revolution, televised

How to Livestream Seattle Protests

Can't march? The Black Lives Matter–inspired demonstrations are a click away.

By Marisa Comeau-Kerege June 5, 2020

From their Capitol Hill apartment, the Frosts broadcast images of protesters holding umbrellas to block possible tear gas from the police.

At the intersection of 11th Avenue and Pine Street, thousands of protesters bunched against a metal fence; on the other side, lines of Seattle Police Department officers waited in neat lines. Several stories above them, Capitol Hill resident Jessica Frost held her phone out the window for hours on end, documenting the action—and livestreaming it around the globe.

Jessica and Brandon Frost realized early in the Black Lives Matter-inspired protests that they could use their window views to document events happening below. Since May 31, they've broadcast from their corner apartment (EDIT: updated link to livestreams here), first making makeshift tripods out of cardboard boxes. By June 1, the couple’s videos had 1.1 million views on Facebook alone. With the help of equipment from a currently out-of-work media company, the couple has created a new multi-camera setup for the weekend.

In the middle of a worldwide pandemic, many people are still staying home to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus. The livestreams have thus given those in quarantine an opportunity to feel connected to what's happening on our streets without assuming any health risk. The 11th and Pine location, between Cal Anderson Park and the SPD's East Precinct, has been the site of large gatherings for several days in a row.

“We recognize that we're kind of in a space of privilege here, one to be able to be on the inside of the house instead of outside during these protests, and also that these protests aren't about us,” says Brandon. “I want to try and utilize that position of power that we have not earned. We have to elevate the voices that are so often ignored.”

Theirs isn’t the only feed out there. Many more are broadcasting, some from the streets—many of the protests are mobile, working through Capitol Hill, downtown, and the Central District.

Jessica and Brandon Frost

Running almost around the clock, the Frosts have captured much of the past week of Seattle protesting—including several clashes between protesters and police, flash bangs, and tear gas. Friday night they debut their four-camera setup on Facebook. (EDIT: updated link)

Omari Salisbury

A citizen journalist with Converge Media and Africatown, Salisbury has been livestreaming the protests every day. His group also hosts the Morning Show Update every day at 11am. He is on Twitter and Facebook.

Matt Thompson

From his slightly eastern vantage point, another Capitol Hill resident gives a view further behind police lines via Facebook.

Live from the Field

At a Facebook page launched on the sixth day of protest, streams are live for four hours at a time.

The Stranger

Seattle's indie-minded newspaper has been livestreaming hour-long videos on Instagram from different perspectives for the last couple of days.

(Edit 6/8/20): Shawn Whiting

This Twitter user has been live streaming protests on Periscope for the last few days and narrates to explain what’s going on.


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