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Activist Communique: Occupy Toronto Livestream on the verge of going offline

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I believe that the Occupy movement was the catalyst for the launch of the media phenomenon that is livestream media.

Essentially, livestreaming means there is an individual (or more than one person, a livestream team) who attends an event with a laptop or a smart phone with the intention of providing a live video feed of events to an internet audience.

For us, we have Occupy Toronto livestream at http://www.livestream.com/occupytoronto/

Watching livestream, which is often just video without any form of editorialization, gives the Internet audience a true window into what is actually happening on the ground.

Livestream picks up the visual and auditory cues from the environment it is taping in, which is very helpful. This includes viewing the livestreamer running for their lives, through clouds of tear gas and then having the feed suddenly go dead.

Of course, it is also frustrating when watching a livestream feed from somewhere like Turkey or Egypt where the primary language is not English (some may ask why English isn’t the universal language!) so all you hear it chaotic yelling. There's nothing worse than following a live feed in a mixed up with the cops and suddenly the feed goes dead.

The most famous of the livestreamer is Tim Pool, who was at Occupy Wall Street since day one. He is still very active in the livestream medium. You can find his channel through the Ustream medium.

For Toronto, Dee Shanger has held down the livestream -- with the claim that during Occupy itself in 2010 it was live 24 hours a day for 40 days and 40 nights -- since Occupy was evicted from St. James Park. During that time, there was an estimated 250 hosts in eight- to ten-hour shifts.

They use the software procaster.

Originally there was a larger livestream team, many of whom claim they left for work-conflict reasons, but from there Dee Shanger (some would claim he is a pirate) has held the helm.

In the past, there has been other issues such as smoking on screen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Shanger without a cigarette.

Dee Shanger stated that you needed two things to be a good liestreamer: “Fearlessness and a desire to livestream.”

During the 80 hours fundraiser, Dee Shanger interviewed the likes of Carrie Lester and Crystal Sinclair from Idle No More after a nearby round dance.

I’m not sure whose idea it was to invite Kevin Annett since he has been so discredited by the community he claims to serve.

The Fundraiser:

As civilian journalists, livestream never charges for its services.

On June 22, 2013, Occupy Toronto’s livestream team had their 4G USB internet stick suspended for non-payment of services. They claim to owe $775 CAN.  

The fundraiser started on Friday July 12, 2013, and will run until Monday July15, 2013. It runs for 80 hours straight.

Taken from the appeal from their Facebook site: “Dear livestream supporters: the feed has now reached its end, we are in severe need of funds or the livestream will go on vacation. Anyone who would like to contribute please go to the paypal donate link on the Occupy Toronto page @ www.occupyto.org.

We hope this free-media means enough to enough of us that the funds can be raised. None of us are getting paid & we have never charged anyone for Livestream in any event or action. Please donate what u can? With Thanks for all of your loyal support.”

The livestream team has released their goal of $5,000.00. Shanger has stated that he won’t give a total of raised funds until the end.

Here is a breakdown of what the funding will be used for:

A - $775 - payment owing on the 4G USB Internet stick (btw, we have 2wks to pay this or we'll incur more costs)
- $1500 - to cover the 4G stick costs for the next year (incl. monthly fee, monthly data overages & ROAMING costs)
B - $1500 - new laptop, webcam, extra 3hr-batteries & external power supply (we are finding we are needed in more then one place at once & only have 1 laptop to LS with. We need another one. Btw, state of the art LSin quality is far superior with a laptop then with an iPhone or android phone - but you already jknew that eh)
C - $1225 - travel costs: Greyhound bus, ride share, bus tokens, etc.

TOTAL: CA $5,000.00

You can donate in the following ways:

DONATE by cash, Paypal, credit card, or bank transfer:
1. online (via Paypal) @ www.occupyto.org (click, Donate)
2. Cash/bank transfer: In-person at any/online Xfer info:
'Alterna Savings & Credit Union' Branch
Account Name: ‘Occupy Toronto’
Account #: 5028427

 

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