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Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets!Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement$
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Sasha Costanza-Chock

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028202

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028202.001.0001

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“MacArthur Park Melee”:

“MacArthur Park Melee”:

From Spokespeople to Amplifiers

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 “MacArthur Park Melee”
Source:
Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets!
Author(s):

Sasha Costanza-Chock

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262028202.003.0004

Chapter 3 explores the transition of social movement media-makers from spokespeople to aggregators and amplifiers of diverse voices from the movement base. The chapter focuses on the events of May Day 2007, when nearly 450 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers in riot gear attacked a peaceful crowd of thousands of immigrant rights marchers, injuring dozens and hospitalizing several, including reporters. The LAPD eventually paid more than $13 million in damages. However, in the immediate aftermath, the police, nonprofit organizations, and grassroots media-makers fought an intense battle over media attention and framing. The chapter also explores how national TV networks have turned toward a ‘violent conflict’ framing of domestic political protest. Some professional nonprofits reproduced the ‘violent conflict’ frame as a strategy to gain access to broadcast media. At the same time, transmedia organizers challenged the dominant narrative by working to gather, curate, remix, and amplify the voices of marchers who had been attacked. The chapter concludes that professional movement organizations face pressure to shift from speaking for the movement to amplifying the voices of an increasingly media-literate base. Those who make this shift will benefit, while those who attempt to retain control of the conversation will lose credibility.

Keywords:   participatory media, immigrant rights movement, protest policing, violent conflict, MacArther Park Melee, framing

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