Posts Tagged ‘watch cops’

Join Southern Barton Heights Copwatch on Friday July 6th at 8pm to participate in a Copwatch Patrol of the First Fridays Artwalk on Broad Street.

Meet at 422 West Broad, in front of the Made RVA General Store.

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, and also arrange for a group debriefing at the end of the night.

August of 2011 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 July 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, so we know how many cameras and other equipment to bring out with us. We will start patrols around 8:30pm, and keep going until everyone is tired. We will try to make ourselves visible for folks who might just want to have conversations through out the night.

This will be a chance for folks who have never experienced Copwatch to talk with experienced copwatchers and get some training as to how to safely observe and record the police.

You can get in touch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or 804 303 5449 or come to the Copwatch meeting on the 4th Tuesday of each month  at 7pm at 2005 Barton Avenue

Advertisements

May’s Copwatch meeting will be held on Tuesday May 24th at 7pm.

Anyone interested in getting trained to copwatch, in hosting a Know Your Rights training, in starting a copwatch branch in their neighborhood or something else is encouraged to come to this meeting. We will also be talking about upcoming fundraisers, future events, new literature and material, and new strategies.

Copwatch Mission Statement:

Richmond Copwatch is a non-heirarchical network of groups dedicated to ending police abuse. We believe that monitoring and recording police interactions with community members is a vital first step towards ensuring accountability and protecting ourselves and our communities. We are committed to anti-authoritarian principles and seek to transform the nature of the police and explore alternative methods of community conflict resolution.

Richmond Copwatch’s Goals:

1) Reduce police violence by directly observing the police on the street, documenting incidents and keeping police accountable. We provide support to victims whenever possible. We also seek to educate the public about their rights, police conduct in the community and issues related to the role of police in our society.

2) Empower and unite the community to resist police abuse. We will do this by sharing information with the community, conducting “Know Your Rights” trainings, sponsoring rallies, supporting victims and other community based efforts to deal with the problem.

3) Encourage people to solve problems WITHOUT police intervention. We want to explore alternatives to calling the police.

4) Encourage people to exercise their right to observe the police and to advocate for one another.

5) Provide assistance in the formation of neighborhood cop watch groups in areas where they do not currently exist, and provide networking information for neighborhoods that do already have cop watch groups.

For more information, you can contact Richmond Copwatch by email at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or by phone at (804) 303-5449.

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is at 2005 Barton Avenue. You can find out more by calling 303 5449 or emailing wingnut_collective@yahoo.com