A photojournalist’s home was tagged and his car’s tires were slashed as vandals in Olympia targeted the city’s newspaper overnight Wednesday.
At the headquarters for the Olympian, the vandals poured acid or a corrosive liquid on the newspaper’s windows, and painted the message “Overman snitch” in black.
Tony Overman is an award-winning photojournalist at the newspaper whose own home in nearby Tumwater was also targeted. Vandals tagged his home with anarchist symbols and slashed his tires.
Overman believes anarchists are trying to intimidate him from taking their pictures during public marches.
“This is an organized effort to name me specifically, and come to my house and terrorize me,” he said. “That’s really freaking scary.”
Overman was assaulted last year when a woman spray-painted his face and camera as he photographed an anti-police brutality march. His published photos were later used to identify and convict the woman.
The photographer’s images of a man throwing rocks at a bank were also used by prosecutors. Overman believes that group is now sending him a message, but says he won’t be intimidated.
“I’m not going to live in a town where a group of masked thugs gets to just wander the town, terrorizing people. I’m not going to allow that to happen. As a journalist, I’m going to tell that story,” he said.
The photographer says it’s ironic that anarchists who champion their right to free speech may be behind an effort to deny the press freedom.
“Hopefully, the community recognizes that an attack on a journalist is an attack on that community,” Overman said.
Very true, Mr. Overman. Although Pacific North-West anarchists are yet to live up to Your Black Muslim Bakery, I can’t help noticing that Oakland’s been rather quiet lately. For instance, there was no riot on the day of Johannes Mehserle release. Could it be that a certain illusive citizen journalist is keeping rioters at bay?