Tag Archive: anti-police

How Police Body Cameras Were Designed to Get Cops Off the Hook

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From GIZMODO

In the wake of protests over police violence against black men, many civil rights activists are calling for a high-tech solution: strapping wearable body cameras to cops. The idea is to hold police accountable for unnecessary violence. But the history of police body cams reveals that the devices have often had the opposite effect.

On the afternoon of March 1st, a band of Los Angeles Police shot a homeless man. Video of the incident was captured by both a witness armed with a cell phone, and by body cameras strapped to the officers. Despite the evidence, what actually happened on Skid Row before police shot Charly Keunang remains a matter of dispute. How it went down depends on who you ask — and, more importantly, on whose video you’re watching.

The civilian shot video from a short distance away, and the footage shows officers circling Keunang before a physical struggle erupts. Keunang is thrown to the ground. Officers struggle to contain him. He’s resisting but subdued. He’s not going anywhere but he hasn’t been cuffed. Then after some yelling, three officers open fire. (more…)

One Four Seven: some notes on tactics and strategy from Durham’s recent anti-police marches

ONE FOUR SEVEN

some notes on tactics and strategy from Durham’s recent anti-police marches

On Friday, December 5th, ten days after hundreds of protesters took over the Durham Freeway in response to the ongoing murder of Black and Brown people, Durham took to the streets again. This protest was most immediately a reaction to the decision of a New York Grand Jury to not press charges against the cop who murdered Eric Garner, but it was clearly part of the same trajectory initiated by the August uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. A movement against the police has begun. This thing we are experiencing contradicts itself constantly, expressing itself simultaneously with molotov cocktails, flipped police cruisers, and outright hostility to police on the one hand and platitudes about peaceful protest and demands like body cameras and racial sensitivity training on the other. Nonetheless, a movement it has clearly become. At this point demonstrators have blocked highways and bridges in over 170 cities around the country, sometimes violently confronting police and burning or smashing entire city blocks. The East Bay has not stopped rioting for three weeks. Smaller or less spectacular actions—rallies, die-ins, teach-ins, etc—have occurred probably in the thousands. For many of us, this has become the most important social struggle of our (young) lives. Skills we learned in earlier movements apply now with urgency, and new skills and new ideas take hold at a rapid rate.

This movement was catalyzed and has been led by the uncompromising revolt of Black people, initially from those in a small, poor midwestern suburb few of us had ever heard of. Its central expression is an antagonism towards the white supremacy that defines modern American policing, echoed in the common chant “Black Lives Matter,” but its roots also reach deeply into other realms of class, economy, and gender. These deep roots, and the fact that continued demonstrations are no longer responding to any one single killing but rather a deep-set pattern, make cooptation or recuperation by authorities difficult. What could a single police chief or politician possibly do to assuage enough people’s concerns? What responsible Black leader could possibly lead the country into an era of “humane” policing? Realistically, there are no demands to be made, no leader or party who could “fix” the police, because the police are not broken. They’re doing exactly what they have been historically designed to do.

In line with such a perspective, we’ve focused this account of Durham’s most recent march not on questions of “the political” like making demands or pressuring city officials, but rather on how we can continue building our own power as a diffuse but growing crowd-in-motion. When we blockade or occupy the streets or buildings of our city, what makes us powerful? What are the strategies used by the police to contain our rage during protests, and how can we defeat them? These are questions of social relations, the trust and communication we have or have not built between us, and they are also questions of infrastructure, tactics, tools, movement, and space. Even for those still committed to reforming the police as an institution, with whom we firmly disagree, these questions are crucial, as the only way even modest reforms will take hold will be if we can succeed in becoming an actual threat to those in power. (more…)

Durham: Demo Announced in Response to Murder of Eric Garner

ferguson-protest-durham-freeway-112514-jpgAt 7pm on Friday, there will be an emergency demonstration to join in the chorus of outrage against the NYPD, whose murderer-cop was just let off with no charges after choking Eric Garner to death, on video. Garner was selling “loose cigarettes,” which in NYC is a petty crime, part of the state’s larger strategy of managing populations in poorer areas.

Whether the murderer is indicted or not really makes no difference. Whether cops wear body cameras, are forced into sensitivity trainings, or “are from the community” will make no difference. The cops are a historically white supremacist force, used to repress and manage poor people and people of color. There is no escaping this fact.

A year ago Durham took to the streets repeatedly in protest of the police murder of Chuy Huerta. On Tuesday November 25th we marched with Ferguson, shutting down NC-147 in a broad effort at disruption. That was just the beginning. Please show up Friday night with all your rage and anger at this disgusting, racist system.

Updates and alerts can be found by following @NC4Ferguson via twitter or by texting “Follow @NC4Ferguson” to 40404.

FRIDAY DECEMBER 5TH CCB PLAZA 7PM

“We Remember” – Some Brief Accounts from Durham’s Ferguson Solidarity March, November 25th

IMG_20141125_233915The following is a series of vignettes from the march that took place in downtown Durham on Tuesday night, November 25th, in solidarity with the struggle in Ferguson. The march was promoted online as well as with handbills and posters distributed in the thousands all over the city, and occurred before and simultaneously with a rally organized by multiple leftist groups. This series of personal accounts does not seek to establish a linear or all-encompassing narrative of what occurred, so much as provide some impressions, sights, sounds, and emotional reactions.

* * *

There’s not many of us at the front doors to the library, only a few pockets of people looking curious if they’re in the right place, but more show up soon. Eventually a large crowd of hundreds has gathered. Media people walk around asking, “Who organized this?” When it becomes clear no one plans to claim ownership of this moment, a series of older Black women start to speak. The topic is familiar: the fear of losing a son or brother, the cheapness of Black life in this shit world. One woman carrying a large white sign with pictures of her son, killed by cops in Winston-Salem, brings the crowd to tears. A bus driver still in her neon vest says a prayer, but she’s followed up by a young black man who’s visually enraged, screaming about how prayer isn’t gonna do it, that it’s “time to burn something.” Finally the crowd releases, cheers, claps, people scream “fuck yeah.” A young women I know only vaguely from weird Leftist circles confesses, “I’m ready to smash something.” Skaters show up. Another guy who I haven’t seen since the Trayvon marches shakes my hand. (more…)