Thursday, October 16, 2014

Citizen journalist uses live streaming video to protect himself during violent protest

How one man used live video to document police brutality and gained a million followers, coverage from the largest news network in the world & won his case

On Oct 17th, 2013 members of First Nation Tribes Elsipogtog & Mi’knoq converged on a highway in New Brunswick, Canada to protest Fracking in their area. A man named Edgar joined them, a citizen journalist and supporter of the First Nations anti fracking campaign. He carried with him a mobile phone.

He used the free video streaming app Vidopop to live stream the protest to viewers. Supporters at home were able to watch live as the peaceful protest descended into terrifying chaos.

Viewers joined him in watching Royal Canadian Mountain Police forces arrive, heavily armed with rubber bullets, tear gas, police dogs, mace and snipers, to show down with First Nation Tribes.

He documented the RCMP as they pointed sniper rifles, threatened to release police dogs and maced protestors for defying orders. It was a terrifying. Over the course of the day 40 people were arrested, women and elders of the First Nation were maced and six RCMP vehicles were torched.
Live Stream Protection
Edgar captured and live streamed hours of footage. When he ran to the side of the road where protestors weren’t allowed a police officer chased after him. Before any harm could be done Edgar told the police officer that he was filming the scene live. This live stream protected him from a policeman who was unwilling to be caught in a scuffle with a reporter on camera.

Go where traditional camera equipment can't

For years journalists have rushed to the scene of an event hoping to grab first dibs on a story. Thanks to this new technology reporters and citizen journalists can document a story as it unfolds.

Vidopop's mobile live stream & record technology allows anyone to become a citizen journalist. All one needs is a mobile phone and access to the internet to stream footage live. A mobile phone can go where traditional large camera equipment can’t. It allows for shooting film anywhere at the moment you need it. 

Major events like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wallstreet, the Protests in Ferguson and the Protest in New Brunswick showcase the need for video documentation of chaotic moments. Live video provides a way for viewers to watch the story unfold and see with their own eyes the narrative of the events.

The Power of Citizen Reporting
In the case of the New Brunswick Protest, Edgar’s live stream brought a huge focus on the event. After the anonymous news source & popular twitter news feed @YourAnonNews picked up the story, giant media outlets Vice & Al Jazeera took the footage and spread the word. Edgars footage was then picked up by Canada's CBC, CTV, Sun News & ATPN news networks. The footage gained national & international attention creating a huge outrage in response to the events.

Canadians were forced to wonder why a militarized police force armed with snipers would be sent to protect the rights of a Gas Corporation.  It sparked debate in Canada on the militarization of the police force and grew support against fracking in the area. 

Public support of the First Tribe's anti-fracking campaign gained so much momentum that in September 2014 New Brunswick's pro-fracking government officials were defeated in a bid for re-election.

And all this was made possible by a citizen with a mobile phone.

Journalists & citizens now have the power to document and broadcast important moments in history as they unfold. Arm yourself with your phone and Vidopop

Be the eyes of the people wherever you go. 

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