FERGUSON and BEYOND
For those of us living in the Bay Area, it has been an inspiration to see people taking it to the streets of Ferguson against racist and brutal police.
For those of us in who participated in the Oscar Grant Rebellions, and lived through the street battles of Occupy, watching the community of St Louis brace for announcements of false justice is painful.
In 2010, we prepared for months around the date of the Johannes Mehserle Verdict in the murder of Oscar Grant, and then we watched our movement die in the following months from stress, short-sited objectives, and infighting.
In 2011 we watched the threat of impending police raids of our Occupy encampments wear down our spirits, and the perpetual attacks from the police deplete our numbers.
2015 you will be seeing a lot of new WeCopwatch projects!
From assisting the growth of Copwatch efforts in Ferguson, to the expansion of Copwatch initiatives nationwide, we are excited to see what the coming months have in store for us.
Know Your Rights Trainings
One of the issues any police accountability site runs into is the immense need for information. On any given day multiple inboxes are loaded with legal questions from people who have been abused by law enforcement, or are interested in forming a copwatch group.
Founding member of WeCopwatch, Jacob Crawford ran into this same issue when he first joined Berkeley Copwatch in 2000. There were calls daily for Copwatch support, and at times, not enough hours in the day to even respond to all of them.
WeCopwatch is looking for used Cameras and Computers for expanding Copwatch efforts.
It’s only been a few months, but it feels like a year. The Canfield Watchmen and WeCopwatch have been training Ferguson residents about their rights when stopped by the police or while copwatching. We’ve had a successful fundraiser to maintain a steady surplus of videos cameras, shirts, and literature for copwatch efforts in the St Louis area.
But we are taking this show on the road. Trainings have been expanding to other neighborhoods in Ferguson, and to other states as well. The Canfield Watchmen and WeCopwatch have been proudly supporting Copwatch initiatives in DC, Detroit, and Chicago.
WeCopwatch’s public disassociation of posts being disseminated over Copblock, Police The Police, and the Free Thought Project.
This is Jacob of WeCopwatch. I want to reach out to the thousands of people who are appalled by recent posts on the Copblock Facebook page. While WeCopwatch is not Copblock, or The Free Thought Project, I can say that there has been a lot of internal debates, fights, and discussions about these posts. You are not alone.
Some videos and memes posted on Copblock recently have used images of that CHP officer violently beating a helpless black women on the side of the highway to downplay women’s experiences of sexual harassment as depicted in that despicably racist “street harassment” video.
A lot of people have interpreted these posts to suggest that one image captures state violence against women, while another depicts people being friendly to a woman walking down the road. Initially I thought the post was a jab at racist America all up in arms about a white woman being harassed by black men, but not being upset at the image of a white male officer beating a black grandmother senseless.
On November 5th, 2010, Oakland Police swarmed a group of Oscar Grant demonstrators as they marched towards the Fruitvale Bart Station in East Oakland.
For those who don’t know, Oscar Grant was a young man who was killed on video, Jan 1 2009 by BART Police in front of scores of people.
This killing would bring people together all over the bay, state, country, and world around police murder and violence.
This group in particular was heading towards Fruitvale Bart station when they were illegally surrounded and arrested for “remaining at the scene of a riot.”