Media silence after deputies attack journalists, protesters in Dallas

Independent journalists are attacked at Dealey Plaza, and their mainstream brethren react with a yawn. Why? Photo: Dealey Plaza screencap / Infowars

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2013 — Dallas County sheriff’s deputies employed brute force to crack down on Friday when boisterous protesters and independent journalists peacefully assembled at Dealey Plaza, about an hour after a ceremony commemorating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Fourty-eight hours later, most U.S. media and the international press remain silent about the military-style sweep, which was broadcast live over the internet and captured by multiple video cameras.

Dramatic footage shows a two-file column formation of several dozen Dallas County sheriff’s deputies marching past U.S. Department of Homeland Security SUVs and their operations command trailer as they initiate an assault on the group waiting in the cold rain.

SEE RELATED: Police assault protestors and journalists in Dallas

The protesters and journalists, led by Alex Jones of Infowars, appear to have been caught off-guard until the chaotic moment deputies descended on the crowd and immediately began shoving people. One deputy concealed his face with a black ski mask while other deputies violently pushed deep into the crowd yelling “move, move, move, move.”

The common practice whereby law enforcement officials make repeated announcements over loudspeaker ordering a crowd to disperse before taking any action appears to have been sidestepped completely, based on an initial review of video from the scene.

Carmen Castro, speaking on behalf of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, maintains that deputies ordered demonstrators several times to move and to “cease their disorderly conduct” which she characterized as having included the use of “profanity and obscenities,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Castro also claims that the protesters and journalists had to be moved because they were getting in the way of “not only private citizens who were attempting to pay their respects but also equipment that was in place for the event.”

As the deputies begin pushing Jones and those near him back into the crowd, the broadcaster appears confused, and can be heard on video asking a deputy, “Hey man, what are you doing? They let us in here.”

Within seconds the scene transforms from an exercise in the First Amendment to chaos, and witness accounts suggest that protesters and journalists, and also some children, risked injury trying to move as the deputies relentlessly pushed back the crowd.

The deafening silence of the mainstream media in the aftermath of the crackdown in Dallas — which carries sobering implications for freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press in the United States — is eerily reminiscent of the behavior of state-run media in China, where any mention of the Tiananmen Square massacre or other sensitive topics is taboo.

Among the journalists attacked at the plaza were staff from a number of alternative news outlets including Infowars, We Are Change and StoryLeak. The indifference of mainstream media to the attack could be related to the message Jones and the protesters attempted to deliver at Dealey Plaza: The mainstream media are complicit with the City of Dallas and the federal government in covering up a conspiracy to kill JFK. The media have been more interested in presenting a unified message to a domestic and international audience — that a lone gunman acted alone — than in the truth.

Moments before the crackdown, Jones lifted his bullhorn and unleashed a brutal attack on mainstream media and the police for protecting the federal government from justice in relation to the successive assassinations of JFK, his brother Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The official story is dead,” he screamed.

There is no way to cover the assault by the Dallas County deputies without drawing attention the message of the protesters, for whom few in the media would harbor much sympathy. 

By abdicating its responsibility to report on the disturbing events at Dealey Plaza, the media establishment not only discredits itself, but further isolates itself from the people. It remained encamped in a massive fortress of satellite uplink trucks, edit bays, and broadcast booths guarded by DHS Federal Protective Service police and local deputies as the latter attacked independent journalists only a few feet away.

At one point during the day David Knight of Infowars compared the city’s hyper-controlled JFK ceremony to a “Hunger Games” style propaganda ceremony. The city’s efforts to sanitize the entire affair were apparent as road pavers arrived at the last moment and literally steamrolled over the “X” mark where JFK was shot.

Tyranny operates incrementally. Those journalists who yesterday felt defended from an in-your-face confrontation with views contrary to the official story may one day wonder why they are being corralled by armed troops. Their fellow journalists who might otherwise defend them may no longer be there to rescue the First Amendment.


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Alan Jones

Alan Jones is an investigative journalist covering a wide range of areas.  He has worked in the financial industry and has lived overseas.


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