This document was created by Pete Eyre (it does not speak for others involved at the decentralized CopBlock.org).
So you’ve Started A Group – what next? Below are some efforts that other Copblockers have found effective.
Invest in yourself
Take time to expose yourself to ideas and become familiar with tactics others have used during police interactions. Incorporate or act upon those you think best.
If an incident happens in your area that you think others should know about, do a write-up or create a video and share it to your outlets. Feel free to use the intros/outros other Copblockers have created that are included on this playlist from Cop Block Raw. If your video is a particularly powerful piece of content, share it to CopBlock.org/Submit. And if you go out Copblocking, document and post that. You’re already putting in the time, you might as well leverage it – let others know, some of how will get-involved, replicate in their area, or who may donate to you to support your efforts.
Leave a card/flyer with all positive encounters
Once a good rapport is established, interacting parties are much more likely to be receptive to other ideas. Friendly interactions should be the norm anyway, right?
Do outreach at high-impact locations
Your time is valuable, be effective. In-person outreach is often most-fruitful when done in dense areas, simply due to the number of possible connections. Consider going to a busy section of town, near the exit of a stadium or concert venue, or near the local jail or police department.
Connect with those told to appear at legal land
Learn and be able to communicate the concept of no victim no crime. Print “Don’t Take a Plea Deal” flyers and offer them to those going into court. Learn when jury trials are scheduled and hand-out Fully Informed Jury Information information to prospective jurors.
Make group links accessible
If you have a presence across multiple mediums (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, website, etc.) be sure to have all links included and easily visible on each profile.
Add donation options
Some who support your efforts may be unable to join you on the ground or to contribute much online, due to family, work, or other commitments. Yet they may have the means and desire to help in another way – through a donation. Give them that option. PayPal is notorious for freezing money in accounts, WePay is recommended as a better alternative. Definitely be sure to add a Bitcoin donation option – see Cop Block.org/Donate for layout ideas and resources on how to get started.
Wear your beliefs on your sleeve
Help start the conversation. Rock a shirt, hoodie, hat or other item from Cop Block or any outlet/cause you support. You’re going to be wearing clothes (at least most of the time), why not put those threads to work sharing ideas you support?
Put a Cop Block or Film the Police sticker on your vehicle
Think about it as insurance to deter predatory individuals. Why would a police employee choose to target a driver who is more-likely to know their rights, more-likely to stand-up for their rights, more-likely to film, and more-likely not to take a plea?
Share your ideas at public forums
Look on your local city/county website to find public meetings / recruiting / meet-and-greet events. Attend and ask questions or share thoughts. The purpose is not so much to impact the so-claimed “authorities” but others in the audience. If you go with others, consider sitting apart from each other so that the ideas you each share can’t as-easily be dismissed. Consider it low-risk outreach.
Hold a small get-together
Identify a time, date and location, such as a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, park, specific corner, and ask others to meetup, with a goal of meeting others interested in police accountability, brainstorming, and moving forward together.
Utilize tech tools
Handheld radios will facilitate communication with others on the ground. If you have a smartphone visit CopBlock.org/Apps and download a free streaming app (like Bambuser) to ensure whatever content you capture is stored safely offsite. And use Police Scanner 5-0 to stay abreast of police activity. If you want to rip a video posted online, use Keepvid.com or SaveItOffline.com. Use a screen recorder to capture content that cannot be downloaded. iShowU is a good choice for Mac. Many options exist for PCs.
Post to your local Craigslist
Create a free account at Craigslist if you don’t already have one. Then go to the Craiglist page that serves the area in which you live and post to a few relevant sections. Include a few-sentence overview about your group and its goals, a relevant picture, and encourage others to connect and get-involved.
Print or purchase materials and distribute to those in your area. Alternatively, develop a working relationship with a local printshop – perhaps they’ll give you a discount if you plug their company on your outlets or if a link to their company is included on your materials. Let us know if you have ideas for other flyers or better yet, create it, and we’ll share it for others to utilize. Some vector versions of Cop Block graphics are accessible on this shared folder on Dropbox.
Film every police encounter
The camera is the new gun – whether you yourself are approached by a police employee or you witness someone else being targeted, film. Hopefully nothing occurs, but if it does, an objective record will exist. You may find these resources informative: Film The Police, Copblocking101, Know Your Rights.
Solicit people for specific tasks
Decentralization is good. Getting even a couple more doers involved can be the catalyst needed to take things to the next level. Each of your efforts will compound each other. Content creation and frequency will be tackled by more people.
Proactively reach-out to active people / groups
Ask around, look in your alternative newspaper, and do Google searches to determine if there may be some like-minded groups in town. Reach-out to them with a candid message – introduce yourself, explain your efforts to get off the ground a group, and welcome any input or collaboration. If it makes sense, stop by their activity to share a bit about your efforts.
Call for a Summit
Determine a date, locate a venue duration and spread the word. Get-together and have some folks talk about their own experiences and motivations, share know-your-rights information, watch and discuss videos on police interactions, have a conversation on how to better work together for something better, go out Copblocking. Share the Event through your Facebook page and whatever other outlets you have – website, Twitter, Youtube. Then copy that and submit it to CopBlock.org. Posts made live to the website are automatically fed to Facebook.com/CopBlock and Twitter.com/CopBlock
All content here at CopBlock.org, including the content above, can be replicated or modified.
Have suggestions for additional tactics that should be included here? Please let us know.