The Peaceful Streets Project, “an all-volunteer, grassroots effort uniting Austinites in ending the institutional violence taking place on our streets”, is making a difference. The positive impact had due to the creation of the organization comes from those involved – good folks connecting and collaborating to protect their rights and bring-about a better community.
It all began due to the actions of Pat Oborski and Robert Snider, who are both employed at the Austin, TX police department. Due to their aggressive treatment of a female whom they had detained Antonio Buehler started taking pictures to document their actions. Oborski then confronted Buehler, took him to the ground, and told him he’d be sorry for fucking with the police. In his affidavit [embedded below] Oborski claimed that Buehler had spit on him – a third-degree felony, which could land Buehler in a cage for a decade.
Buehler wasn’t intimated – he knew it wasn’t him in the wrong. He posted ads on Craigslist and flyers in the area of the incident to encourage eyewitnesses to step-forward. And step-forward they did – proof to me that there are more good folks around than bad. In particular, one person shared the footage he’d captured from across the street, which unequivocally supported Buehler’s version of events. Oborski was ousted as a liar.
How can he sleep at night knowing that his claims could have sent a good person to a cage for a decade!?! If he would unthinkingly do this to Buehler – someone who was trying to come to the aid of an innocent stranger by document the aggressive actions of another – how many others has he previously railroaded??
Thus far Oborski’s colleagues have attempted to run damage control. But we shouldn’t be surprised – that’s the kind of accountability that one should expect from an institution that claims a monopoly.
- An internal investigation claimed that Oborski’s actions didn’t violate departmental policy (which could only be accurate if their own policies say that it’s ok for Austin police employees to run roughshod over the rights of those they purport to serve).
- And, in a classic hide-behind-the-thin-blue-line, Art Acevedo, the top-dog at Austin PD, has refused to release dash cam footage that depicts the incident.
- Buehler has multiple times had his court proceedings pushed-back. It’s clear the DA is balking.
Unsurprisingly, lots of people were outraged at the double-standards Buehler’s situation brought to light. Fortunately, rather than just express disgust then move on to the next item in the news cycle many of them acted and joined forces to create the Peaceful Streets Project.
They work to capture and post online complaints about actions done by Austin PD employees, and to educate others on their rights. And that’s no lip-service. At their latest know-your-rights training, attended by 200, they gave-out 100 videocameras (thanks to donations from individuals inside- and outside-Austin) to help keep their streets safer from the institutionalized violence too-often doled-out by Austin PD employees.
Click here to watch a half-dozen video presentations made at the Police Accountability Summit from Antonio Buehler, Clyde Voluntaryist, Debbie Russell and Scott Crow, Michael Cargill, myself (Pete Eyre), and a victims panel.
So successful has Peaceful Streets Project been that others from cities thousands of miles away, have contacted them with interest in starting an offshoot in their area. It’s awesome to see this happening.
Connect with these fine folks and get something started in your area!
July 23, 2012 – Pete Eyre’s Presentation to the “Peaceful Streets Project” in Austin – FreeKeene.com
July 18, 2012 – HFT Interviews Pete Eyre from CopBlock.org @The Police Accountability Summit – HoustonFreeThinkers.com
July 11, 2012 – Join the Police Accountability Summit this Saturday in Austin, TX! – CopBlock.org
June 26, 2012 –Peaceful Streets Project Aims to End Institutionalized Violence in Austin, TX – CopBlock.org
June 19, 2012 – Please support the Peaceful Streets Project – CopBlock.org