Posts Tagged ‘first fridays art walk’

Richmond Copwatch will be out on December 2nd to observe and record the police during December’s First Friday. We will be meeting at 6:00pm at the statue in in Festival Park. All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Festival Park is located between Fifth and Seventh Streets, adjacent to the Richmond Coliseum (which is at 601 East Leigh Street, downtown).
The park between the former 6th Street Marketplace and the Richmond Coliseum is called Nina F. Abady Festival Park.

Festival Park is open until 3am so this will be a safe, public place to meet even after dark.

We will present a How to Copwatch training, in order to try to get everyone the information they need to be safe and effective.

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook/paper for taking notes and recording information

We will be doing patrols of the First Friday Art Walk with a focus on recording police interactions with people. This is meant to curb the level of violence in the RPD’s crowd control tactics during this event, and to ensure there is a record of evidence when police brutality and violence occurs.

Depending on the number of Copwatchers who show up, we will likely split into two or more working groups and begin patrols shortly after 7:00pm. If there is not much of a police presence, we might keep patrols short and encourage folks to attend the Shockoe Bottom Copwatch Patrol the following day (Saturday Dec. 3rd meet at 10pm in front of Main Street Station).

Come out for as much or as little of First Friday as you are able. If you cannot find us, the point of contact for December’s First Friday Copwatch patrol will be (804) 300-0023.

Fair warning: Copwatchers expose themselves to a certain level of legal risk and police harrassment. If, like us, you refuse to be intimidated by these thuggish oppression tactics, come and join us!

You can get in touch with Richmond Copwatch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or (804) 303-5449, or come to the Copwatch meeting on December 27th at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

 

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Richmond Copwatch is planning to continue its patrols of First Fridays in downtown Richmond in the month of October. Join us, meeting at the fountain in Monroe Park at 6pm on Friday October 7th. Bring cameras- video or still, cell phones, flashlights or headlamps, water and snacks if you have them. Please dress for the weather and with shoes you are comfortable walking around in for a couple of hours.

If you are able to, we recommend that you get in touch with Copwatch ahead of time for a Know Your Rights training and a brief How to Copwatch training. We will coordinate groups for that evening in the park, and also arrange for a group debriefing at the end of the night.

August was the first month we did an official patrol of the First Fridays event (after over a year of doing Copwatch in Richmond), and one Copwatcher had a tazer put in their face by a Richmond Cop. In September, a smaller patrol went out and was assaulted and harassed by the Richmond police, culminating in one member of Copwatch being arrested at the end of the night on bogus charges. We refuse to be intimidated by the illegal actions of the Richmond Police Department. The aggressive, illegal, and unprofessional behavior of the Richmond Police Department as a whole, simply goes to show the necessity of Copwatch, and the regular observing and recording of a police force as long as one exists. Beyond that the continued violent and oppressive behavior of many members of the Richmond Police Department goes to show the systemic nature of problems with police- problems that will be solved not through reform, but through abolition. As long as the police congregate on Broad Street to oppress and antagonize largely youth of color in order to maintain the gentrifying aspects of the First Fridays Artwalk, Copwatch will be there.

In October we will be doing patrols of this event, cameras in hand. If you are interested in joining us for the patrol, please get in touch, (more…)

2 new sources of commentary on Richmond’s First Friday’s Art Walk – one article from a member of Richmond Copwatch, and the audio from local journalist Kontra’s radio show on WRIR!

Please take the time to listen to this audio clip and pass it on. It is a great analysis of the First Friday’s situation and touches on lots of larger issues for Richmond in general. Kontra’s radio show:

http://kromatic.org/audio/FirstFriday.mp3

Article:

http://anarchymo.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/why-i-want-to-protect-first-fridays/