After I got off-the-air from my live Saturday radio program (on which we discussed the initial Pumpkin Fest 2014 riots), I headed back down to the college. At the time, there was a helicopter broadcasting a message to disperse or be arrested. I arrived at the gateway to Keene State College – Winchester St. to witness a huge throng of police marching down the street. I quickly pulled out my camera and began to record:
After walking around the nearest building on campus, in full view of the line of police, activists walked onto campus and right back over to Winchester St. We continued walking west on Winchester and no cops said anything to us there. However, we again went on campus and came back out on Madison St., on the west end of the college. Here there were several police standing around the intersection and one of them told me we couldn’t pass, despite college students walking down Winchester St. immediately behind them. (more…)
Rather than only arresting people who were causing violence and destruction, the police were targeting people crossing arbitrary lines and partying on private property. In this excellent ten-minute video, Alex is right there when cops create all kinds of unnecessary mayhem: (click links below to jump to that part if you are short on time)
They shoot pepperballs at party houses on Winchester St – completely unnecessary – those people were on private property and not in the road. It’s arguable that pepperballs are useful to clear a crowd who won’t leave a street and indeed, blocking streets is one of the reasons the “disorderly conduct” statute exists, but the people at these houses were just enjoying themselves. The use of pepperballs in this situation is just aggressive.
Guy walking down sidewalk is violently arrested by a throng of cops – This guy is literally just walking down the sidewalk. He’s hasn’t threatened anyone and is not blocking the street. The reason he can’t walk down the sidewalk is, well, because the men with guns say so. The reason the cops decide to jump him like he’s strapped with a bomb is, because they can.
It’s behavior like this from police that alienates them from average people. This is why Cop Block is so popular on campus. Here are the students’ sensible responses to the violence that was visited upon them by the police:
“We’re not terrorists. We love America. We just like to drink! Don’t shoot us!”
There’s a reason why the young ladies in the video think that the police are “pieces of shit” because they hurt their peaceful friends – every weekend, not just Pumpkin Fest. If all the police did was arrest people who hurt others or destroy property, it wouldn’t be as big a deal if they cleared some streets with pepperballs, but the adrenaline-hyped cops seem to have a penchant for escalating a situation. There’s more footage showing police attacking people for walking peacefully long after the riots had subsided – I’ll upload that soon enough. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the Pumpkin Fest Riots of 2014.
more comments from Ian Freeman about his motivations and actions to help create a peaceful community
a recount from a student filmed by someone active with Keene Cop Block during his interaction with strangers wearing badges
comments by Amanda Guthorn, the director of campus safety at Keene State
By: Alexa Ondreicka
For years, videos have been floating around the internet exposing police officers in every way possible.
While there are many different viewpoints surrounding the actions of the police force, students at Keene State College in particular are being thrust into an entirely separate situation with the implementation of CopBlock every Friday and Saturday night.
CopBlock, according to member Ian Freeman, is a “decentralized organization—meaning nobody’s in charge of anybody else—that exists worldwide.”
Freeman noted that holding police accountable for their actions is their main focus, hoping to expose police officers who target people for “victimless crimes,” such as open container violations or possession of marijuana.
CopBlockers expose these police officers by video-taping their interactions with the people they are targeting and then placing the videos online for the public to see.
Graphic by Sean Crater, webmaster, Keene Equinox
“A primary sort of weapon we use against the police is the video camera,” Freeman explained, “Police accountability is the focus of CopBlock, and the best way to hold them accountable, we’ve found, is through the public’s eye.”
Freeman said, “A CopBlocker can’t be there every time the police are behaving badly. It’s your responsibility to protect yourself and the best thing you can do is record your interaction. I’ve seen cameras change how a police-encounter goes more times than I can count. And usually changes it for the better.”
He continued, “That’s all it takes—to have a concern for the people around you. And trying to create an environment where the police behave better, hopefully, and that fewer people get hurt, and fewer peaceful people will get arrested.”
A few tweaks have been made to the know-your-rights flyer we’ve been handing out on the streets of Keene for years. They contain simple, solid info about your rights when encountering police. Even if you think you already know your rights, it doesn’t hurt to review. Please share! Click the graphics for the full-size versions or click: (front, back):
Welcome (back) to Keene, KSC students! Many of you returning are already aware of Keene Cop Block. For those who are new, we’ve been and will continue to be out in the streets near the college, generally on Friday and Saturday nights. As usual, we’ll be recording police harassment of peaceful people and will be handing out plenty of know-your-rights cards.
Plus, we may have a K9 unit, Jazzy Girl with us, so please stop and pet her – she loves people.
After I became a CopBlocker in September of 2013 , I noticed a spike in liberty activist and CopBlockers being assaulted. Even with clear evidence on video on multiple occasions. Keene Police insist on dragging their feet and or do absolutely NOTHING. The assault by a Keene State College student last September on myself was directly in front of the very Officer who sparked the attack. We later found out, that particular officer was the assailants coach on the Keene State College Lacrosse Team . The assault on Robin Hooder of Keene James Cleveland by Nick Mcallister a well known homeless man with a big history of violent behavior and also well known by the Police . After I was sitting in Rich Pauls Bail hearing and watching a video that clearly shows a violent assault on Rich Paul , and hearing Rich’s Lawyer get angry at the fact that no one was charged on the assault. I had to establish a pattern Keene Police, looking past illegal violent activity towards CopBlockers or Free Keene activists and want to repost all videos related to this and start a call flood for justice. Keene Police is showing the public that it is ok to attack us on sight without any consequences from Police . This needs to be dealt with now. Here are videos to prove assaults with no action from the Police.