THE RISK OF VIDEOING DANGEROUS PROTESTS
Nothing got burned down. No objects were thrown. Nobody rioted. Not a single person was assaulted. But here I was, in the middle of an allegedly dangerous protest amongst dangerous protestors. At least, according to the major social media sites.
When I started making and posting videos about downtown Indianapolis five years ago, I never imagined that one would be deleted under the pretext that I was spreading medical misinformation. The deleted video featured two state reps, a local radio personality, a Lutheran minister, an Assemblies of God pastor, two nurses, a couple activists, and a woman claiming to have been injured recently by a medical procedure.
Apparently, someone, or numerous people in the video, were too hot too handle. It sure wasn’t due to anything I said, because I was simply documenting the day without commentary or opinion. Local network news shared much of the footage, but omitted many parts including the woman claiming vaccine injury. For this, I was given a permanent warning by artificial intelligence because, “we all make mistakes.”
Anymore “mistakes” will receive a strike. Three strikes and my channel is deleted. Maybe they will even put me on a list with other disgruntled contrarians who are having trouble conforming. It’s as if I’m facing a combination of the worst parts of the 1994 Clinton Crime Bill and 2001 Patriot Act on a digital tip. At least none of the speakers or myself are in jail yet. On our current trajectory, it won’t be long before it’s a crime to speak out against the official narrative.
As a result of this censorship, I’ve uploaded a self-censored video version of another protest in Indianapolis and redacted nearly 45 minutes of public speaking. By doing so, maybe certain platforms won’t get worried about the spread of dangerous ideas and overreact by wiping out my channel.
Left in tact in the censored version is footage of Monumental Yoga and 1000’s of Indianapolis Colts fans walking back to their cars depressed after a humiliating loss to Los Angeles.
The frustration of Colts fans rivaled that of the protestors at the State Capitol. One disgruntled fan even knocked over a construction caution sign at Washington and Penn. In stark contrast, I did not witness any of the protesters lashing out or knocking things over. Despite having more than just a game at stake, the protestors remained relatively calm.
a work around the censorship
One of my missions as the Indianapolis Skateboard Journalist is to keep Indianapolis real by sharing my board’s eye view of the streets. I uploaded the full version of this video to Bitchute and Rumble. After all, I didn’t spend three hours shooting it so no one could see it. As usual, I shot it so people could see exactly what is taking place in this city. I edited it so people could see for themselves beyond distortion or suppression by local media.
No matter how different the speakers’ views on politics and religion are, the one unifying factor for all of them is their opposition to health mandates, especially in regards to vaccine passports. So strong is their opposition to vaccine mandates that they would gladly join together with most anyone resisting, even if the rest of their political and moral views didn’t line up. In other words, born again Christian and Indiana State Representative John Jacobs would have no trouble unifying himself with those who are pro abortion to fight vaccine mandates.
The one person I never got to interview was the keynote speaker Dr. Dan Stock. The Indianapolis Star had labeled him as potentially dangerous for a speech he gave to the Mount Vernon Community School Corporation in Fortville, Indiana. In response to the story, many on social media had called for him to be censored.
No one at the protest seemed particularly afraid of Dr. Stock. In fact, he was so popular, I didn’t have the patience to wait in the line behind all the people wanting to talk to him.
I needed to stretch my legs and get some exercise after holding a camera for nearly two hours. I gave up trying to talk to Dr. Stock, and left to go skate.
Other events were happening in the city. Access to regular random people awaited. The city was lively. People stretching and balancing in meditative states of mind filled the Circle.
the New Normal for Editing
The fantastic weather lured people out and about as if we were living in a pre or post pandemic world. Despite the angst of angry Colts fans, the rest of the city felt upbeat. I took a lap around the mile square soaking it all in. Not feeling all that dangerous, I did some editing in my head while cruising around.
I wasn’t sure how I could edit the video in a way safe enough for some platforms. Some of the people I follow online make teaser videos on the major platforms in hopes of driving traffic to domains hosting uncensored material. I mimicked this strategy and added a warning clip wherever I deleted “dangerous misinformation.”
Although I’ve lost many followers on various platforms for covering a variety of controversial subjects, that loss is worth not twisting the truth and refraining from omitting uncomfortable details. As Muhammed in the Engineering department at IUPUI once said in my very 1st skateboard journalist video, “they’ve got games over there for the kids. The adults, who want to grow mentally and challenge everything they believe, are free to stay here.”
Stay humble. Do the work. Be ever grateful. Let your light shine. Even when no one understands. By all means, keep on keeping on. Don’t get cold, but remain hot.
Godspeed through the new normal.