On Monday 9 September 2002, Urban Warrior, a film by Matt Ehling about the militarization of America's police forces, was screened at the Judson Memorial Church, which is just south of Washington Square Park. Though he wasn't interviewed for or involved in the production of this movie (which is mostly about the 1999 protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization), Bill Brown of the New York Surveillance Camera Players (SCP-New York) was a member of the panel that spoke afterwards.
Before the event started, Bill did a quick interview and walked through Washington Square Park with Marisa Cespedes, a news correspondent with Televisa, a Mexican TV station. Like many foreign TV stations, Televisa wanted to get something or, rather, even more on the air concerning the one year anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks; its New York office had contacted Bill a few days before. As a matter of fact, Bill was interviewed by a several different foreign news teams in the days preceding the anniversary.
Like the others, Televisa focused upon the domestic aspect of the Bush Administration's "war on terrorism": the curtailment of civil liberties in the name of national security. The two-minute-long segment was composed of two main strands: one, probably recorded earlier in the day, that showed the security measures that have been taken in New York City since 11 September 2001 (identity check-points at places like the Empire State Building and the United Nations, well-armed National Guard troops stationed at transportation hubs, and air patrols by police helicopters and Air Force F-16 fighter planes); and one strand consisting of shots of the surveillance cameras in Washington Square Park and the interview with Bill (two extended remarks), plus a couple of very brief interviews (conducted in Spanish) with passers-by in Washington Square Park. Both strands were narrated (and linked together) by Marisa Cespedes herself.
Her report was obviously sympathetic to the SCP-New York, in particular, to its efforts to get the police to put "warning" signs on or near their surveillance cameras (which are otherwise nearly impossible to spot). But her report was also among the worst from a technical stand-point. In one of the passer-by interviews, the lighting is so bright that the guy has to shield his eyes in order to look in the right direction. By contrast, in Bill's interview, there are shadows and dark spots everywhere (everywhere there shouldn't be any!). Even worse (to the point of being funny) is the fact that a woman's voice (the reporter's own!) is used in the voice-over translation of what Bill is saying. The deadline was so tight that they couldn't find a Spanish-speaking man to do it in time!
By e-mail SCP@notbored.org
By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998