So spoke the lawyer representing Freddie Gray’s family at a news conference this morning.
“could not talk, could not breathe”
reads the sign on a protestor’s cardboard placard.
I’m not talking about the rights and wrongs of Baltimore- if you want to read about the day of Freddie Gay’s funeral read Mashable. I’m interested in the way the protest is being framed, its Vice and Buzzfeed bringing us the news and its technology that’s doing the reporting,
Progress for black America is happening, in part, not because they can talk (for the most part their is still no voice for their indignation) but from the videos of brutality that are posted and watched by millions.
In “1984” George Orwell had a vision of a police state ruled by video surveillance. Now it’s not Big Brother watching us, but us watching Big Brother.
And it is as if America is having it’s own Black Spring. with technology being used to give those who had no way to talk, a voice,
The camera cannot lie – (well not until someone learns how to photoshop video) and the testimony of the cell-phone and the photos (such as that which heads this blog) are replacing rhetoric as the instrument of change.
Watch out world
If technology is setting Black America free from its oppression then watch out world! The CCTV cameras that watch me from morn to night keep the streets of the City of London honest, but the same digital records can (and will) be turned on those who work within the offices that line them.
The Banks are finding that they cannot escape the scrutiny of the all watching digital eye, another £19bn. of fines is predicted in a report this morning. The same will be said of the fund managers, brokers ,traders, custodians and other intermediaries who chip away at the net asset value of our savings.
Some may think it distasteful to link brutal oppression with white collar crime, but I am not talking here about the local incidents. I am talking about progress and change – things that happen when you shine the light on things.
Democratising information and knowledge
Technology was in the hands of the police, but now it is in the hands of those who hold the police to account.
The asymmetry of information that has allowed those who manage our money is now rebalancing itself. In a short-time, customers of the banks, fund managers and other financial stewards they employ, will have an eye to what is happening and those who are under scrutiny had better be aware of that.
Just like the police in every other American town, who will think twice before brutalising those who “could not speak- could not breath”.