Posts Tagged ‘know your rights’

Folks interested in starting an occupation in the city of Richmond will be gathering at 5:30 pm this Thursday in Monroe Park to meet and begin talking about ideas.
An initial call has been made for the actual occupation to begin on Saturday October 15th.

Folks interested in an occupation but with little experience in protests are encouraged to stop by the Richmond Zine Fest this Saturday October 8th from 11-6pm to talk to members of Richmond Copwatch, the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross, and the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. The Richmond Zine Fest will be at the Gay Community Center of Richmond (attached to Diversity Thrift at 1407 Sherwood Avenue).

Richmond Copwatch will be hosting a Know Your Rights Training at 4pm at the Zine Fest. This training is intended to teach people what their legal rights are when dealing with the police, and how to assert them. This is very useful information for folks entering a protest or occupation type situation. It can help keep yourself as well as others safe.

Richmond Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting a Green Scare workshop at 2pm. This workshop is about recent activism in the US and the government oppression people have faced.

More information about both of these workshops is available at the Zine Fest’s website- www.richmondzinefest.com

Additionally, folks interested in the occupation are encouraged to come out to Richmond Food Not Bombs this Sunday to get some experience cooking for large groups of people. Cooking starts at 12:30 at 2005 Barton Avenue and continues until 3:45. Then we head to Monroe Park at 4pm to share a free vegan community meal. Afterwards, we go back to 2005 Barton Avenue to do cleanup.

Richmond had an occupation earlier in 2011, of a local park. More information about that occupation is online at www.monroeparkoccupation.wordpress.com Please check it out!

The link below is to an article written about the Occupation meme in the context of decolonization and indigenous struggles. It also addresses issues of democracy, race, and more. We encourage folks planning on participating in an Occupation to think critically about terms like 99% and to keep privilege, race, sex, gender, class, sexuality and more in mind throughout these occupations.

http://earthspiritandanarchy.blogspot.com/2011/10/america-is-already-occupied-its-time-to.html

More about the Richmond Occupation: Occupy Richmond is part of the larger national movement originating from Occupy Wall St. to COLLECTIVELY VOICE OUR DISAPPROVAL OF THE INTERMESHING OF GOVERNMENT AND CORRUPTED CAPITALISM. WE UNITE AS 99% of THE AMERICAN POPULATION.
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Join Richmond Copwatch at the 2011 Richmond Zine Fest on October 8th from 11 to 6 at the Gay Community Center of Richmond at 1407 Sherwood Avenue.

4pm- Know Your Rights Workshop with Richmond Copwatch
This workshop will help participants learn the basics of asserting their rights when dealing with the police. We highly recommend this workshop for EVERYONE. But especially anyone who engages in any level of political protest or demonstrations.This workshop consists of skits that are performed by Copwatch members and then edited by participants from the audience. We encourage participation, questions, and dialogue around the topics covered in the skit. We are not lawyers, but we are able to provide useful information about a lot of legal questions.

For more information about this workshop or Richmond Copwatch you can call 804 303 5449 or email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com
Richmond Copwatch is a non-hierarchical organization 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 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…)

I was present tonight around Jackson Ward with the intent to observe police activity in the area. Given the marked police aggression at prior months’ First Fridays events, and our observation of August’s in particular, we anticipated  more unwarranted aggressive conduct from the Richmond Police Department, despite this month’s event being officially canceled. I arrived with Y at roughly 6pm, and met up with Z. We organized our Know-Your-Rights literature to hand out to passers-by, got our cameras ready, and set out down the street.

The first thing we ran into was the RPD’s Mobile Command Center, which was parked on Broad Street and then moved behind the Hess Station at Broad and Belvidere, along with a few police vans. We then came to observe roughly 50+ officers posted in the area, mostly in groups of 3-10, standing at intersections and bus stops waiting around. They were all suited up with bulletproof vests, some with tactical/crowd control gear. There were also several squad cars on the street, their respective officers engaged with the task of towing cars not compliant with the temporary parking restrictions imposed for the night. These restrictions had also been imposed at August’s First Fridays event, and everyone present witnessed the entirety of Broad Street cleared between Belvidere and Adams St. Again, tonight we saw at least four tow trucks diligently moving vehicles.  (more…)

Members of Richmond Copwatch will be briefing July 4th Critical Mass participants on asserting their rights and interacting with the police  should that become an issue.

Some literature will be available and copwatchers will actively address any questions or concerns. Briefing will take place   at Rite-Aid (Belvidere and Broad) prior to the ride (approx. 11:45-12:00  depending on arrival of riders).

Feel free to bring your own camera to record the fun and maybe the Fuzz!

You can also brush up beforehand  and download a copy of the snazzy new Richmond Bike Laws zine here-

http://zinelibrary.info/richmond-bike-laws-zine

Richmond Copwatch will be facilitating a Know Your Rights Workshop at the July Really Really Free Market at 1pm. The Really Really Free Market is at the corner of Main and Laurel streets in Monroe Park. It is always on the last Saturday of every month, so this event will be on July 30th.

This workshop will help participants learn the basics of asserting their rights when dealing with the police. We highly recommend this workshop for EVERYONE. But especially anyone who engages in any level of political protest or demonstrations.This workshop consists of skits that are performed by Copwatch members and then edited by participants from the audience. We encourage participation, questions, and dialogue around the topics covered in the skit. We are not lawyers, but we are able to provide useful information about a lot of legal questions.

For more information about this workshop or Richmond Copwatch you can call 804 303 5449 or email sbhcopwatch@gmail.com

The monthly really Really Free Market happens on the last Saturday of each month from noon until 3pm.  It is an alternative to the capitalist “free market” where everything actually is free. People come to share things they no longer need or want, share skills, share music, etc. You can find out more about the RRFM at rvaradicalendar.blogspot.com

Richmond Copwatch’s monthly meeting will be on Tuesday June 28th at 7pm at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.

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 rvacopwatch@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

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective has just finished a zine with information on Bike Laws in the state of Virginia, as well as general tips, and information about Critical Mass Bike Rides. We see knowing bike laws as going hand in hand with the Know Your Rights type of work that we do with Richmond Copwatch.

The text of the zine is below, and you can also download a copy at: http://zinelibrary.info/richmond-bike-laws-zine

We will be distributing the zine at the July 4th Critical Mass, which is starting at 12pm at the Rite Aid at Broad and Belvidere.

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Biking in Richmond, Virginia

This zine is a creation of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective in Richmond, Virginia. It is meant to be a reference and guide for all people who ride bikes in the city of Richmond. Most of the content of this zine is based on the laws about riding bikes in Virginia found on the VDOT website. Our re-publication of these laws does NOT mean that we support all of these laws or are making any sort of ethical judgement about them one way or the other. We think it is important for all bike riding people to know these laws so that they can assert their rights. Having this guide on hand may be useful when cyclists are stopped by cops, or are being harassed by people in cars. Be aware of the laws. Know when you are or are not in compliance with the laws.

Helping cyclists learn their rights, so they can assert their rights, fits in with a lot of the work currently being done by the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. We participate in Richmond Copwatch, which does general Know Your Rights trainings to help people understand what their rights are when dealing with the police in general situations. Specific Know Your Rights information is a logical extension of the Copwatch project. If you ride a bike on a regular basis, knowing the laws, and therefore knowing your rights can help make your experiences more pleasant and less harassed. Nothing irks a cop more than a person who knows the laws more than they do, and isn’t afraid to assert their rights under the law! (more…)

We have finished putting together a zine for Richmond Copwatch- Included in this zine are the Copwatch Mission Statement and Objectives, Know Your Rights Information, Information about FOIA, Alternatives to Calling the Police, Talk to Neighbors not Police ideas, and more! You can pickup a copy at the Wingnut (for free, but donations to support the copying of the zine appreciated) or download a copy off of zine library.

http://zinelibrary.info/richmond-copwatch-zine

 

Front and back cover

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What to Expect When You Are Expecting… To Be Arrested
Richmond Legal Process Guideline for Anarchists and Others

This is an outline for some important things to keep in mind when embarking on any enterprise which may lead to police detainment or arrest.

This guideline is specifically aimed at folks who might be at risk for arrest due to the political nature of their activities – from protests to civil disobedience to other forms of direct action.

Even when it is no one’s intention to be arrested, the police state will do what it do.

Preparing ahead of time, mentally and logistically can make both those incarcerated and their support network a lot less stressed out.

This guideline is a work in progress and we encourage any suggestions or additions – let us know at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

This text is available online at: http://www.wingnutrva.org

The Wingnut Anarchist Collective house on the Northside of Richmond. The Wingnut is a sober space- no booze, no drugs, no macho bullshit. The Wingnut has resources such as free zines and literature, tools, and comfy couches to offer the community. We are down with hosting meetings or events for other groups. We will likely host workshops in the future on using certain tools. If there are workshops you want to do but you need a location feel free to contact us. You can bring donations for the Really Really Free Market or Food Not Bombs by anytime. We are also willing to host acoustic shows and events like benefit dinners if they are sober. Just talk to us! Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 7 is Craft Night, bring projects you are working on, projects you want to be working on, random supplies, sewing projects, collaborative art ideas etc. Every Sunday is Food Not Bombs- come by around 1 to help decide on a meal, wash and cut produce, cook food, wash dishes, and then take it to Monroe Park to share with the community!

Before the event/action/whateverweliveinapolicestateforgoodnessake

Know Your Rights Training (Richmond Copwatch offers this training for free!)

Security Culture Training (Wingnut Anarchist Collective offers this training for free!)

Group discussion with participants if possible- to discuss goals of event, response to police, etc. ie. if its civil disobedience then maybe a goal is for people to be arrested. But if you are not trying to get arrested what is the plan? Where should people meet up? etc.

Action briefings combined with a kind of pep rally can be really important. Get everyone together to talk about their experiences getting arrested and going through the legal system. This is especially helpful for people who have never been arrested before who are really pumped and scared at the same time. (more…)