Originally published in Popular Resistance
The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall St.
The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street created a giant eye to focus on the issue of retina (biometric) scans.
Claire Lebowitz and Keegan Stephan were arrested on the evening of January 10th 2012 when the barricades came down around Zuccotti Park and the Occupy Wall Street community joyously streamed in to celebrate and reconnect with each other and the ground that launched the waves of public protest in the United States in 2011. They were arrested for lying down on a bench and charged with trespass, resisting arrest and obstructing government administration. Lebowitz subsequently spent 36 hours in jail for refusing to submit to an iris scan program which has serious privacy concerns and no public oversight. The collection of biometric data on every person arrested for any reason (including lying down on a bench) in New York City is troubling especially since the technology now exists to scan a crowd with an iphone sized devise and identify irises.
Claire and Keegan have mounted a challenge to their detention in Federal court. To learn more and donate for court costs, go here.