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Dance, Dance Revolution Protest at Insert Coins Las Vegas – Feb. 26, 2015 (Update)

Insert Coins Condones Violent BouncersThe following press release is being issued by Nevada Cop Block, Southern Nevada Watchdogs, and the Sunset Activist Collective in regards to an event being held in response to a Feb. 12, 2015 incident, in which a man was beaten by security guards employed by Insert Coins on the public sidewalk in front of their business on Fremont Street, in Las Vegas. The egregious nature of that incident, as well as the continued refusal to address the actions

Insert Coins Protest

You Can’t Wash Away the Truth

of their security staff by the management of Insert Coins, has and will continue to prompt actions to bring attention to this incident for as long as is necessary.

You can view the original story about Insert Coins’ overly aggressive and violent bouncers and the condoning of that behavior by Insert Coins owner ,Chris Laporte, here and you can watch the video of them beating a man while he is already lying on the ground defenseless here. The Facebook invite page for this event can be found here. Join us and bring your dancing shoes.
Dance Dance Revolution at Insert Coins

It’s the Real Dance, Dance Revolution!

8:30 PM Thursday, February 26th
On the public sidewalk in front of Insert Coin(s) – Located at 512 E. Fremont St.

This is no game, but we know how to have fun with a serious matter. Since word spread about the homeless man getting beat up outside Insert Coin(s) by security (full story and link to video are included below), word of a potential dance protest has also spread and this Thursday, Insert Coin(s) is holding a weekly “futurefunk” show where the flyer states “Dancers Welcome.” Dancing is surely being encouraged. So it is time. Bring your dance moves, no need to be a good dancer or even have any experience. We can dance if we want to, on the public sidewalk outside their property, without having to fear that their bouncers will beat us.

Our goals are for Insert Coin(s) to:
1) Terminate those responsible for brutality perpetrated on a member of the community.
2) Formal apology to the brutalized party
3) Drop the charges against the brutalized party
4) Formal retraction of defamation against the injuries party for wrongful, unsubstantiated accusations of misconduct.

As well as for the general public including the downtown community:
5) To be able to walk, dance, stand or sit on public sidewalks without fear of retribution, retaliation or brutality.

Backstory:

Recently, an unidentified (at this point) man was beaten and then choked while he was already on the ground by security guards working for Insert Coins outside the bar on the public sidewalk. Although it doesn’t show what happened immediately before on the public video, it’s been reported that the security guard involved in the beating was the instigator, based on the surveillance tape.

Regardless of whatever might have happened beforehand, beating and choking someone after they are already on the ground and rendered defenseless by three bouncers is wrong and it is pretty clear that that is what is happening in the video. Further, a fourth bouncer attempted to prevent a witness from recording the assault. later a fifth bouncer, who actually works for the Griffin (across the street), took that witnesses phone away from him, broke it, and assaulted him as well, in order to keep it from being recorded.

Finally, an officer from the LVMPD, who was responding to the call, refused to talk to the witness, view the video he told him he had, or in any way try to discern what had happened. Instead he told that witness to “get the [email protected]!! out of here!” and arrested the person that had been beaten.

YouTube Description from attorney Stephen Stubbs:
“On the evening of February 12, 2015, A man (who appeared to be homeless and/or under the influence of drugs/alcohol) was dancing on the sidewalk in front of Insert Coins on Fremont Street.

Security guards were yelling at him to leave and the dancing man ignored them (continued dancing). When the Security guards taunted the dancing man to attack them, my client (who does not wish to come forward with his identity) took out his phone and started recording.

A security guard attacked the dancing man, beat him up and continued to choke and beat him even after he was lying motionless on the ground. A plain closed security guard tried to obstruct my client from videotaping the incident and even physically pushed him away.

A security guard from the Griffin on Fremont then crossed the street, attacked my client, grabbed his phone and smashed it on the ground (destroying it).

Free Radical Movie Night Screening – “30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle” Fri. Oct. 24th

Oct. 24th Radical Movie Night “30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

Oct. 24th Radical Movie Night

September’s debut of the Las Vegas Radical Movie Night went well enough that we will now be doing two showings per month. So, on every second and fourth Friday of the month the Sunset Activist Collective (along with Nevada Cop Block and Food Not Bombs Las Vegas) will host a free screening of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value.

The location where Radical Movie Nights will take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)

In order to coincide with the national Day of Action Against Police Brutality, which is held annually on Oct. 22nd (for more info see: http://www.october22.org/) October’s screenings will involve movies that relate to police abuses. On October 24th we will be showing “30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle” a documentary about the demonstrations during the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle in 1999 and the police response to those demonstrations. (RSVP on Facebook here)

This film was one of the first to show large scale demonstrations from the perspective of those within the demonstrations. It also was in many cases the first time the average viewer saw uncensored and candid depictions of police tactics toward protesters and the way in which they often incited or even staged incidents within the protests in order to justify arresting and in many cases assaulting even peaceful protesters.

30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

The level of organization, number of people participating, and type of tactics involved were all beyond what had been seen during any modern protests in the United States. For many years afterwards the “Battle of Seattle,” as it is often referred, was used as a sort of template for demonstrations both by protesters and the police.

About the Movie via Bullfrog Films (http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/30fr.html):

“30 Frames A Second: The WTO in Seattle, is a compelling first-person account of the events that unfolded during the week the World Trade Organization came to Seattle in November of 1999. It’s told from the perspective of 15-year veteran network news cameraman Rustin Thompson, who covered the WTO as an independent journalist. It is the story of how Thompson’s objective point-of-view evolved into a subjective account of what became an unscheduled, unruly outbreak of democracy.

Thompson, who had press credentials for the event, takes the viewer into the fray of tear gas, pepper spray, and police abuse; behind the lines and inside the convention center and press rooms; and along the marches, sit-ins, and demonstrations. His dynamic, up-close footage captures the passion, the confusion, the anger, and the courage of everyone involved, from protesters to police to delegates to bureaucrats.

Radical Movie Nights: Every 2nd and 4th Friday

With Thompson narrating, the film asks viewers to emotionally engage their own conflicting feelings about the demonstrations and behind-closed-doors meetings. “I was intrigued by taking a singular, personal approach to the events,” says Thompson, as he recounts how the protests affected him as a journalist and a common citizen. The result is an impressionistic journal of a decisive week that exploded into a massive expression of freedom: of speech, of assembly, and the press.”

Awards:

ALA Video Round Table’s 2001 Notable Video for Adults

Chris Award, Columbus International Film Festival

Best Documentary, Portland Festival of World Cinema

Gold Jury Prize, Chicago Underground Film Festival

Best Documentary, Seattle Underground Film Festival

Most Inspirational Short Film, Reel to Real International Film Festival

Taos Talking Picture Festival

Northwest Film and Video Festival

Further Information:

Watch the Trailer: http://youtu.be/K2vOnKyxYik

Check out the director’s website: http://www.whitenoiseproductions.com/

The LVMPD Agrees You Shouldn’t Talk to Them and Should Film the Police

Know Your Rights and how to protect them when dealing with police.

Know Your Rights and how to protect them when dealing with police.

About a month ago, in early September, I did an interview with Joe Bartels of “8 News Now,” the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas. Although the actual interview went really well, once it was broadcast it was fairly obvious that the intent of the piece was already set even before Joe talked to me.

That predetermined slant being the nonsense claim that Cop Block promotes violence against cops and has ties to the Millers, a married couple who recently murdered a couple of Las Vegas Metro cops, but had no actual ties or even any evidence that they so much as followed Cop Block. (Their Facebook pages, which were pretty widely viewed after the incident, contained a grand total of two shares from Cop Block going back three months.) In spite of the fact that I pointed out that neither I nor anyone I know had ever met or even heard of the Millers prior to the day they shot those cops and that in doing so they had actually made it more difficult for those of us advocating for accountability in peaceful ways, he chose to leave all that out and just do a very incomplete paraphrasing of my statements about them.

They also left out all of the discussion about downtown and the increase in harassment by cops there or the historically nonexistent accountability that is so prevalent in Las Vegas area police departments, which was presumably the reason for the interview in the first place. However, I got nothing but positive feedback from it and several people came down to First Friday while other Nevada Cop Block members and I were handing out flyers and actually asked for one, stating that they saw the interview. Plus, the headline of the text version was pretty accurate (“‘Cop Block’ advocates for rights when dealing with officers“). It’s also rather funny to hear all of them making sure that they enunciate properly to make sure they didn’t slip up and say something else when they said “Cop Block.”

Flyering During First Friday in Downtown Las Vegas

Flyering During First Friday in Downtown Las Vegas

Beyond that, that little spinning flyer graphic they made is obviously going to be the opening of all my videos from here on out. Also, as the title of the post states, Metro decided they didn’t want to respond to any of my statements (they held the broadcast back a day in order to talk with a Metro spokesperson), but they did state that they agreed with everything on the flyer, which would presumably include the advice not to speak to cops and to film them. The other thing about this interview that made me rather happy is that it was prompted by someone placing one of our downtown “know your rights” flyers on their news van one day while they were at lunch.

I actually asked everyone that I thought might be out flyering that day and none of them had put it there. Therefore, someone apparently downloaded the file of the flyer that is available here at Nevada Cop Block, printed it off, and went out flyering on their own. I think it is awesome that people are taking advantage of that resource and that people I don’t even actually know are out there spreading the word to protect people from the harassment that has become so commonplace in downtown Las Vegas.

Finally, they also interviewed Stephen Stubbs, a local attorney that does free monthly “Know Your Rights” seminars for Las Vegas area residents, and he confirmed that the flyers contained “sound legal advice.” You may remember Stephen Stubbs from having been arrested for refusing to leave the area after one of his clients had asked for a lawyer during questioning by the LVMPD Gang Unit. He also represents the man who was beaten by Metro cops in a bar downtown because they didn’t think he was walking fast enough.

‘Cop Block’ advocates for rights when dealing… by Copwatch_World-News

Excerpts from the interview:

‘Cop Block’ advocates for rights when dealing with officers

Mounting created Bloggif

Know Your Rights!

LAS VEGAS — A group critical of police is warning downtown visitors of what they’re calling police harassment. The group known as ‘Cop Block’ said it feels that police are overstepping their authority, so they want people to know their rights.

Cop Block is a nationwide movement, and their main goal is to be an advocate for individual rights, so the group likes to hand out flyers with  a series of suggestions on how to handle interactions with police authorities…

The group said it’s handing out these flyers because of an increase in run-ins with police and the alleged harassment people see downtown.

“That flyer is basically a ‘know your rights’ flyer. It’s meant to educate people on what their rights are,” Kelly Patterson, a member of the Nevada chapter of Cop Block said.

Patterson said there’s a systemic problem that exists between police and the public.

“I’m advocating for them to be accountable; for them to do reasonable investigations when things appear questionable,” Patterson said…

We reached out to Metro Police, but they didn’t have anyone available to talk about the alleged harassment, or the flyers being handed out downtown.”

A spokesperson did tell us that the department was aware of the flyers and they agree with the information on them. The flyers five suggestions for people to take in consideration when they come into contact with officers consist of:

  1. Record your interaction on camera.
  2. Do not talk to the police or answer questions.
  3. Ask whether you are being detained, if not leave.
  4. Never consent to a search.
  5. Be polite, but firm.

We caught up with Stephen Stubbs, a local attorney, and he said that’s sound legal advice.

“If you want to talk to police, talk to police. The fact is that you don’t have to. The supreme court has said very clearly that you do not have to talk to police,” he said.

Free Radical Movie Night Screening of “Let the Fire Burn” Oct. 10th

October Radical Movie Night – “Let the Fire Burn”

 Radical Movie Night in Las Vegas

(via KellyWPatterson.com)

September’s debut of the Las Vegas Radical Movie Night went very well. In fact, it went well enough that we will now be doing two showings per month. So, on every second and fourth Friday of the month at 6:00 pm, the Sunset Activist Collective will host a free screening of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value.

The location where Radical Movie Nights take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)

In order to coincide with the National Day of Action Against Police Brutality, which is held annually on Oct. 22nd (for more info see: http://www.october22.org/) October’s screenings will involve movies that relate to police abuses. On October 10th, we will be showing “Let the Fire Burn” a documentary about the Philadelphia police department’s response to a group known as the MOVE Organization, which was a radical black liberation group that practiced anarcho-primitivism, during two raids in 1978 and 1985.

Delbert Africa is arrested by police after the 1978 gun battle.

This film raises many questions about the tendency of governments and law enforcement to use legitimate complaints as an opportunistic excuse to go after people or groups they dislike and the heavy-handed ways in which they often do so. As the movie shows, the members of MOVE were very bad neighbors and made things difficult for those living around them. However, the Philadelphia Police Department’s “solution” resulted in most of those neighbors losing their homes when a fire ignited by a police bomb burned 61 surrounding buildings. In addition, 11 of the 13 MOVE members living there , including 5 children, were killed by that fire, which was intentionally allowed to burn until it was out of control.

Further, those residents’ and the city’s years long battle over poorly constructed and massively over budget replacement homes highlights the often corrupt and crony driven nature of politics. One might be tempted to ask if they were actually better off with their noisy neighbors. It certainly does beg the question of whether there were many, many better options to resolve the issues.

About the Movie (via: http://LetTheFireBurn.com)

Let the Fire Burn

“In the astonishingly gripping ‘Let the Fire Burn,’ director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated—and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to ‘…let the fire burn.’ Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.”

Awards:

Winner – Best Editing in a Documentary Feature – Tribeca Film Festival

Special Jury Mention – Best New Documentary Director – Tribeca Film Festival

Director Jason Osder was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine July 2013.

Further Information:

The Aftermath

Watch the Trailer: http://youtu.be/-v5ZXAxTGHg

Check out the official website: http://www.letthefireburn.com/

The website of the MOVE Organization: http://onamove.com/

On Cop Block:

Philadelphia – The City That Bombed Itself: http://www.copblock.org/745/pete-visits-the-city-that-bombed-itself/

Monthly First Friday Outreach & Downtown CopWatch w/Nevada Cop Block

Know Your Rights and how to protect them when dealing with police.

Know Your Rights and how to protect them when dealing with police.

Downtown Informational Flyering and Outreach

As the residents of Las Vegas (and an increasing number of visitors) are well aware, the LVMPD has made it one of their priorities to harass people in the downtown area, especially on Fremont Street and during the monthly “First Friday” art festivals. Nevada Cop Block (NVCopBlock.org) has decided to respond in kind and make documenting that harassment and the inevitable abuses it leads one of our priorities, as well as doing outreach to the people downtown, especially during First Fridays.

We’ll be meeting up in the “Arts District” area initially for outreach and flyering and centering our activities on the First Friday section and the nearby Fremont Street area, where most of the police presence will be. We anticipate being down there by about 7pm, but you can show up whenever and there’s not really going to be any set end time, but once again, you can just head out whenever you feel the time is right.

If you can spare some time to help out or if you just plan to be downtown and want to stop by and say hello, that would be awesome of you and will probably be admired and talked about for many years by people throughout the country, if you bring a camera they’ll probably chant your name in remote villages throughout the entire planet. (#TrueStory)

This gang has been very active in downtown Las Vegas recently.

This gang has been very active in downtown Las Vegas recently.

In September, we’ll be distributing a new flyer that contains information focused on helping residents and visitors understand their rights when confronted by police. In addition contact and resource information both for Nevada Cop Block and for the main Cop Block site is included on the flyers. They are designed to be used in and around downtown Las Vegas to enable people to protect themselves and avoid having their rights infringed upon, but the information is universal enough that they can be used as a resource throughout the country. So tourists can add them to their stash of Las Vegas mementos.

A secondary reason will also be one of outreach to meet and connect with members of the community that may want to become involved in future Cop Block activities. Obviously, the more people we have actively involved the more actions we can do and the more opportunities for accountability we can create. Also, more people equals more witnesses, so when NVCopBlock members are monitoring the police, they are safer and less likely to become a target themselves.

A third and potentially the most important reason for being downtown involves actually observing and documenting police interactions (“CopWatching”) in order to discourage them from abusing people’s rights and providing evidence should they in fact do so. This will also give us the opportunity to find and interact with people who have had negative experiences with the police in the past.

Oppose the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Sept. 5th-7th

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act allows the government to declare animal rights activists terrorists.

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act allows the government to declare animal rights activists terrorists.

#AgainstTheAETA

The National Weekend of Action Against the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) entails talks, workshops, film viewings, protests, etc. to educate the public about federal laws that specifically target animal advocates whose work attempts to stop a person or company from profiting from the use of nonhuman animals (which could include nearly all types of non-reformist activism, from protests to liberatory actions).

In effect, AETA labels activists as terrorists, a chilling reality that every activist of every cause should care about because this is a civil liberties and rights issue. AETA has been covered by almost every major paper in the US and is one of the most unconstitutional laws since COINTELPRO – a program established in the 1950s by the FBI that targeted the civil rights, anti-war, and Native American movements.

To understand more about the targeting of activists and the AETA, read *Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?* (2004), *Igniting a Revolution* (2006), *Muzzling a Movement* (2010), *Green is the New Red* (2011), and *The Terrorization of Dissent* (2014), and *Total Liberation: The Power and Promise of Animal Rights and the Radical Earth Movement* (to be released Sept. 1, 2014).

This event is in collaboration with the launch of “Terrorization of Dissent” (2014), which will develop into a campaign with regular national days of action.

Las Vegas Actions Against the AETA

Daily protests in front of the Federal Building in Downtown Las Vegas
September 5, 6 & 7, 2014
3pm – 5pm each day
You are encouraged to wear all black and a black bandanna or mask if you’ve got it!
Literature and banners will be present, and feel free to bring signs, stencils and posters if you’d like!
Bring instruments (or pots and pans, etc.) Let’s make some noise, people!

Statement On the AETA by Mojave Dolphins

aeta2Originally posted at MojaveDolphins.com

Next weekend (Sept. 5, 6, 7) is National Weekend of Action Against the AETA. AETA stands for Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a federal law that prohibits any person from engaging in certain conduct “for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise”. This is a law that does not differentiate between constitutional protests and actual criminal acts. It forces you to be silent about animal abuse in fear of being charged with “terrorism”. The people who support this act are the fur industry, the cattle industry, and every other industry that would want to see animal rights activists taken out of the picture.

In support of raising awareness against this law, Sunset Activist Collective in Las Vegas has arranged for a demonstration in front of the Federal Building in Downtown Las Vegas on Sept 5, 6, and 7 from 3pm to 5pm. You are encouraged to wear all black and a black bandanna or mask if you’ve got it!  Literature and banners will be present, and feel free to bring signs, stencils and posters if you’d like! Bring instruments (or pots and pans, etc.) 

This is a law that could have an effect on us all if we do not know how to play this game correctly. MojaveDolphins encourages you to get involved in your local events this weekend and learn more about what is happening, and could happen to you!

In actuality, the language of the AETA covers many First Amendment activities, such as picketing, boycotts and undercover investigations if they “interfere” with an animal enterprise by causing a loss of profits. So in effect, The AETA silences the peaceful and lawful protest activities of animal and environmental advocates. (Source)

In other words, those “who conscientiously believe that it is their duty to peacefully
protest” through civil disobedience could be labeled terrorists. But only if they intended
to make a difference. (Source)

Informational Handouts, YouTube Videos, and PDFs

PDF Against the Animal Enterprise Act Sign
http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/againsttheaeta-sign.pdf

PDF of #AgainsttheAETA
http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/AgainsttheAETA.pdf

PDF of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
http://noaeta.org/LegalResources/AnimalEnterpriseTerrorismAct.pdf

14 page summary of the AETA by NLG
http://www.nlg.org/sites/default/files/Beyond%20AETA%20White%20Paper.pdf

8 page summary of the AETA by Will Potter
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/wp-content/Images/aeta-analysis-109th.pdf

Youtube of Dara Lovitz on the AETA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZfU-rIp5M4

Youtube Cover AETA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nuldJs5xuw

Other Resources

Center for Constitutional Rights
http://ccrjustice.org/learn-more/faqs/factsheet%3A-animal-enterprise-terrorism-act-%28aeta%29

Equal Justice Alliance
http://noaeta.org/

National Lawyers Guild
https://www.nlg.org/news/blog/aeta-revisited-how-green-scare-act-continues-bind-first-amendment-and-what-nlg-doing-about

Green is the New Red
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/tag/animal-enterprise-terrorism-act/

ACLU Against the AETA
https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-letter-congress-urging-opposition-animal-enterprise-act-s-1926-and-hr-4239

National Jury Rights Day in Las Vegas – Sept. 5th

Sept. 5th is Jury Rights Day

Sept. 5th is Jury Rights Day

A History of Jury Rights Day

People across the country will be celebrating Jury Rights Day September 5th. On this day in 1670, Quaker William Penn of London was arrested for the “crime” of preaching his personal religious beliefs. Penn pled not guilty and subsequently argued against England’s Conventicle Acts, which outlawed the practice of religions other than the Church of England.

At the conclusion of the trial, the judge instructed the jurors to find Penn guilty. However, the jurors’ refusal to enforce a bad law led to the court jailing them for contempt and withholding food and water from the jurors. This became known as “Bushel’s Case” because of Edward Bushel, the jury foreman’s refusal to pay the fines, which had been charged to the jurors.

Afterwards, some of the jurors appealed their fines and imprisonment.  A higher court confirmed the right of the jurors to base their verdict on their best judgment and conscience.  Even though there was a law against freedom of religion, the high court held that juries could not be required to enforce any law they thought was wrong.

Jurors can judge guilt based on both facts and the validity of the law itself.

Jurors can judge guilt based on both facts and the validity of the law itself.

This higher court ruling created the precedent that jurors cannot be punished for their verdict.  It also set a foundation for our rights of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

This ruling confirmed important protections for the jury, and firmly established the right of the jurors to refuse to accept bad government laws. This method of rejecting bad laws is called jury nullification or jury veto.  Through jury nullification, people can control their government by refusing to allow immoral laws to be enforced.

Resulting common law concepts firmly uphold the fact that Jurors cannot be punished for rendering or refusing to render a certain verdict. Nor are jurors are required to give any reason for the verdict that they render or justify it in any way. The fundamental right of Jurors to render their verdict based on conscience is basic to the preservation of Justice, in a free society.

William Penn later came to Colonial America and founded Pennsylvania.  Jurors continue to have the authority to nullify bad laws.  This authority is our peaceful protection to stop corrupt government servants from violating our rights.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the history of Jury Rights Day.

More information about jury nullification and jury rights in general can be found at the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA.org)

Schedule of Events in Las Vegas:

Friday ~
10:00 AM Pre-event flyering/outreach
10:30 AM Press Conference
11:00 AM Presentation about Jury Rights

Monday –
8:00 – 11:00 AM We will be handing out information about jurors rights and jury nullification to people going into the court.

Las Vegas will be holding several events that weekend.

Las Vegas will be holding several events that weekend.

Jury Rights Day Events in Las Vegas

The right to trial by jury is not as well respected as it should be or as our founding documents require. In clear violation of the plain text of our founding documents, several criminal defendants, perhaps even a majority of defendants, in Nevada are illegally denied their right to trial by jury. And, in those cases where juries are impaneled, the courts systematically confuse and mislead jurors as to the nature of their service on a jury. A jury trial is a check and balance on unaccountable entrenched government. It began as a check on royal power. It is still needed as a check on the power of the state. A litany of groups and individuals will gather at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas the weekend of September 5th in honor of Jury Rights Day.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday 10:00 a.m. , September 5th

A press conference will be held on the steps of the Regional Justice Center, 200 S Lewis. (View map to location) Representatives from several groups will speak on the importance of the right to trial by jury to them and their organization. Groups represented include, Nevada Cop Block, Southern Nevada Watchdogs, Patient to Patient, Compassion Nevada Consulting, Cindy Lake candidate for Clark County Commission, Jim Duensing candidate for Clark County District Attorney and the Fully Informed Jury Association, T. Matthew Phillips a Civil Rights Attorney.

Friday 10:30 a.m., September 5th

An educational presentation at the RJC will be made by Jim Duensing, local attorney and candidate for District Attorney in Clark County. The presentation, geared towards the several homeschooled children attending, will also be enlightening to adult members of the public and press alike. All are invited and encouraged to attend this presentation covering the history and and nature of the right to trial by jury.

Monday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., September 8th

Volunteers will be distributing informational handouts provided by the Fully Informed Jury Association, www.FIJA.org at the Regional Justice Center. These handouts will educate and remind the public about the nature and importance of the right to trial by jury.

Free Know Your Rights Seminar in Las Vegas Thurs. Aug. 28

Attorney Stephen "Bowtie" Stubbs, who hosts free Know Your Rights seminars in Las Vegas.

Attorney Stephen “Bowtie” Stubbs, who hosts free Know Your Rights seminars in Las Vegas.

This coming Thursday, August 28th (2014), at 7:00 PM; Las Vegas area attorney Stephen Stubbs will be giving a free “Know Your Rights” seminar. The seminar will take place at the Leatherneck Club of Las Vegas, which is located at 4360 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102 (view map to location). If you are on Facebook, you can RSVP here at the event invite.

Among other things, this seminar covers people’s rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That includes the right to freedom of speech and the extent and limitations of that freedom. In addition, the First Amendment also provides for freedom of the press, which applies to citizens ability to film persons, including government officials and the police, while they are performing their duties in public.

While discussing the Second Amendment right to bear arms, Stubbs covers Nevada law relating to open carrying of firearms, as well as the limitations, licensing requirements, and process for such that the State of Nevada places on the concealed carrying of firearms. He also breaks down the different restrictions and prohibitions placed on non-firearm (knives, clubs, brass knuckles, etc.) weapons by state and local law.

Am I Being Detained or Am I Free to Go?

Am I Being Detained or Am I Free to Go?

Another significant part of the seminar involves what the police can and cannot do in relation to searches, seizure of property, and detention of people based on the Fourth Amendment.  That includes the requirement for reasonable suspicion to believe that someone is about to commit a crime, has committed a crime, or is in the process of committing a crime in order to justify detaining someone. It also includes the requirement for consent before police can conduct a warrant-less search, with a few very narrow exceptions, such as evidence in plain view and risk of eminent danger (one of several exigent circumstances). In addition, the differences between searches conducted upon someones person, a vehicle, or their home are explained.

Stephen Stubbs' Free Know Your Rights Seminar

Stephen Stubbs’ Free Know Your Rights Seminar

The Constitutional due process protections within the Fifth Amendment are also covered pretty extensively during the seminar. A person’s right against self-incrimination is explained. Stubbs goes over how (and why) people should invoke their right to remain silent when questioned and avoid answering questions without the benefit of legal counsel being present. (That second part actually has a bit of added significance, since Stephen Stubbs was actually arrested himself for refusing to leave the side of one of his clients, who had invoked his right to have legal counsel present during a traffic stop, back in November of 2013.)

In general, the seminar is very informative and worthwhile for anyone, since it’s not unusual for the average person to get stopped for, at the very least, a traffic violation and knowing your rights can’t hurt you. Beyond that, the seminar does focus largely on encounters with police and situations such as filming in public, interacting verbally with police, the legalities of whether cops can justifiably stop; search; and arrest someone, and what to do in those situations. Therefore, anyone involved in or wishing to become involved in Cop Block related activities should find this seminar very useful and well worth attending. It will also serve as a good opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals within the Las Vegas area.

If you do come (and you should) to this free seminar you will find Stephen Stubbs is a very knowledgeable and entertaining person, with a history of standing up for individuals’ rights, when they are abused by the police or other government employees. Personally, I’m very glad to have someone as well versed and approachable as him performing this valuable service for our community. BTW, did I mention that he does it for free?

Chalk the Police State (July 18th) – Updated List of Cities

Chalk the Police State Wherever you Are.

Chalk the Police State Wherever you Are.

Tomorrow, July 18th, is the Second Annual “Chalk the Police State” day. For the second year, Nevada Cop Block has called for activists across the country to hold chalk protests in their own cities in solidarity with and to draw attention to the victims of police brutality and the lack of accountability for crimes and other forms of corruption within local police departments.

This year in particular is intended to shine a light on the lack of significant changes in regards to such accountability and the blatant examples of police abuses nationwide. In addition, it will serve as a statement that we will not tolerate police violence and murders within our communities and that we are not just going to go away unless some sort of meaningful reforms are instituted and police officers are held responsible for their actions in the same way everyone else would be.

For more on the background and reasons for the “Chalk the Police State” event see here, here, here, here, here, and here. Meanwhile, here is an update of the cities that will be participating this year. At this point, we have pretty solid confirmations from 12 cities with a good potential for at least 16 cities nationwide. BTW, even though it’s obviously very short notice at this point, it’s still not too late to add YOUR city to this list. One of the many advantages of chalk protests is the ease of organizing and carrying them out. Basically, all you really need is a few boxes of chalk, some dedicated friends, and a desire to get the message out that police brutality will not be tolerated in your communities. It’s quick, easy, and cheap enough for even a small group of motivated people to have a visible impact.

List of Cities:

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual "Chalk the Police State" event.

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” event.

Las Vegas, NV.

Members of Nevada Cop Block will, of course, be chalking that day. No amount of retaliation or intimidation will be stopping us from seeking accountability from the LVMPD. We’ll be going back to the Regional Injustice Center, the original location of the inaugural Chalk the Police State Day.

Olympia, WA.

Seattle, WA.

Kansas City, KS.

Hosted by KCK Cop Block

Portland, OR.

Lafayette, IN.

Phoenix, Az.

  • Downtown Superior Courthouse
  • Friday, July 18 at 11:00am (PDT)
  • 201 W. Jefferson
  • Phoenix, Arizona 85003

Jeffersonville, IN.

The "Chalk the Police State" flyer for Kansas City, Kansas

The “Chalk the Police State” flyer for Kansas City, Kansas

 

  • Clark County Court House
  • Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (CDT)
  • Jeffersonville, Indiana

 

Poughkeepsie, NY.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Madison County, Id.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Fresno, CA.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Philadelphia, PA.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Keene, NH.

The "Chalk the Police State" flyer for Seattle, Wa.

The “Chalk the Police State” flyer for Seattle, Wa.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Cincinnati, OH.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Nashville, TN.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Port St. Joe, FL.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Unconfirmed/Potential Locations:

  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Salt Lake City, Ut.

It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate “Chalk the Police State” Day in Your City!

It's tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn't one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

It’s tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn’t one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

We hope that other cities will join us July 18th to make a statement about police brutality and demand accountability when police victimize people in their communities. Police corruption and misconduct is a nation-wide (international actually) problem and it’s only getting worse as time goes by. In addition, in spite the prevailing (and false) rationalizations for that increase in violence against citizens, police work is safer than it has ever been and is becoming safer all the time.

The mistreatment and abuse of you and your neighbors is inexcusable and needs to be stopped. Their record speaks for itself, though. They won’t regulate themselves or even hold the criminals in their midst accountable, after the fact. You need to take a stand and demand an end to the police state and its abuses before it’s too late.

A FaceBook event page has been set up to coordinate all of the different cities planning actions. If you have questions about setting up a chalk protest in your city, potential statements/slogans to write, questions of legality (it’s completely legal), etc. you can post them there. We would also like to have any local event pages link to that page, so we can keep track of who will be participating and allow people in those cities to coordinate with each other. That event page is located here: (National) Second Annual Chalk the Police State with the “Sunset 5” and in Solidarity with the Victims of Police Brutality, Repression, and Murder. Alternatively, you can also contact NVCopBlock.org’s contact page, if you are not on Facebook or just want to cutout the middle man.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments' Pathetic History of "Accountability"

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

Join Us For the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” – July 18th

A year later, not much has changed.

A year later, not much has changed.

Background

Every day brings with it more and more examples of the increasing militarization of the police and encroachment of the police state onto everyone’s lives. At the same time, accountability for police abuses and governmental crimes is becoming harder to find. This month on the 18th of July, the one year anniversary of the original “Chalk the Police State” event, members of Nevada Cop Block invite everyone nationwide to send a message that we won’t accept this within our communities and demand that accountability.

One year ago on July 18, 2013, three members of the Sunset Activist Collective, who were at that time being threatened with citations claiming that drawing on a sidewalk with washable sidewalk chalk constitutes graffiti, called for a nationwide solidarity rally on the day that was supposed to be our court date. While the city of Las Vegas had enough common sense not to even file those charges, this event (along with a previous “Second Saturday” chalk protest) ultimately led to the arrest of three members of the NVCopBlock and the filing of ridiculous charges of writing graffiti (with chalk marketed, sold, and primarily used to write on sidewalks) and “conspiring” to write graffiti against another two members (AKA the “Sunset 5”) by Steve Wolfson, the county district attorney.

*Note, if you’ve been following along at home, you may have noticed the number of people involved has changed from the original “Sunset 3” to the current “Sunset 5.” The “Sunset 3” consisted of the original three individuals that were cited in June of 2013. After the arrests the “Sunset 4” was used because one of the arrestees was a minor at the time. The “Sunset 5” consists of the three original members and two additional members that were charged after July 18th’s action last year.*

Of course, those ridiculous charges, which amounted to nothing more than a vindictive attempt to intimidate people who were bringing attention to the murderous record of Las Vegas area police and nonexistent history of accountability for those crimes, were dropped shortly afterwards. In the process, the actions of the bullies within the LVMPD, who had pushed for the charges, backfired in a big way. Realistically, all they accomplished was to draw way more attention to the issues of police brutality we were protesting than those protests had ever actually done. The ridiculously inflated clean up costs that they used to justify those arrests also shined a huge spotlight on the wasteful and unnecessary spending habits of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at a time when they were in the process of begging Las Vegas area residents for more money by way of a county sales tax increase.

A Year Later, What’s Different? (Spoiler: Not Much)

This Offer Still Stands

This Offer Still Stands

In spite of those original charges being dropped amid a pretty large uproar, those very real and important issues that we were protesting in the first place remain. The police brutality and outright murders continue and the complete lack of accountability for such have not disappeared or even, on any discernible level, been addressed. If anything, in fact, they’ve only gotten worse.

Over the course of just the last year, there have been numerous egregious examples of misconduct and abuse by Las Vegas area police. In one instance, Sheriff Gillespie refused the recommendation of the department’s use of force board to fire Officer Jacquar Roston, who shot Lawrence Gordon after he mistook his hat for a gun, which would have actually been the first time any LVMPD officer was fired for shooting someone in the entire history of the department. Similarly, Officer Jason Evans shot Antoine Hodges inside a local 7-11 store, in spite of the fact that he was unarmed and backing away from him at the time, after mistaking him for a wanted suspect. In yet another instance, a man attempting to flag passersby down and asking for water was accosted and then eventually killed by BLM agents and a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper after concerned cyclists reported that D’Andre Berghardt Jr. may have been in need of assistance.

The most blatant and telling example of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s absolute refusal to institute any sort of accountability involves Jesus Arevalo, who murdered disabled Gulf War vet Stanley Gibson as he sat unarmed within his car, that had been immobilized by police vehicles. Even though Arevalo was technically the first person to be fired (or in any other way held accountable) for killing someone on duty, regardless of whether the person killed was unarmed and/or completely innocent, he was actually rewarded for his deadly actions that day with a lifetime of disability payments totaling $30,000 a year, based on the stress he felt because people began calling him a murderer after he murdered an innocent, unarmed person (shortly after stating that he wanted to kill someone in order to get payed time off).

It couldn’t be much more obvious that the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police have no real (or even feigned) interest in holding any of their trigger happy gang members accountable for there actions, no matter how questionable or downright blatant those actions might be.

 Join Us – Wherever You Are

Chalk the Police State Wherever you Are.

Chalk the Police State Wherever You Are.

As a result of all those things already mentioned and so much more that there’s hardly room to list it all, Nevada Cop Block will be holding a second annual “Chalk the Police State” celebration (which was actually inspired by Cop Block’s original “Chalk the Police Day” and so technically could be considered a fourth annual event.) at the Regional Injustice Center in Las Vegas. However, since police brutality and the absence of accountability isn’t something that’s limited to Las Vegas, we’re calling for groups (and individuals) across the country to join us in a little summer time arts and crafts display.

Ideally, we would prefer if you chose somewhere symbolic of the police state, such as a courthouse, local government building such as a city hall, or police station to chalk some messages. However, it’s obviously up to you to choose the most appropriate place to do so in your own city. Please join us and help seek justice in a peaceful, public manner against those who have made injustice a part of their job description and have some fun at the same time.

One of the many advantages of chalk protests and reasons we found them to be effective is that they are fairly easy to organize and carry out. Contrary to the claims made for the silly charges from last year, it takes very little “conspiring” to set up such actions. Also, because those participating can each draw multiple messages without too much difficulty, a relatively small group can create a large impact within a small amount of time. Basically, all you need is a few boxes of chalk, some dedicated friends, and a desire to seek accountability for local officials and their hired goons.

Confirmed Cities Thus Far

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual "Chalk the Police State" event.

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” event.

Currently we have six cities that have already confirmed that they will be participating. As many as six other cities may also be chalking that day, but we don’t have solid confirmations from them yet. The cities that definitely will be “Chalking the Police State” on July 18th are listed below, along with contact information for people in those cities to use in order to coordinate with them:

Las Vegas, NV.

Members of Nevada Cop Block will, of course, be chalking that day. No amount of retaliation or intimidation will be stopping us from seeking accountability from the LVMPD. We’ll be going back to the Regional Injustice Center, the original location of the inaugural Chalk the Police State Day.

Olympia, WA.

Seattle, WA.

Kansas City, KS.

Hosted by KCK Cop Block

Kansas City, MO.

The "Chalk the Police State" Flyer for Olympia, Wa.

The “Chalk the Police State” Flyer for Olympia, Wa.

Hosted by MO/KS Cop Block

Portland, OR.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Poughkeepsie, NY.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Celebrate “Chalk the Police State” Day in Your City

It's tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn't one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

It’s tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn’t one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

We hope that other cities will join us July 18th to make a statement about police brutality and demand accountability when police victimize people in their communities. Police corruption and misconduct is a nation-wide (international actually) problem and it’s only getting worse as time goes by. In addition, in spite the prevailing (and false) rationalizations for that increase in violence against citizens, police work is safer than it has ever been and is becoming safer all the time.

The mistreatment and abuse of you and your neighbors is inexcusable and needs to be stopped. Their record speaks for itself, though. They won’t regulate themselves or even hold the criminals in their midst accountable, after the fact. You need to take a stand and demand an end to the police state and its abuses before it’s too late.

A FaceBook event page has been set up to coordinate all of the different cities planning actions. If you have questions about setting up a chalk protest in your city, potential statements/slogans to write, questions of legality (it’s completely legal), etc. you can post them there. We would also like to have any local event pages link to that page, so we can keep track of who will be participating and allow people in those cities to coordinate with each other. That event page is located here: (National) Second Annual Chalk the Police State with the “Sunset 5” and in Solidarity with the Victims of Police Brutality, Repression, and Murder. Alternatively, you can also contact NVCopBlock.org’s contact page, if you are not on Facebook or just want to cutout the middle man.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments' Pathetic History of "Accountability"

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”