Civil Disobedience Can Be Tough | Being Prepared Is Key
The first, second, and third preparation is that you need to know your rights both in concept and in practice. You must know exactly when to exercise them. I cannot stress enough how important this is. You should be prepared to defend any right at a moment’s notice. This is not only important for your safety and your freedom but if you plan to record the incident, you want to sound like you know what you are talking about. The Internet and the (in)justice system will both judge you harshly if you make a mistake.
The fourth is as important as the first three. Always, no matter what, video and audio record as much as you can. Stream to an outside source if you can. Doing so makes the video next to impossible to delete. If you are approached by an officer, try to make sure that you are on his camera and he yours. It will create an objective record that is hard to beat. In some cases the officer’s are more inclined to behave because they don’t want to be the next YouTube star.
Number five on your list is be ready to go to jail. If you do this long enough and push your points far enough sooner or later you will run into a cop with something to prove. If you are arrested, just remember steps one two and three. As Ademo and Brian will tell you, don’t panic and don’t listen to what people tell you. The correctional officers don’t know what’s going on with your case anymore then your fellow inmates do. It is best to always have a plan and always have a check-in time with your emergency contact.
Six is simple, stand your ground. It is hard to make a point if you don’t stick to it or see your way through. Sometimes it is hard to judge if it is worth it. As an activist we tend to have to pick our battles. It is important to remember to never physically resist the police. The chances of winning in that situation are slim to none and it does not help your cause.
Number seven is more of a personal preference. You want to keep a level head and try to be respectful. Inevitable police misconduct may manifest into malicious criminal charges against you which can lead to a lawsuit against them. You want the public and more importantly the jury to be on your side. sometimes, you may even get your expected outcome.
These are just very few examples of preparations that need to be considered. When it comes down to it, you would want to be over prepared, rather than under prepared. Remember the ultimate goal is accountability and transparency within the system. The Constitution is your friend and defend it with every fiber of your being. Be proud of what you are doing, and know that you are helping stimulate change. Plus it is really fun (most of the time).
For more information visit: http://www.copblock.org/copblocking101/