Michael Premo

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Michael Premo
OccupationActivist, artist
Years active2005-present[1]
Known forOccupy Wall Street

Michael Premo is an artist, activist and organizer who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.[1][2] He played a role in the Occupy Wall Street[3] and Occupy Sandy movements.[1] He co-directed one documentary and directed another about volunteer movements.[4] and created the documentary project Housing is a Human Right.[5]


On October 30, 2012, one day after Hurricane Sandy hit the New York region, Premo and three friends drove to the Red Hook Initiative and subsequently created Occupy Sandy after posting a note on Inner Occupy.[6][1] Sandy Storyline, a participatory documentary co-directed by Premo, grew out of the Occupy Sandy relief effort to collect and share stories about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on neighborhoods, communities and lives. Sandy Storyline won the inaugural Transmedia award at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.[7]

Also in 2012, Premo was an organizer in New York for Occupy Our Homes, which protested at housing auctions to support those affected by a foreclosure crisis during that era.[8]

In March 2013, Premo was found not guilty in the first jury trial stemming from an Occupy Wall Street protest.[9][10] Premo was arrested on December 17, 2011 and charged with assaulting an NYPD officer. Prosecutors argued and the arresting officer gave sworn testimony that Premo "charged the police like a linebacker, taking out a lieutenant and resisting arrest so forcefully that he fractured an officer's bone." The defense located a video taken by freelancer Jon Gerberg which contradicted the sworn testimony, instead showing officers "tackling [Premo] as he attempted to get back on his feet." Prosecutors claimed no video of Premo's arrest existed, yet the Gerberg video clearly showed an NYPD officer also filming Premo's arrest. One author wrote that "information provided by the NYPD in the trial was fabricated to such a degree that the allegations made by the police officers have turned out to be quite literally the opposite of what actually happened."[11]

In 2017, Premo directed a 22-minute film, titled Water Warriors that chronicles a movement about fracking. The film showed at the Tribeca Festival in April 2017.[12] It premiered in New York.[13]


  • Khatib, K.; Killjoy, M.; McGuire, M.; Graeber, D. (2012). "Unlocking the Radical Imagination". We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation. AK Press. ISBN 978-1-84935-117-1.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d MacFarquhar, Larissa (November 3, 2012). "Occupy Sandy". New Yorker.
  2. ^ "Join NESRI in supporting people's movements for human rights". www.nesri.org.
  3. ^ "2012=1968?". New York magazine.
  4. ^ Sandy Storyline | 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Archived 2013-11-03 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Vo, Tam (18 March 2010). "'Housing Is a Human Right' Documents Struggle For Home". Huffington Post – via Huff Post.
  6. ^ Dickson, Caitlin (3 November 2012). "Occupy Wall Street Takes on Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts". The Daily Beast.
  7. ^ Dollar, Steve (26 April 2013). "Laos-Set Drama Earns Top Honors at Tribeca". Wall Street Journal – via www.wsj.com.
  8. ^ "What's next for Occupy Wall Street? Activists target foreclosure crisis". 29 January 2012 – via Christian Science Monitor.
  9. ^ Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony [Updated: VIDEO] - New York - News - Runnin' Scared Archived 2014-04-14 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ NYPD lied under oath to prosecute Occupy activist — RT USA Archived 2014-04-14 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Pinto, Nick (March 8, 2013). "Why the Police in Michael Premo's Occupy Wall Street Trial Are Unlikely To Face Perjury Charges". Village Voice.
  12. ^ Letterick, Kate (June 12, 2017). "'I was deeply moved': Director hopes to bring anti-fracking film to N.B. - CBC News". CBC News Radio.
  13. ^ Lee, Ashley (March 2, 2017). "Opening Night - Tribeca Film Festival Lineup Includes Whitney Houston, ISIS, Rodney King Riots Docs". Hollywood Reporter.

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