that’s sort of gone on without much addressing, because to address it would be to out oneself. So if you’re talking, and this also addresses the question of escalation. It’s like, yes, there are a lot of people talking about many different ideas. Do they all want all of those ideas live streamed to the entire world on the assumption that everything is permitted and legal, when it quite clearly isn’t? So there is already a tendency in the park that means backing away from anti-authoritarian tendencies that don’t fall into pre-existing permitted institutional structures, or that can’t be coded by them. So I think there’s a problem with the way the park operates now that doesn’t allow for this kind of coming together.


This video was taken from a much larger one published by the far left Jacobin magazine on October 19. In that video and related article, Lennard is identified as one of the panelists:

At Jacobin, our concerns are slightly different. We have lamented the absence of political debate within the movement. Preoccupied (ha ha) with the day-to-day tactic of running an occupation, stymied by an increasingly unwieldy General Assembly process, its participants have so far allowed the movement to drift along not just without a program but without even a sustained discussion of whether to have one, what it would mean to have one, and what a program would look like if they decided to adopt one.

That’s why we organized a public debate and panel discussion in Manhattan last Friday about Occupy Wall Street and left politics and strategy. Held at Bluestockings, a radical bookstore on the Lower East Side, the event was packed, the audience overwhelmingly young, and the atmosphere electric: just that morning, thousands had gathered to lock arms and defend the occupiers from Bloomberg’s threat to evict them, and the mayor’s last minute decision to back down had been cause for jubilation. [...]

Natasha Lennard was formerly on staff at Salon.com and Politico. She currently freelances for The New York Times. She has covered OWS since before Sept. 17.

Also on the panel:

Doug Henwood is the editor of Left Business Observer, host of Behind The News, contributing editor at The Nation, and author of “Wall Street” and “After The New Economy.”

So The Nation magazine also had a representative at this meeting.

With NPR having fired one of its hosts last week for her involvement in OWS, one has to wonder what The Nation and the Times feel about Henwood and Lennard's participation in this event.

This should be particularly concerning to both publications irrespective of their political leaning given something Lennard said that bears repeating: "And this also addresses the question of escalation. It’s like, yes, there are a lot of people talking about many different ideas. Do they all want all of those ideas live streamed to the entire world on the assumption that everything is permitted and legal, when it quite clearly isn’t?"

So Lennard admitted to having knowledge of proposed activities that might not be legal. Quite something for someone affiliated with one of the nation's largest newspapers, don't you think?

Lennard's Twitter account shows her attending an OWS event at 38 Greene Street in Soho Saturday.

Makes you wonder what kind of strategies to undermine America - legal and otherwise - were discussed there.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.