This post was originally made on CopBlock.org. I’m posting it here as well, as who knows what’s going to happen with that site:
Hi, I’m Ian Freeman. I’m one of the original Cop Blockers, which is why I possess badge number five. I’ve been a longtime Cop Blocker, financial supporter and occasional blogger here. Both of Cop Block’s founders, Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman have lived with me in my home and they are great friends with whom I’ve had some amazing times.
I was alarmed this Summer when Ademo announced that he was putting CopBlock.org up for sale. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted out. Ademo has seen his share of burnout and has suffered greatly in his quest to hold police accountable. Ademo was a trailblazer in police accountability activism and deserves as much of a break as he wants. He’s currently describing himself as a “happily retired activist” and he should be. Our world is better off because Cop Block is in it.
What surprised me about his request to sell the site was the fact that Ademo felt he had to resort to a sale at all. Where were all the Cop Blockers who should have stepped up to take the reins? Ademo had asked the primary contributors to the site about taking over lead roles. Apparently no one stepped up, so Ademo decided to auction the site. When I found this out, I asked around and sure enough, while some people were willing to help, no one wanted to lead.
Ultimately someone made an offer on the site and Ademo accepted. He said the buyer did not want to be known and that the buyer was going to continue the site.
The only content posted to CopBlock.org in three months.
We’re now approximately a quarter-year from that purchase and you can see the posts on the site have dropped off a cliff. Regular posting halted at the end of July and nothing was posted until September 1st when an account with username “COPBLOCK” posted about the most-reported-on police abuse story of the year, the Utah nurse who was violently arrested by a hothead cop (who now thinks he should have his job back, by the way). The post has one sentence and video of the arrest. That’s it.
Gone are the obscure, outrageous stories of police abuse from around the US and globe.
Gone is the incisive libertarian commentary on the police state.
Gone are new videos from Cop Blockers in the streets. (more…)
The police were definitely watching, with what many suspected to be a police drone surveilling from above during the main event at 4:20. While one could say the drone being police-operated is speculation, there was definitely an unmarked police SUV parked and observing the crowd early on in the event. After I noticed him sitting there, I walked over to the grass near where he was sitting and pointed my camera at him. Within a minute, he said something into a microphone, rolled up his window and left, not to return. You can see it happen in this highlight video (at about 4:38 in) from the event (minus him talking into the mic – that happened before I hit record, sadly):
Besides a few state police cruisers driving by (not unusual for downtown Concord), that was the extent of any obvious police presence. As has been the case over the eight years of this epic civil disobedience event, no one was arrested.
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.”
The property stolen by the organized gang from a business in downtown Keene in broad daylight on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014, totaled into the tens of thousands of federal reserve notes. And though a couple of the thieves tried to hide their identity with masks, they seemed pretty smug – one even donned a shirt emblazoned with the message “Believe in Heroes.”
Many inhabitants, patrons of the business, and others concerned about the brazen violation of rights, were present and let the criminals know of their disapproval.
This is ultimately about ideas – the individuals captured on film wearing badges of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Keene Police Department outwardly act as if they alone are not culpable for their actions. That they’re “just doing their job.”
That seems more like a defensive mechanism to prevent themselves from actually having a conversation and thinking about the implications of their own involvement. Not just those harmed at that moment – in this case the business owner and employees and those who engaged in consensual interactions, but themselves, as acting to advance inherently conflicting ideas (that justice can come from coercion) will only compound internal contradictions.
Fortunately, the draconian sweep didn’t invoke fear and paralysis into the owner of Phat Stuff, who has since noted “we are going to use this tragedy as motivation to rebuild…bigger and better than it already was”.
Keene police officers Kyle Macie and new guy Kevin Baca were on the streets last night protecting the town from the scourge of two young men, a bong, and some cannabis in jars. I happened across the scene last night while out biking, pulled out my phone, started up Bambuser, and recorded/streamed the scene:
A local business owner is stopped and harassed and threatened by Keene police on 2013-10-18. Keene Cop Block‘s Ian Freeman is nearby and responds with his video camera. The man is happy for the scene to be recorded so Ian gets in the passenger side of the car!