This document gives a step-by-step overview on how to start your own group – use what you find relevant and ignore the rest. It was created by Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman (it does not speak for others involved at the decentralized CopBlock.org).
You don’t need permission to exercise your rights. And you certainly don’t need approval before you create a group. Indeed, there’s no mandatory process on the way your group has to take shape. That said, we’re a community. We can learn from each other.
Consider the information below a rough framework. Take from it what you find useful. Skip some steps now and add them later. Another resource you may want to check out is the Copblocking 101 page.
Step 0: Invest in yourself
Mindset is important. Peruse the information at http://CopBlock.org/Library
Step 1: Create your group name
Branding is important – the name of your organization will communicate a lot of information in just a few words. Others who have created offshoots have tended to use their location (city, state, or country) followed by “Cop Block” (i.e. “Nevada Cop Block”, “Pittsburgh Cop Block”, etc.).
Step 2: Create a Facebook page
A presence on this social networking site is imperative. It’ll be a place where you can post relevant content, interact with followers, and allow people from your area to find and connect with you. It’s strongly suggested that you create a page, not a group. To get started visit: http://facebook.com
Log-in > go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages > click on: “Create Page” in the upper-right > select “Company, Organization, or Institution” > select “Education” from the drop-down > type in the name of your organization > click the checkbox to agree to terms > select the “Get Started” button and enter relevant information. Feel free to copy or use as a starting-point the mission statement at http://copblock.org/about
If you’re not able to choose a concise name when creating the page, once your page gets over 25 fans create an easy-to-remember URL by going to http://www.facebook.com/username > click on “Set a Username” > select the correct profile from the drop-down > type the desired name > click “Check availability” > share online, via word-of-mouth and on materials
Step 3: Create a YouTube account
Video is powerful because it is objective. Use it! Ideally to upload your own videos but if you don’t have that capacity yet you can still share, favorite, and communicate with others. You’ll first need to create a Gmail account, log-in then on the very top of the page in the center click on “More,” select “YouTube” and proceed accordingly. And while it may be easy to use an existing Gmail account (perhaps tied to your personal identity) it’s best to create a new account specifically for the group so that others can be given access.
Step 4: Create a Twitter account
Some stay abreast of world going-ons exclusively through Twitter. Take a few minutes to create a profile for your group to ensure you have a footprint in this medium. The 140-character maximum will cause you strip out the excess and convey only the most pertinent info. Content from your Facebook page can be auto-fed to your Twitter profile. Visit http://twitter.com
Step 5: Create an email account
Create an email account specifically for your group. Not everyone is active on Facebook or YouTube. This will provide a way for story tips and to be received and make it easier for those interested in getting active to get in touch with you. Also, it will help ensure a smooth transition if you happen to move on (as another trusted group member can take over) and it will provide some separation between the public face of the group and yourself. If you created a YouTube account you already have a Gmail account that you could use, but even better is Tutanota which offers more privacy.
Step 6: Create a Cell 411 cell
Cell 411 is a smartphone app that allows users to stream content and issue and respond to emergencies in real time. It is a tool you and those in your area can use instead of calling strangers with badges. Learn more and download from GetCell411.com and the video Cell 411 is About to Become Your New Favorite Tool
Step 7: Let the world know about your operations
Visit CopBlock.org/Groups and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. We’ll get your group information added which will make it easier for folks in your area to find and connect with you.
Step 8: Submit your content
Use the CopBlock.org structure to leverage content you collect or create. Simply share it via the “Submit” tab. This can help get attention on police employee misdeeds.
Step 9: Create a website
Once others in your area are involved and you are together generating lots of content, or doing outreach, it may make sense to create a homepage. There, you can link to all your social network profiles. Buy the domain (usually ~$10-20) then contact our friends at LibertyWebAlliance.com to inquire about hosting. We suggest using WordPress.
Step 10: Keep going
Visit the Grow a Group page: http://CopBlock.org/GrowAGroup