A Documenter of Protest Has a New Clash With Authority

When Occupy Wall Street protesters set up their encampment in September in Zuccotti Park, a new category of activist emerged alongside fixtures like meeting facilitators and medics.

The new participants carried laptops and cellular phones as they accompanied marches and wandered through Zuccotti Park, all the while sending a flow of moving images to computer screens around the city and beyond.

One of the first and perhaps the most prominent of those live-streaming the protests is a 40-year-old Russian immigrant and former derivatives trader named Vlad Teichberg. Mr. Teichberg started an Internet channel called Global Revolution TV, which has broadcast Occupy-related events from cities like New York, Denver and Oakland, Calif.

For months the so-called live streamers have complained that they have been arrested while documenting turbulent scenes pitting the police against protesters.

Now, Mr. Teichberg is encountering a few problems of his own — problems involving a camera, the law and the occupation of a space –– in this instance, the first floor of a Brooklyn building where he lives and runs a studio used by live streamers.

On Monday Mr. Teichberg and other members of Global Revolution were told to vacate the building, at 13 Thames Street in Bushwick, by a city inspector. The inspector said the ground floor was “imminently perilous to life.”

The group removed equipment and returned the next day for more of their possessions. When the landlord, Wing Chow, encountered Mr. Teichberg there, the police arrested him and five others, charging them with trespassing and obstructing governmental administration.  Mr. Teichberg was also charged with attempting to assault Mr. Chow, although during his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Wednesday night a prosecutor told a judge that the landlord had no visible injuries and had refused medical attention.

The live streamers were released without bail on Wednesday, and they gathered outside the courthouse, where a small band of supporters provided them with coffee, cookies and ––­­ of course –– documented their release via live stream.

Mr. Teichberg gave the viewers a brief description of his time in custody, then added: “Having said that, it’s really wonderful to be out.”

When Global Revolution began broadcasting the Occupy Wall Street protests, Mr. Teichberg first worked from a granite bench inside Zuccotti Park, where he taught people how to use video equipment.  Eventually, he and others moved into a cramped, cluttered office at the A.J. Muste building on Lafayette Street.

In December, they also began using a studio in Mr. Teichberg’s building on Thames Street in Bushwick, where he has been involved with a long-running utilities dispute with Mr. Chow and where there is occasional friction between the police and other residents.

On Monday night a Buildings Department inspector arrived, accompanied by police officers and firefighters, Mr. Teichberg said, and announced that he was performing a spot check. According to Mr. Teichberg, the inspector said that there were no water sprinklers in the ground floor hall, ordered the group out and posted a vacate notice on the front door.

A Buildings Department spokesman, Tony Sclafani, said that the agency had issued a vacate order for the first floor of 13 Thames in March after determining that the building, which is zoned commercial, had been unlawfully used as a residence and a cabaret and lacked a secondary means of egress.

“After receiving a complaint, inspectors re-inspected the units on Monday and found that the vacate orders were not being complied with,” Mr. Sclafani said.  ”As a result, the department enforced the active vacate orders issued in March.”

Mr. Teichberg and his fellow Internet broadcasters plan to fight those orders in court.

The day after being ordered out, Mr. Teichberg said, he was looking in his apartment for legal documents when his landlord arrived. Mr. Chow told the police that Mr. Teichberg “pushed, shoved and kicked” him, a prosecutor said in court. But Mr. Teichberg denied that, saying that he had aimed a camera at Mr. Chow and told him that people were watching.

It was not the first encounter with the authorities for Mr. Teichberg, who moved to Queens with his parents when he was 10 and later studied math at Princeton University.

He gave up derivatives trading about a decade ago, alarmed he said, by measures like the Patriot Act, and plunged full time into documenting tensions between the police and protesters.  He has filmed Critical Mass bike rides in New York and the police hurling tear gas canisters at demonstrators and journalists during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Last year he went to Spain to document the protesters, known as indignados, who were holding general assembly meetings in Puerta del Sol square in Madrid and criticizing economic conditions there.

He returned to New York, married one of the protesters from Madrid, Nikky Schiller, and began organizing a live-streaming network to prepare for similar protests that he thought would take root in the United States.

As he stood outside the courthouse on Wednesday night Mr. Teichberg said that he was going to join Ms. Schiller for dinner.  Then, he said, he would go back to working on the live stream, which he said had played an important role in documenting the Occupy Wall Street protests.

“It creates an instantaneous eye that cannot be censored,” he said. “It is one of the most honest forms of journalism because you can’t even go back and edit yourself.”

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