The Occupy Wall Street protests went from 9 students in an NYC park, to thousands of participants all over the world in less than a month. Now well past it's 30th day, #OWS participants are getting clever about ways to communicate and avoid arrest.
Technology, especially smart phones and social media, has been essential to the growth and success of Occupations around the country. Protesters are able to communicate with each other and the public in a matter of seconds instead of waiting for events to be filtered through the slow, negative lens of the mainstream media.
Occupying a public space in any town comes with the risk of arrest, and the last thing protesters want is to spend unnecessary time in custody.
That's why Quadrant 2 developed the “I’m Getting Arrested" app. Apparently inspired by “a real Occupy Wall Street incident,” the app allows Android users (sorry iPhone owners!) to alert their lawyer (should probably be on speed dial anyway), loved ones, community organizers ... that you are being arrested with just one click.
If you're headed out to an Occupy Wall Street protest, this app won't prevent you from getting arrested, but it could help speed up the bail out process. Also keep in mind that cops are well aware that protesters are carrying smart phones, just waiting for a chance to upload bad behavior to the Web.
Officers monitoring #OWS events may seize protestors’ phones to mine their troves of contact information. With that in mind, it’s worth checking out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Cell Phone Guide for Occupy Wall Street Protestors (and Everyone Else) before plunging ahead to protest with your cell phone.