Today I received a DVD from the DHS lawyers which has the video files from my memorycard which was confiscated on 2009-11-09 after I was arrested for filming on federal property the arrest of Julian Heicklen. Below is footage from the interview performed minutes before the arrest and of the arrest itself. Footage from the secondary camera I wore can be found here.
Had thought I uploaded all the footage I thought was worth it from the 2010 FSP PorcFest… but it seems I missed something. My friend Marcus from the Nothing Project performing. If you like what you hear pick up his CD or download it for free.
I better go check to make sure I didn’t miss anything else :-)
So, previously I reported on how I had requested postage and handling after the IRS told me they owed me less than $1 and had to send them a letter requesting it to actually be cut a check. That original letter was sent out in June. In September I received an update indicating they were still figuring out how to respond. Today I received two letters from the IRS. One dated November, 9th and one November 10th, 2010. Below are the contents in part:
November 9th, 2010:
We previously sent you a letter concerning your inquiry received July 09, 2010. Although we try to respond quickly, extensive research is often required. At this time we are unable to provide a complete response because:
Due to heavy workload, we have not yet completed our research to resolve your inquiry.
While waiting to hear from us, you can still make payments to reduce your tax liability and interest charges. …
Please allow an additional 45 days for us to obtain this information we need and to let you know what action we are taking.
November 10th, 2010:
Thank you for your correspondence received July 09, 2010.
We have completed the transaction request package for your refund request and sent it forward for management approval. When that is done it will be sent to our Accounting center for input and generation of the refund check. We cannot reimburse you for the postage claim you submitted. Persons writing the IRS are responsible for their own postage expenses.
We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank your for your cooperation.
Area Director, FA, Area 4
So… they tell me they are willing to return some of my money but because it’s less than $1 I have to ask for it explicitly otherwise they keep it. Instead of just cutting me the check in the first place.
I ask for postage and handling because combined they cost more than my refund and not only does it take 5ish months and a couple letters telling me they are still researching the request… but they then deny the request to cover the postage AND have to get the $0.60ish refund approved by management!
I’d love to know how much they spent on this above salary since the pencil pushers would be paid regardless of whether they got my letter or not. Four or five letters (each two pages), two envelops, plus the paperwork to make this all happen internally, plus the cutting of the check and it’s envelop. It’s got to be over 10x the refund.
I’ll post an update when the check or any other letters arrive.
My new project. Been working on it off and on for a year. Finally and the motivation to really finish it up once I came across the Ushahidi project. The idea is to document abuses perpetrated by agents of the State. To provide a database, a means to document incidents, to visualize them.
Please check the site out. Contribute. Give me some feedback. Subscribe to the RSS feed, sign up for an alert, and if you know anyone who would like to help theme the site send them my way. Also, ‘Like’ the FB page.
- LENS, New York Times: You Can Photograph That Federal Building by David W. Dunlap
- Courthouse News Service: U.S. Settles Lawsuit Over Courthouse Photo Ban by Barbara Leonard
- NECN: Settlement announced in NY lawsuit over photo ban
- Pixiq: Feds Agree to Settlement That Photography of Public Buildings is Legal by Carlos Miller
- Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Photography Now Officially Permitted Outside Federal Court
- The Olympian: Feds: People can snap photos outside courthouses
- Reason: Right to Take Photos of Federal Buildings Vindicated
- MSNBC: Feds: People can snap photos outside courthouses
- Harald Online: Feds: People can snap photos outside courthouses
- The Washington Post: Photographer wins settlement over arrest
- The Gothamist: Photographer’s Rights Upheld In Court
- PDN Online: Homeland Security To Allow Photography Outside Federal Buildings
- The DCist: Feds Affirm Photographers’ Rights
- The Washington Post, Federal Eye: Right to photograph federal buildings upheld
- Amateur Photographer: PHOTOGRAPHERS FORCE PICS IN PUBLIC POLICY U-TURN
- LA County Libertarian Examiner: Homeland Security settles with liberty activist, pays damages and concedes public’s right to film
- BoingBoing: Feds forced to admit that it’s legal to take pictures of federal buildings
- We Love DC: Photographers get a win
- Federal Jack: You Can Photograph That Federal Building
- British Journal of Photography: US Homeland Security deparment settles photography rights case
- Change.org: Court Rules It’s Safe to Take Pictures of Federal Buildings — But is It?
- The Washington Post: A win for shutterbugs
- About.com: Is It Illegal To Photograph Federal Buildings?