The above image, which depicts Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis Police pepper spraying students engaged in an Occupy protest, has become infamous in the past month. The photo and accompanying video have been viewed by millions, and even become the subject of a popular internet meme.
There's something else going on in this photo, however... an overlooked detail that I believe makes it even more important and iconic. Look at all those cameras!
At no other time in history have citizens had such powerful tools for mass media communication at their disposal. As a direct result, the images that ignite change and expose oppression are being captured and disseminated faster than ever. The old protest chant "The Whole World is Watching!" is truer today than ever before.
In this spirit, and in memory of victims of police brutality like Oscar Grant and Aiyana Jones, I reached out to several fellow rappers and frequent collaborators to create "FILM THE POLICE," a song to remind and inform people of their right to document police activity at any time, anywhere.
Reaction to the video has been bigger than any of us predicted. Logging 70,000 views in its first week online, it's been shared and endorsed by Anonymous Central, several national and international Occupy groups, and a roster of humbling names that includes Michael Moore, Billy Bragg, and Davey D among others.
The video, compiled in the space of a week on a shoestring budget, is a perfect example of the point being demonstrated: We are the 99%, and We are the New Media.
Thanks to everyone that's shared and endorsed this video in the past week, and to the Huffington Post for giving me this space to respond!