Activist’s Response to Arrests of Herself and Antonio Buehler

shared the following regarding the arrests of herself and Antonio Buehler, founder of the Peaceful Streets Project.

I was arrested early morning on Friday, September 21, 2012 and charged with “Interference with Public Duties” for filming the arrest of a comrade attempting to film an Austin Police Department investigation and arrest.  Although my primary focus in activism is on the Occupy Wall Street movement, I’ve been increasingly involved in the Peaceful Streets Project, an organization dedicated to holding police accountable for their often violent and unlawful actions.

After witnessing first-hand instances of police brutality against activists and the lies police departments spread to the mainstream media and in the court system to justify their unlawful and unethical behavior, I became involved in citizen journalism.  My job?  To film, photograph, and disseminate on social media the actions of my fellow activists and their arrests, in case they need this documentation.

Filming the police is integral in protecting the legal rights of activists, and it levels the playing field.  In an arrest, the police hold all power, and we must submit to the arrest, to the police brutality, to the devastating effects of the prison system on our humanity, and then we pray that we have enough money and a decent enough lawyer to get us through the legal system.  The right to film the police is the least of what we could and should be asking for. There will never be justice on scene or in the media again if we are not free to document and film those in power and to hold them accountable. What we are doing in the Peaceful Streets Project has intersectional implications, all of which rely on our First Amendment rights to free speech and to freedom of the press.  How our court cases play out will affect free speech and free press rights for all.

My favorite chant in the Occupy Movement is, “We are unstoppable! Another world is possible!” We need to continue investigating the history of municipal police forces and to not be afraid to examine weaknesses in our current judicial systems and prison industrial complexes.  We need to ask ourselves if there is a better way to form our communities, to love our neighbors, and to care for the most vulnerable and suffering among us. When we are positive that those in power are accountable to The People, only then can we call them public servants.

In jail, I wrote invisible prayers with my finger on my cell wall, asking for my freedom because writing is at the heart of how I understand life and our human pursuit of truth.  In the same way, I feel compelled to document situations of oppression and abuse of power in order to restore the feelings of love and community in our world.  I write to communicate the necessity of anti-oppression work and of the need for the activists in the Peaceful Streets Project and in activist movements worldwide, dedicated to the empowerment of all human beings and to the restoration of our humanity. Please bear witness.

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  • T

    Filming is different from involving yourself in the situation. Don’t interfer and you don’t lose your freedom

  • Hey

    @ t.

    You must be really confused watching that video.

    Where in the video do you see Buehler getting involve?

    The officer was vindictive when he noticed buehler and decided to involve Buehler by making a show with the bullhorn.

    Perhaps your bias will get you into trouble one day. :)

  • t.

    I didn’t care to watch another insiped video by someone who thinks they are doing some sort of biazre “public service” in which they involve themselves in the private business of others. And before you say that anything that occurs in public is OK to film and that there is no expectation if privacy…we all get that. But you need to understand , as clearly evident in one of Buehlers earlier video, that those “citizens” being filmed, in what is often the most embarrassing moments of their life, don’t want to star in his little videos. It may be your right to film, but where is the common courtesy to your fellow man? Standing back and filming, whatever and whoever, in public, is fine. But the self used term “activist”, clearly is showing that they are taken an active role in the situation. With that comes the peril of those actions. Stand back and film, record police activity and document any misconduct. But when you close in , close enough that you involve yourself, then you are involved. Those actions may and should have consequences.

    If you are recording for some sort of greater good…show that by your actions.

  • t.

    Should have read that…..should be insipid. Where was auto correct when I needed it.

  • MacEwan

    are you pork too?