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Don’t Call the Pigs: An Informal Guide to Alternative Policing Within an Anarchist Justice System

This post was written by  and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “Don’t Call the Pigs: An Informal Guide to Creating an Anarchist Justice System.” Posts and other content you think are worth sharing with the CopBlock Network can be sent in to us via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Some tips to make it more likely that your submission will get posted to the CopBlock Network can be found here.

(Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made. Some links may have been added within the text and images have been added. In addition, the conclusions expressed within this initial introductory summary represent my own interpretation of what is being stated within Logan’s own writings.)

In the post below, Logan discusses some alternative options for policing and specifically options which might arise within an Anarchist society. Initially, he also addresses the many issues with the current police, court, and prison systems and ways to counteract or avoid them. One of the most obvious and frequent questions asked of those who advocate replacing the current “justice” systems, is what would replace them and how regular people would defend themselves against criminals.

Don’t Call the Pigs: An Informal Guide to Creating an Anarchist Justice System

Anti-police sentiment is on the rise in America and around the world. In the wake of the death’s of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and countless others (Rest In Power), even the DoJ admits that at least some police departments are highly racist in practice and the Black Lives Matter movement has sprung up in response. Those from all sides of the political aisle have come out against police militarization. Pigs have been routinely denied service at various business establishments across the nation. On the inside, prisoners around the country have been on strike since September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, with guards having recently gone on a solidarity work strike in support of the prisoners at Holman in Atmore, Alabama. So how do we, as anarchists, help provide tactics in the here and now for dealing with the state’s armed injustice system? But more importantly in the long run, how do we build alternative defense and justice systems?

How to Deal With the Pigs

It’s almost inevitable, especially if you’re working class, queer, a person of color, or an activist, that you will have to interact with the pigs at some point in your lifetime. This is why it’s important to hold community “Know Your Rights” workshops such as those offered by the ACLU or the National Lawyers Guild. Hold these workshops at your local infoshop, library, church, community center, or anywhere else where people, activists and non-activists alike, can learn how to hopefully more safely interact with the police. The ACLU also has an app which allows you to film police interactions and upload them automatically to the ACLU’s database for protection in case you phone is confiscated or broken. Groups like Copwatch and Cop Block also encourage people to film the police and hold them accountable for injustice and police brutality.

Movements like Black Lives Matter are currently fighting to curb police brutality by calling for police demilitarization, body cameras, community review boards, community election of police officers, disarming the police, actual punishment for pigs who break the rules, and the end of policies such as Stop and Frisk and Stand Your Ground. These demands hope to curb the worst violence on the way towards abolition.

Unarresting” people can be very risky, especially when you don’t have much support, but has been used as a tactic to free people who are being kidnapped by the pigs both at protests and elsewhere. If you’re up for the challenge then go for it! We need more people like you.

And don’t believe any of that sovereign citizen crap. Some of it sounds good in theory, but none of it has ever really held up in court.

How to Deal With Statist Courts

If you are arrested and/or have to go to court, finding a lawyer is usually key. Sometimes you can luck out and find a more radical public defender who took the job to truly help poor people but chances are you’re better off crowdfunding or throwing other fundraisers or looking for a lawyer who will work pro bono. Some groups, such as the Industrial Workers of the World’s General Defense Committee, are also set up to help pay for bail and legal fees for activists victimized by the state. If you’re looking for a good radical lawyer, depending on your case you could look towards the National Lawyers Guild, the Institute for Justice, or the American Civil Liberties Union. You could also ask you other radical friends for their local recommendations.

The now defunct nonviolent agorist defense agency Shield Mutual offered anarchists and libertarians protections against the state. Instead of armed protection, they promised services attuned to the needs of the individual. They could help with obtaining lawyers, crowdfunding for legal fees, setting up a public freedom campaign website, public relations, media promotion, and networking. They’ve even paid for a woman’s new plane ticket after she was detained by the TSA and missed her flight. The group operated as a friendly society where members paid monthly or yearly dues which went to the cost of helping its membership. They also had a peer-to-peer mutual aid network where members could request funds from other members for emergencies, business ideas, or other projects. Sadly this group has since disbanded (although their website is still up) but it still serves as a model for other agorist defense services.

If you ever happen to be summoned for jury duty, don’t try and skip out. Instead try and use the practice of jury nullification to keep people from being thrown in the state’s cages. The Fully Informed Jury Association has plenty of materials to read and learn from and regularly canvases outside courthouses where they’re active. Join or form a chapter, spread the knowledge. We can decide their laws are not worth enforcing.

How to Deal With the State’s Prisons

If you get locked up, it can seem like the end of the battle but that is far from true. Groups like Books for Prisoners supply reading materials, both radical and non-radical alike, to inmates for entertainment and education. Black and Pink and other letter writing groups provide companionship through becoming pen pals with those held hostage by the state.

In order to help change prison conditions and aid their eventual abolition, groups like Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Free Alabama Movement, the Free Virginia Movement, the Prison Ecology Project, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty are essential. While some of these groups are inherently reformist, groups like FAMM and NCADP help fight against specific issues which will roll back the power of the state. Groups like the Prison Ecology Project focus on the high environmental costs of prisons. While on the inside, groups like the Black Guerrilla Family, IWOC, and other prison gangs, organizations, and unions offer a way for inmates to collectively organize against the pigs holding them hostage. IWOC, as a project of the Industrial Workers of the World, helps prisoners set up IWW branches inside prisons to organize against prison slavery and unfair living conditions.

The Anarchist Black Cross is dedicated to fighting for political prisoners and prisoners of war within the radical movement. They collect dues from its membership which are used to help prisoners with little to no resources obtain them, usually in the form of a monthly donation to an inmate’s commissary fund. They also help fundraise and advocate for POWs as well as doing letter writing and in person visitation. The Black Cross is organized by both allies and inmates who control the organization through directly democratic means.

For those trying to obtain freedom, having an outside network fighting for your freedom with online promotion, political pressure, phone blasts, demonstrations, etc. is a huge help. Nobody is going to pay attention to your case unless there’s enough pressure, such pressure works better in numbers, and such support comes through public awareness and media campaigns.

Failing that, there’s always escape.

Don’t Call the Pigs

One of the biggest things we can do in the here and now is stop relying on the police for protection. Don’t call them, don’t report crimes, don’t allow them in your businesses, don’t snitch. There are better ways of dealing with crime then turning to state violence.

Instead of calling the police, set up your own emergency networks. Have a network of friends, family, or neighbors who are willing and able to respond to emergencies and call them instead. Apps such as Peacekeeper and Cell411 make this process simpler allowing multiple people to be contacted at once with GPS directions and everything. Choosing the right network could lead to a faster response time and more adaptive tactics ranging from arbitration and conflict resolution to armed defense.

Essential to living in a society without pigs is learning self-defense. Martial arts, kickboxing, women’s self-defense courses, and firearms training allow individuals to help protect themselves and others from violence. Groups like the Sylvia Rivera Gun Club for Self Defense, Pink Pistols, and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club offer community firearms training to those in their community. The Huey P. Newton Gun Club actually promotes the idea of arming every black and brown citizen that can legally be armed in order to effectively protect themselves from police and white supremacist violence.

The Huey P. Newton Gun Club also advocates Black Panther style community patrols where they both protect the community from internal crime and violence in their communities and track police activity, filming them and yelling legal advice to those being harassed by the pigs while making it known that they are fully armed just in case the pig has any violent inclinations. Other anti-statist directly democratic community watch groups have also sprung up throughout history to protect communities without the need for the pigs.

In some places, especially in those where war or violence is more prevalent such as Rojava, these community watch groups take the form of voluntary militias. From the Zapatista Army to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, community regulated militias have proven an effective response to statist military and police forces. Currently the militia movement in america is of a decidedly more right-wing viewpoint, with groups like the 3%ers, and tend to carry with them underlying statist messages of patriotism and nationalism, but one can hope that a leftist militia movement will grow into a reality.

Grassroots rape crisis centers offer support geared towards the needs of the survivor and most will not go to the pigs unless asked. Some already offer restorative and transformative programs to help deal with the perpetrator as well while others should be so encouraged by their communities. And as communities look towards other institutional alternatives, the creation of private detective, forensics, and arbitration services can offer attempts at filling those needs.

Dispute resolution organizations (DROs) have been proposed as an alternative to police, insurance, and alternative dispute services. According to wikipedia, “The firms would be voluntarily contracted to provide, or coordinate with other firms to provide, services such as mediation, reimbursement for damages, personal protection, and credit reporting.”

Don’t Use Their Courts

Instead of relying on the state’s court system to solve disputes, turning to arbitration services, trained mediators, direct negotiation between either the two parties, or non-statist alternative dispute resolution between the parties’ lawyers or DRO(s) can offer solutions that are more adapted to the specific needs of the victims and the perpetrators. Community tribunals or courts could also be established in smaller communities to deal with situations directly as a community. Retribution for damaged property can be negotiated in such ways as could the establishment of a restorative and/or transformative justice process which normally takes the form of an accountability process negotiated by the victim and voluntarily fulfilled by the perpetrator. Indemnity services can also help pay for property damages in certain situations especially if no victim is caught.

Don’t Fill Their Cages

Establishing accountability processes for perpetrators of violent crimes helps address the needs of both the victim and perpetrator, helps to repair the damages made, and transform the perpetrator’s behavior in hopes that they do not continue to harm others. Un-cooperative perps are subject to social ostracization and denial of community services or support until they are cooperative. Repeatedly violent criminals are likely to eventually see the wrong end of a barrel of a gun in an armed anarchist community as self-defense is encouraged but in the here and now it’s best to familiarize yourself and your community with the local gun laws so as to know your rights when being attacked. Hold workshops to spread the knowledge you discover in your research or find a radical lawyer who will help you put together a workshop. Sometimes there are laws that make shooting to kill is legal while warning shots are illegal and that is just one example of such strange and backwards laws. Very rarely is shooting someone worth going to prison yourself so know the laws and weigh the options.

Freely available mental health resources such as medication and counseling or even support groups such as the Icarus Project would help alleviate the crime rate as those who suffer from mental health issues won’t be left untreated. This will not only allow for a way to deal with criminals who are mentally unstable in becoming stable but will help prevent crimes before they happen. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other addiction and rehabilitation programs offer a way to deal with drug and alcohol addiction without turning to punishment as the answer.

Creating a Less Violent Society

Moving forward we must continue the fight to demilitarize and disarm the police, to train in self-defense, and to set up our alternative justice systems but we must also get at the root of most crime in this country. Excessive laws and regulation, racism, sexism (including heterosexism and cissexism), and poverty are at the heart of most crime in this country. Repealing prohibitions on guns, drugs, prostitution, squatting, conducting business without a license, and the myriad of other prohibitions the state enacts will empty their prisons of a majority inmates who are locked up for victimless crimes. Taking care of their economic needs by making sure folks have food, shelter, medical care, and their other needs met either through better job opportunities in a freed market (or the agora as it stands today) or through mutual aid such as through groups like Food Not Bombs, free clinics, community lending programs, and grassroots labor unions will help combat economic crimes. As it stands most of those caught for theft, embezzlement, identity theft, robbery, and other economic crimes more often than not did so out of desperation to escape poverty. Taking care of the basic needs of your local community helps relieve such desperation and offers them the resources of survival so that they do not have to steal to obtain resources.

Nonviolent parenting, education, nonviolent communication techniques, and conflict resolution training can help to lead us to a better future where we can solve our own problems instead of relying on the state’s goons to kidnap and throw our enemies – and friends – in cages. The Audre Lorde Project’s Safe OUTside the System campaign teaches people how to set up safe spaces where police are not needed or welcomed. All of these ideas and more are things we could establish and do in the here and now to create our own justice systems in the traditions of agorism, dual power, and “building a new world in the shell of the old.” And with people begging for solutions with both the current ongoing national prison strikes and the movements for black lives and against police militarization, now is as good a time as ever to begin building and put these ideas into practice.

Spread the Word, Break the Chains!

Racist Newark Police Lieutenant Compares Black Mayor to Monkey

Newark Police Lieutenant Racist Mayor

In Newark, New Jersey, an unnamed lieutenant has joined the ever- expanding list of cops who have been exposed publicly as racists. The allegations involve a Facebook post in which Ras Baraka, the city’s black mayor, is compared to a gorilla. This particular case involves not just the lieutenant currently under investigation by the Newark Police Department, but also a retired NPD lieutenant.

According to NJ.com:

Police officials said they obtained a screen shot of the Facebook conversation, which is being investigated as a violation of the department’s social media policy. The screen shot was sent to Police Director Eugene Venable Wednesday, department spokesman Sgt. Ron Glover said…

“What’s particularly disturbing about this incident is that this police official has been on the job for many years and has some amount of influence over the rank and file in the department,” Venable said.

The thread between the two writers opens with a picture of an ape captioned “Lmfao….How’s your mayor?”

“Exactly!!!!” replies the writer believed to be the current police lieutenant.

In a subsequent reply, the same writer says “Bring back Sharpaaaa!!!!!”, an apparent reference to former Mayor Sharpe James. He also says he is trying to “stay low” and that he had been transferred several times.

It’s disturbing enough that two people who were in positions of authority which allowed them to commit violence against others as police officers would publicly express racist attitudes. It obviously makes you wonder just how much worse their private behavior is. The fact that they were in positions of leadership and influence within the police force takes that to a new level.

In spite of that, this shouldn’t be surprising. The fact is that the reason this lieutenant is being investigated in the first place is because of policies that had to be implemented after a series of racist and criminal scandals embarrassed the Newark police several years ago.

According to Think Progress:

According to Police Director Eugene Venable, the Newark Police Department’s social media policy prohibits officers from posting anything “which could possibly be misconstrued and reflects negatively on the department.” Information about criminal investigations is also banned from social media.

“The general order was created as the result of several embarrassing instances of online activity by members of the department that were quite racy and somewhat, quite frankly, borderline discriminatory…Violations of the order could result in disciplinary actions, including dismissal,” he told NJ Advance Media.

Detective Bobby Kinch Racist Cop LVMPDIn July of 2014, a U.S. Department of Justice report was released that characterized the Newark Police Department as racist thieves who routinely disregarded the Constitution, racially profiled citizens for “stop and frisk” detentions–even though there was no statistical difference between minorities and whites found to be violating the law during those stops–and also often used excessive force against Newark residents. Those accused of racist acts even included the head of the NPD Internal Affairs Unit. (Those guys who “investigate” cops when they are charged with misconduct.)

On a national level, this is just one of a string of recent revelations of open and public racism by police throughout the country:

  • In Las Vegas, Detective Bobby Kinch, of the LVMPD, posted racist comments and photos stating a desire for a race war to begin on Facebook. Not only did Sheriff Gillespie himself step in to prevent him from being raided after a Secret Service investigation of those posts, he was actually assigned to investigate black suspects exclusively afterward.
  • In Ferguson, the DOJ investigation launched after the murder of Mike Brown uncovered racist emails being sent between officers containing jokes depicting racial stereotypes, including Barack Obama as a chimpanzee and Michelle Obama as a bare chested African woman.
  • In San Francisco, police officer sent text messages in which they routinely referred to black people as niggers, referenced cross burnings, and called a black person a monkey and an animal.
  • In Louisiana, a series of racist emails amongst police was uncovered in 2014. As is the typical formula, the emails “depicted black men as animals, likened President Barrack Obama to a monkey, and referred to African Americans as the ‘entitlement crowd.'”

Once again, it begs the question of just how racist police departments are in private, when cops feel safe enough to post this sort of racism on internal emails and publicly on social media. While those posts should never be a criminal matter, regardless of the occupation of their authors, it certainly raises questions about someone who is in a position to act on those sort of prejudices on a daily basis to the point of deadly force. The overwhelming statistical bias toward minorities in relation to stop and frisk instances, use of force incidents, and arrest frequency are just the things that can be tracked. If cops are willing to be this racist out in the open, there can be little doubt that it influences policing on a base level, even if it doesn’t rise to that point.

banner-app(If you enjoyed this post, check this previous post by Kelly W. Patterson: “Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them“)

“Im Upset” (Music Video)

Lamont MAC McLaurin shared the content below, a video that he made regarding recent incidents of police brutality and the lack of accountability for those incidents, via the Cop Block Submissions page.

Lamont states:

IM-UPSET“Im Upset” is a song I wrote about the recent cases of police brutality in which unarmed American citizen’s were killed by police. This song is very powerful and my goal is to make it an anthem for the protesters and victims of police brutality. I support #HandsUpDontShoot #ICantBreath #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #NoJusticeNoPeace and I follow CopBlock on Facebook. I believe your readers will appreciate this song and it will help protesters of police brutality expand our reach and our voice. I want to post this song on CopBlock.org specifically because I have been a fan of your website and FB page since early 2014 and I know you guys are passionate about informing the public on police wrong doing and I trust that if you accept my post you will get the song to people who value its meaning. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Contact info

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGD7vby_TveN9QJ5vmJp1QA
Facebook: http://facebook.com/macjustlisten
Twitter: @macjustlisten
Instagram: Instagram.com/macjustlisten
Official Website: Macjustlisten.com
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/macjustlisten
Google+: [email protected]

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Beavercreek Cop Drives Cruiser Through Peaceful Candlelight Vigil For Mike Brown and John Crawford

This is a repost of an article originally published on the Counter Current News website, regarding the customer service received from one of the employees of the Beavercreek Police Department. It was received via the Cop Block Submissions page.

Beavercreek Police Driving Through Peaceful Candlelight Virgil For John Crawford and Mike BrownDate of Incident: November 25, 2014
Individuals Involved: Unidentified Beavercreek Police Supervisor
Outfit: Beavercreek (OH) Police Department
Phone: 937-426-1225
Email: [email protected]
Area Cop Block Affiliate: Beavercreek Cop Block. (To find the appropriate affiliate in your area consult the Cop Block Groups page.)

THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is why so many people don’t like police officers.

As protesters all over the United States have gathered to voice their outrage over the Michael Brown verdict, activists in Beavercreek, Ohio gathered at the local Police Department to hold a candlelight vigil.

They said they were there to commemorate the untimely killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and also to connect the injustice of grand juries in both cities refusing to indict each respective police officer.

But as protesters gathered in a large circle in front of the Beavercreek Police Department, singing somber songs about innocent life lost, and taking a lengthy moment of silent reflection on the deaths of Michael Brown and John Crawford, a member of the Beavercreek Police Department decided that this was a great time to move his cruiser.

Watch the video below of this officer’s blatantly offensive behavior.

Counter Current News reporters filmed the entire disruption, and noted that the officer did not go out on patrol with the cruiser. He was not responding to an emergency. Instead, he simply moved the vehicle to another part of the parking lot.

When the retiring Chief Evers saw our reporters filming this, he came over and spoke with us, as well as fellow Alternative Media Syndicate partners with the Greene County Herald.

Evers did not comment on the officer’s actions, but he was cordial and noted that he had no problem with protesters assembling at the Police Department in this manner. He said that activists could do this “every day” and that he saw the assembly as respectful.

We asked Chief Evers to sit down with us at a later date, for a public interview where we can go frame by frame and discuss the John Crawford shooting video. He noted that there are some legal concerns that he has to navigate before this can happen, but he did not rule it out for a later date.

We reported back in October that Chief Evers is retiring after only a couple of years on the Beavercreek Police Department. He reaffirmed his previous statements that this is unrelated to the controversy over Officer Sean William’s shooting of John Crawford. Unfortunately, not all Beavercreek officers could be as respectful of the vigil honoring the loss of life as Chief Evers.

Because of the somber nature of the event, we refrained from exacerbating the disruption by seeking further identification of the officer in the video about. It is clear to us, however, that actions like this further estrange police from the communities they purport to serve – a notion we conveyed to Chief Evers.

(Article by Moreh B.D.K.)

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Ideas have consequences – the more
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