VIDEO Non-Political Activism Panel, Liberty Forum 2013

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The below was originally posted to FreeKeene.com by Ian Freeman on March 17, 2013.

Ian is a good friend that has himself lived his ideas. Not just through media creation like Free Talk Live, ShireSociety.com, LRN.FM, and FreeKeene.com – which was was the featured sponsor of 24-stop, month-long Cop Block Tour, but his own actions.

BannerFreeKeene.com

__________

by Ian Freeman

Pete Eyre of CopBlock.org and I had the honor of being the Non-Political Activism Panel at Liberty Forum 2013. Hope you find our discussion useful. We cover a lot of activism types and ideas in an hour’s time:

VIDEO Non-Political Activism Panel, Liberty Forum 2013 is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Escape from Bridgeport

Monday, March 18th, 2013

This video gives an overview my time on the ground in Bridgeport, CT with Angel Martinez of Connecticut Cop Block.

All the footage used in the video was pulled from raw clips housed at Bambuser.com/channel/CopBlock and YouTube.com/CopBlockRaw

How were our interactions with folks who wore “Bridgeport PD” badges?

As I wrote shortly after leaving town in the post Bridgeport’s “Finest” Lackluster:

I don’t recall ever having been exposed to such blatant hostility right out of the gates as was had on the streets of east Bridgeport from those who steal money from residents under the auspices of “serving” them.

Those interactions notwithstanding, others in the area – those without badges – were receptive. We distributed dozens of flyers and had a number of good conversations.

Yet when Bridgeport Police employees circled and threatened to steal our cameras there wasn’t anyone else standing with us. In fact, a couple of times people skirted past us on the sidewalk when we were filming. They gave us a quick glance as if to say “I’m with you” but it was clear they didn’t want to get on the radar of their claimed “protectors.”

After capturing hours of footage I needed to get on the road and head south toward Philly. I know, in my vehicle as opposed to on foot, the chances higher that a person wearing a “Bridgeport Police” badge would cite  some arbitrary (“legitimate”) reason why they can stop/search/cage my property as a way to harass.

But, I had a schedule to keep, Angel didn’t think my freedom of movement would be impeded (famous last words, I know), and I was confident that I hadn’t done anything in the wrong. I loaded-up Bambuser on my phone so it was ready to go. My escape from Bridgeport went unmolested.

Connecting with Angel was the primary reason I decided to make a stop in Bridgeport. He’s having an impact by sharing with his neighbors know-your-rights info, which includes the concept of no victim no crime. Just imagine if 10% of those in Bridgeport starting filming police interactions or not taking plea deals for actions (“crimes”) that caused no victim.

The more that happens in Bridgeport and your town the safer we’ll all be.

Connecticut Cop Block

The second-half of the video Escape From Bridgeport centers on the actions of one individual – David Uliano. For more on that character check out: David Uliano – Bridgeport police employee – is NOT someone I’d hire for protection.

Feel free to take a page from YouTube.com/HonorYourOath and share your thoughts with those involved. [Be sure to pay his channel a visit - he has many solid videos.]

Bridgeport Police Department

Individuals are responsible for their actions. That may seem elementary, but it may be worth reminding to those who have a self-interest in maintaining the Statist Quo.

Each police employee has likely been bathed in fear-based propaganda at a greater duration and depth than have you or I. Might then, a police employee avoid logical questions that cause internal contradictions? We’re each on our own journey. [Might the page CopBlock.org/WelcomeLEOs be a red pill for some?]

Escape from Bridgeport is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Music is a powerful medium through which to share ideas. That’s why it’s awesome to see “The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape” created by Lonnie Ray Atkinson, Anitek, G-O-N and others. Like the content here at Cop Block, the tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons License so feel free to share/utilize!

This mixtape is now also linked-to from CopBlock.org/Knowledge and CopBlock.org/KnowYourRights.

Related content can also be found at http://www.scribd.com/collections/3807642/Know-Your-Rights.

From Lonnie Ray Atkinson [bio below]:

The following PSAs are meant to remind listeners of their rights and address particularly the constitutional abuses (now acknowledged by a federal judge) of stop-and-frisk policy in New York.

Instrumentals by Anitek and G-O-N

Special thanks to Moira Meltzer-Cohen and the New York Law Collective.

Click the play button below to hear all the entire mixtape, or click a track title to listen to whatever catches your interest.

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape by Lonnie Ray Atkinson

 

Magic Words: Intro (with G-O-N)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Gut Check) by G-O-N

Lyrics:
Narrator: Today we’re going to learn the magic words
Narrator: Today we’re going to learn the magic words

Narrator: The Following PSAs are brought to you by / are brought to you by / are brought to you by
Sample: the constitutional abuses of Stop-and-Frisk policy

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?……..
Sample: How do you know if you’re rights are being violated?….
Sample: Way things are today, folks gotta have an arrest plan.
Sample: This ain’t about guilt or innocence. / This ain’t about guilt or innocence. It’s about you exercising your rights.

Narration: You’re listening to The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape
Narration: Today we’re going to learn / Today we’re going to learn
Sample: It’s about you exercising your rights.

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked? / What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?
Narration: Let’s get started.
Narration: Let’s get started.

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?……..

 

Magic Words: Verse One (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Sound Bite) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Sound Bite by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
don’t interfere or obstruct
don’t touch an officer or their stuff
don’t give false docs, IDs, or fake names
you ain’t gotta give nothing unless you’re being detained

and that means you ain’t gotta sweat questions
but if you’re gonna talk, don’t give details, don’t get defensive
and blast the magic words if the cops are in your brain
“Am I free to go? Am I being detained?”

“Am I free to go?” If yes, then walk on
“Am I being detained?” If no, then be gone
but if they go ahead and detain you, ask ‘em why
and make notes – you’re the only one that’s on your side

now in detainment, they can ask for ID verification
they can try and grill you for information
they can pat you down over your clothes
but aside from those three, this is what you need to know

you got the constitutional right to hit pause
remaining silent ain’t guilt, it ain’t probable cause
but when it comes to searches, silence is consent
so in order to exert your fourth amendment

say it loud so crowds can hear the magic words
“I do not consent to this search.”
“I do not consent to this search.”
“I do not consent to this search.”

there’s really only one thing left if they want to press it
and you better know the moment the cuffs hit, it’s best if
you say, “I am not resisting arrest.”
“Officer, I am not resisting arrest.”

you got the magic words, stay calm and compliant
“Officer, I am going to remain silent.”
“Officer, I want to speak to a lawyer.”
then clinch your mouth until your jaw burns

if you say anything, it best be the magic words
I put them in the chorus, so we could rehearse
and get it down, so when it’s time you can bring it
and if you’re scared to say it then you can sing it

 

Magic Words: Chorus One (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Champioonee) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Champioonee by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(one more time, what happens if they stop you)

Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(know your rights, let the magic words work for you)

 

Magic Words: Verse Two (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Chewie) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Chewie by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
now when your rearviews fill with flashing blue brights
stay in your ride, cut on the interior light
license and registration within reach in plain view
crack the window, hands back on the wheel, ten and two

move slowly, announce everything you about to do
and if you’re asked to step out, lock the door behind you
they can search the passenger side glove for weapons
but anything more than that, remember your lessons

I do not consent to this search, calm and polite
I don’t care if it takes all night, that’s your rights
it ain’t disrespect, it ain’t a hassle
it’s your constitution, from your car to your castle

and speaking of your castle, be proactive with your space
hang a sign outside your place
saying, “we don’t consent to the police in our home without a warrant
here’s our attorney’s name, here’s our attorney’s number”

and if johnny law ever comes a-tappin’ your door
ask for the warrant, check what they allowed to look for
and make notes of everything that happens
rooms they search, funny behavior, faces and badges

now if they ain’t no warrant, tell them to go away
then ring up your attorney with that play by play
and if they won’t leave, they gonna have to work for it
without a warrant, you can make ‘em kick in the door for it

and if they bust in claiming a threat to public safety
don’t interfere, don’t resist, just state plainly
I do not consent to a search, now put that in your report
while I sit here and make notes for court

you within the law – ain’t no need to be scared
you ain’t gotta be guilty to be prepared
and that means you school anyone staying in your home
if they alone, this routine best be square in they dome

take the time to make a plan, worth your life
from the curb to your car to the crib, you got rights
singa-singa-sing along – so we can memorize the magic words
this chorus goes out to my liberty loving nerds

 

Magic Words: Chorus Two (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Recall) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Anitek-Recall by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

 

Magic Words: Verse Three (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Vast Shutdown) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Vast Shutdown by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
don’t fib to federal agents, it’s a crime
even trivial lies’ll have you doing time
best chance if you’re hoping to walk
bust early with the magic words, then don’t talk

same thing if you get rung up
don’t talk, phones are made to be hung up
but if you can score the caller’s job, number, or name
write it down, call your counsel, it’s a details game

now private security ain’t entitled to nothing
don’t say nothing, don’t sign nothing, they ain’t nothing
ain’t a badge in the land that can demand you squawk
if they ain’t your attorney, then don’t talk

and yo I don’t care how much they befriend you
even telling the truth can be used against you
prior statements, the tiniest inconsistency
is fair ground to tear down your credibility

and make sure your loved ones understand this means
you can lean on your family and friends but don’t sing
and don’t think – your cellmate’s shoulder will support you
the time to defend yourself is in the courtroom

but even more important than don’t talk, don’t assume
this kind of stuff ain’t happening because it ain’t happened to you
there’s only one thing true, when it comes to the law
it ain’t one size fits all

the most vulnerable populations know the warning
gays and lesbians, trans and gender non-conforming
sex workers and folks with HIV/AIDS
folks without papers sweating the ICE raids

from communities of color to any kind of “other”
to hearts sporting privilege, stand up for one another
know the law like hip hop knows beats
and tell the police that these are our streets

and in our streets, even non-citizens got rights
check the nlg’s website
but, in the meantime, don’t forget what you heard
if you take one thing, let it be the magic words

 

Magic Words: Chorus Three (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Gland Man) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and 04 Gland Man by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search – no
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
I am not resisting arrest – no
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(one more time, what happens if they stop you)

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search – no
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
I am not resisting arrest – no
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(know your rights, let the magic words work for you)

 

Magic Words: Outro (with G-O-N)

Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (ExpV.2) by G-O-N

Lyrics:
You’ve been listening to The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape
The contents of this mixtape are not meant to substitute for legal advice. For that, you need a lawyer. For now, you need the magic words.
Lyrics and Vocals by Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Song Instrumentals by Anitek
Intro and Outro Instrumentals by G-O-N
Special special thanks to Moria Meltzer-Cohen and the New York Law Collective – Until We Are All Free…

Say them loud so everyone can hear you.
Know your rights and let the magic words work for you.

__________________________

From Lonnie Ray Atkinson’s profile at SoundCloud.com:

lonnie-ray-atkinson-copblock

Lonnie Ray Atkinson

On political songwriting:

I spent a long time feeling helpless about how to make the world a better place and coming up with excuses as to why I wasn’t doing more. Hoping I could find a way to make an effective contribution, I turned to songwriting as a form of activism. Free to the public, this work is intended not only as a vehicle for protest, but also as an organizing tool.

A lot of artists are afraid of being labeled “political.” Not me.

I want you to know.

These songs are political. Every damn one of them.

A culture for our movement:
We say we want “a better world,” but the question then arises – what would a better world look like? And while this question automatically triggers electric debate over economic and political relations (focusing on the dynamics of race, gender, class, physical ability, etc), so many of us forget to incorporate the importance of culture into our vision. Likewise, when it comes to strategy, so much of our movement fails to factor in the use of culture.

Since we are asking people to commit time outside of their daily work, we must present a movement that offers those things people need outside of their work lives. We must present a movement with culture.

Aside from work and the material necessities work can provide, a people need art, theater, music, literature, poetry, food and drink, laughter, sports, conversation, sex.

A better world, by definition, should be attractive. Our movement must be attractive. We need a social justice culture. A culture to build our future upon. A culture of both resistance and vision.

If we are serious about our goals, our movement must resemble what we want in a better world. If we are serious about building an effective movement, we need artists, authors, actors, poets, musicians, comedians, playwrights, puppeteers, filmmakers, songwriters, craftspeople, teachers, builders, growers, cooks. We need a culture worthy of our movement.

We need creativity and imagination rooted in a language of principles. A culture that will inspire, provoke, enlighten, and entertain. A culture that will inform our struggle, mourn our losses, and celebrate our victories.

And as our situations change, so will the content of our creative work. Similarly, our cultural identity will not be a homogenous one but a human one. An identity rich with diverse tastes but shared values.

Reflecting this diversity, contributions may at times be offensive, sappy, punk, corny, dissonant, pop, profound. And though contributors may not always be the most gifted, if they are thoughtful and honest, humble and hardworking, they will surely help lay the groundwork for building that better world.

We need a culture for our movement. I want to contribute to that culture.

I hope you will find a way to contribute as well.

You can get in where you fit in, but get in.

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Jeff Gray (HonorYourOath) Detained for Filming Bank Buildings

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Yesterday Jeff Gray (HonorYourOath) was hassled because he videotaped bank buildings from public property.

Gray was doing nothing wrong, yet because he dared to assert his rights, he himself had his freedom of movement curtailed and a threat of caging levied. This was a classic case of claims made and reinforced by individuals used to having others obey, without question.

Initially the bank security told Gray (incorrectly) that he could not film, even though it was acknowledged that he was on a public sidewalk. Before too long a second security employee and three Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employees were on the scene.

Gray was told that because he was a “suspicious person” he was detained. Later, after speaking with his attorney on the phone, C. R. Cusatti – the man wearing a badge that took and ran his ID – told Gray that he was free to go.

Why wouldn’t Cusatti share his name verbally? Was he not proud of his actions?

Is this a police state, where one must ID for the so-claimed protectors or else?

jeffgray-honoryouroath-c-r-cusatti-copblock

J. R. Cusatti, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employee

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
(904) 630-0500
C.R. Cusatti (individual who detained Gray)

Gray did a lot of things correct – he remained calm. He continued filming throughout. He knew where his lines were and he stuck to them despite pressure (ie he’d had already concluded that he’d share ID if he were detained, but not if he wasn’t detained). He asked questions of those used to controlling the conversation. He called someone offsite to keep them abreast of the situation. And he shared the content he collected with others – both to showcase the actions of those who claim to protect folks in Jacksonville and so that you and I can be more informed, should we ever find ourselves in a similar situation.

Other content from HonorYourOath here on CopBlock.org.

 

Jeff Gray (HonorYourOath) Detained for Filming Bank Buildings is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Police Have No Duty to Protect You

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
maksim-gelman-nypd-reactive-copblock

Reactive, not proactive NYPD employees, transport Maksim Gelman

If you pay for a good or service, don’t you expect some benefit in return?

If you walked into a McDonald’s, ordered a burger, saw it rang-up on the register, and gave them your money, you’d expect within a minute or two to have a burger, right? If five-minutes went by you might point-out to an employee that your order had yet to be filled, right? If a longer-than-average time went by you may even be comped some extra food as a way to lessen any ill-will that may have developed from the lackluster service.

Such deliverables – the supply of a good or service paid for, or even adequate customer service, are entirely void from policing as it’s currently structured.

Not only are police “customers” told to pay “or else” (talk about perverse incentives), but courts (proving just who they serve) have ruled that police employees have no obligation to provide you, as an individual, any good or service.

But aren’t police are here to protect us!?

Not so much. A situation in NYC, in which a non-badge wearing man subdued a knife-wielding killer, while badge-wearing individuals looked on, underscores this fact.

From the article City Argues NYPD Had No “Special Duty” To Protect Subway Hero From Madman’s Rampage, reposted below in its entirety:

“When the news was brought to my attention that police had an opportunity to intervene and maybe prevent the whole incident, and it was explained to me they chose to stay in the motorman’s compartment instead of coming out, I was very upset.”

Lozito sued for negligence, but city lawyers say his demand for unspecified money damages should be tossed because the police had no “special duty” to protect him or any individual on the train that day—there’s a long-standing legal precedent requiring cops to put the public safety of all ahead of any one individual’s rights.

This is but one of the more-recent examples where those in legal land have stated that so-claimed “authorities” have no duty to protect the individual. A handful of others include:

  • Castle Rock v. Gonzales, which found police employees had “qualified immunity” (legal land language that purports to shield individuals from personal responsibility) and thus could not be sued, after three kids were killed by the husband of a woman who’d three weeks prior gotten a restraining order that stipulated that he be at least 100 yards from her and their three daughters except during specified visitation time.  This, despite four calls made by the woman to police, after the kids were snatched-up, including one in which she informed them of the location of the husband and their children.
  • Warren v. District of Columbia, in which two women heard their roommate being attacked downstairs by intruders called the police several times and were assured that officers were on the way. After their roommate’s screams stopped 30 minutes later they assumed the police were present and went downstairs, only to themselves be held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers, for the next 14-hours. The “officials” in legal land claimed that official police personnel and the government employing them owe no duty to victims of criminal acts and thus are not liable for a failure to provide adequate police protection.
  • Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Department, in which legal land “authorities” stated that police had no constitutional duty to protect people from crime, after a woman, who’d filed numerous complaints and had gotten restraining order, was continually harassed and had her property vandalized by her ex-husband.
  • DeShaney v. Winnebago County, which found that those who purport the right to steal money from others in the area to protect kids were not culpable after releasing a boy, into his father’s custody despite repeated evidence of abuse, including one bout that left him “profoundly retarded” and likely to spend the rest of his life institutionalized.

But should one really be too surprised? After all, police, and the courts that claim to administer justice, are coercive monopolies. Its actors claim a right to steal your money.

Things won’t change for the better by sitting idly by. In fact, once such a double-standard is allowed-for, it will only grow and become more tyrannical. Is that the world you want to live in, or that you want to leave for future generations?

Consider a better alternative. Check out CopBlock.org/Knowledge, watch this video, think for yourself, then act accordingly!


__________________

City Argues NYPD Had No “Special Duty” To Protect Subway Hero From Madman’s Rampage
by Ben Yakas in Gothomist.com on Jan. 27th, 2013

joseph-lozito-head-nypd-no-duty-to-protect-copblock

Joseph Lozito, better than a cop

Back in February 2011, a 24-year-old Brooklyn man went on a 28-hour stabbing rampage across Brooklyn and Manhattan, killing four people and injuring four others. An unremorseful Maksim Gelman later admitted to the deaths and was sentenced to 200 years-to-life in prison. His last victim, straphanger Joseph Lozito, later sued the police for not doing more to prevent the madman’s actions and not coming to his aid in a timely fashion. And now, city lawyers are arguing that the NYPD had no “special duty” to protect him during the attack, despite the fact that cops were on the train at the time and may have been too scared to engage with Gelman.

Lozito was taking the subway from Penn Station to West 66th Street to go to his job at the Alice Tully Hall box office when he was confronted by Gelman on February 12, 2011. Lozito said that Gelman was wildly pounding on the motorman’s door, pretending to be a cop, when he turned to him and said, “You are going to die.” Gelman lunged at the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Lozito with a knife, stabbing him multiple times in the head. But Lozito was able to use some MMA moves to pin him to the ground. Afterwards, officer Terrance Howell tapped him on the shoulder and said he could get up: “By the time he got there, the dirty work was already done,” Lozito said.

It later turned out that Howell and fellow officer Tamara Taylor, who were part of the manhunt looking for Gelman, had locked themselves in the front room with the conductor because they thought Gelman had a gun. Lozito told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “When the news was brought to my attention that police had an opportunity to intervene and maybe prevent the whole incident, and it was explained to me they chose to stay in the motorman’s compartment instead of coming out, I was very upset.”

Lozito sued for negligence, but city lawyers say his demand for unspecified money damages should be tossed because the police had no “special duty” to protect him or any individual on the train that day—there’s a long-standing legal precedent requiring cops to put the public safety of all ahead of any one individual’s rights. According to the official NYPD account and Howell’s affidavit, Howell was the one who tackled and subdued Gelman.

Suffice to say, Lozito thinks it’s bullshit: “If the cop is on the train, and I get robbed by a stranger, of course, the cop can’t be clairvoyant,” Lozito told The Post. “But when they’re looking for Maksim Gelman, and Maksim Gelman bangs on the door and says, ‘Let me in, I’m a cop’ and all you say is: ‘No, you’re not?’ ”

Police Have No Duty to Protect You is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Liberty: Preferable to Coercion

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Right now I’m on the road in my Tahoe with The Cop Block Tour.

People have asked what its objectives are – for me it’s two-fold:

As I say on the /tour page:

For a relatively little bit of coin, a lot ideas and resources will be shared and many good folks will connect, thereby lessening the ability of the fear peddled by those who claim the “legitimate” right to initiate force to take hold, so we can work together to proactively create a reality absent institutionalized violence.

Along the way I’m working for transparency through the lends of my HTC Evo 5 via Cop Block’s Bambuser channel, my chest-mounted GoPro, and/or my Canon Vixia HF R10. You can view related posts here.

alice-sees-the-matrixI thought I’d share a couple of write-ups I’d done in the past as I think it’ll help provide more background for my advocacy that policing be provided like any other good or service – not via coercive interactions, but via consensual interactions. The first post – A Was For America – was published in late 2011, the second – My Journey To Embracing Freedom in All Issues At All Times – in early 2007.

I share them here not because I think you learning about me is more important than me learning about you, but to support my claim that ideas have consequences.

That’s why we created the “Welcome LEOs” page (LEO = “law enforcement officer”) in an effort to have a conversation that points-out that while most in policing have noble aims, they can never be achieved through a coercion-backed monopoly.

Think about just how paradoxical and impossible it is for someone to “protect” you if they first steal from you?

To take a cue from Herbert Spencer, I concluded that I have the right to ignore the state. Critical to reaching that conclusion is grasping that “the state” is just a bad idea. And that ideas can be modified or replaced.

If you are one day aggressed upon – if someone claims a “right” to disarm you, or to steal your house by dressing it up as “eminent domain”, or your vehicle due to “asset forfeiture”, fault lies not with text on paper but that individual.

liberty-not-the-daughter-the-mother-of-order-benjamin-tucker-copblock-peteeyreThey are acting according to the bad idea that establishes a system of double standards and detracts from the wrongdoers culpability. Why give that bad ideas any legitimacy?

From the conclusion of the first essay below:

Most individuals mean well, but they’ve only been exposed to the misinformation peddled in gun-run schools and by the mainstream media, which communicate that it’s ok for people working for the government to do things that would be wrong for others to do. Introduction to the ideas of self-ownership, one mind at a time, can only encourage the peaceful evolution toward a more free and prosperous society.

Realize that there is no rule of law.

Order is emergent.

_______________________________________

‘A’ Was For America: My Journey to Voluntaryism

By Peter Eyre at voluntaryist.com

I was born in 1980, in Ponca City, OK – a town of about 25,000 two hours north of Oklahoma City. My old man – a chemist graduate from Madison by way of Purdue – worked at the Conoco refinery, the area’s biggest employer. My mom – who’d been a nurse at the hospital – opted to stay at home with me and my older bro.Growing up I played sports (sometimes poorly) and inherited my dad’s love of riding bicycles. My folks were supportive.

One book they gave me, The Way Things Work, instilled in me an interest to investigate what was beneath the surface. When I was ten a tree house we’d started building wasn’t getting finished, so I knew some change was in the air.We moved 700 miles up the road (I-35) to a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Save for math, school was easy enough but I tended to get into trouble for stuff. When younger – I got nothing more than checks next to my name on the blackboard. When older – I did nothing serious enough to get me caught up in the legal system, but I have had to apologize for some things I did in 11th and 12th grades.Though I spoke with Army and Marine recruiters in 10th grade, like most of my classmates, I ended up heading off to college. My worldview at the time was aptly summarized by my second tattoo – an American flag surrounded by the text “Love it or leave it.” I majored in Law Enforcement. A mandatory class in the Ethnic Studies department was the impetus for that becoming my second major. In both programs I found that more and more, I was often the lone voice of dissent.

Drug policy was the issue that got me into the ideas of liberty. James P. Gray’s Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It was one of the assigned books in a Sociology class I took, and provided me with a logical framework of potential alternatives. I consumed other books on the issue and in a Law Enforcement class, wrote a paper calling for the decriminalization of drugs. My Ethnic Studies classes caused me to question democracy, after it became clear that a majority doesn’t make something right. It didn’t make sense to me that people should celebrate the political victories of women’s suffrage or the ending of enslavement but ignore the fact that it was the same institution that had “legalized” such inequalities in the first place. Ride-alongs and time spent as an intern with the St. Paul Police Department only reinforced my belief that systemic changes needed to be made.

I went off to grad school at Western Illinois University, where I majored in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. The program was geared for those heading into the field rather than academia. My grades were good – 3.85GPA in undergrad and 3.91 in grad school. I attended conferences around the country and was active with many organizations on campus, including the College Libertarians.

Thought-provoking discussions at our meetings caused me to question the Statist Quo. I took my views on drug policy to their logical conclusion – get the State out of the way. The same happened to marriage and education and other issues. I quit thinking about working for federal law enforcement agencies since I couldn’t support any of their missions. Still, I thought I could have a positive impact working at a big police department. After all, wasn’t protecting people and property a proper role of government?

I tested with New York City Police Department, Seattle PD and LAPD, and scored at the 94%, 98% and 100% levels, respectively. But, after a questionable reading on the lie detector test administered by the LAPD, they found that I hadn’t been truthful about my use of “illicit” substances. Consequently, they dropped me from consideration. I thought more about my future. I withdrew my name from consideration with the NYPD and Seattle and interviewed and was then offered a job in the private sector working for a surveillance company. I had my choice of placements around the country and was to be given a car and quite-decent salary, but then I received an email that changed the course of my life. I had previously applied for an intern position at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., thinking that such an environment would be very beneficial to my intellectual development. I didn’t know anyone in Washington, D. C., but I knew it was an awesome opportunity, so off I went into the belly of the beast.

I exited the train in Union Station with two bags and my boxed-up bicycle in early January of 2005 and began my internship in the Foreign Policy & Defense department. The caliber of those I was surrounded by was impressive. Most of the other interns came from big-name schools and were well-read. I felt like I had some catching-up to do and I worked hard to get the most out of my time there. Weekly seminars by Cato staff on public speaking, op-ed writing, research techniques and more helped me become a more-effective communicator of liberty. In-house events and those around town exposed me to a lot of ideas and policy proposals. After a short time I got up the courage to question those I felt less-than consistent. And for the first time I was exposed to economics (I hadn’t had a single class in high school or college). Austrian economics specifically opened up to me an entirely new perspective on the world, one centered on the actions of individuals rather than on mega-data like GDP or nation-state imports/exports. This was instrumental in my progress to seeing political boundaries as arbitrary.

That summer I was fortunate to be one of about 40 in the Koch Summer Fellow Program (KSFP). John Hasnas led one of the sessions during our opening week, and though I wasn’t assigned to his group, I made time to talk with him at the suggestion of others in the program. I found his views thought-provoking and today continue to share his essay “The Myth of the Rule of Law” with others who believe law created and interpreted by man is a good thing. Through the KSFP I interned at the Drug Policy Alliance. While some colleagues there advocated for the government to be completely uninvolved with drug policy, most sought to redirect government involvement from enforcement to treatment. Healthy conversation ensued and working through political channels to bring about systemic change became even less attractive.

I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time and finally understood the “Who is John Galt?” reference I had months before seen on a t-shirt. In June, I went to the Porcupine Freedom Fest (PorcFest), the summer event hosted by the Free State Project, after its founder Jason Sorens addressed our KSFP class. It was the first time I was around people who openly carried weapons and were living the free lifestyle. Their attitudes were very infectious. In August 2005, I was hired by the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), which I still believe is one of the best bang-for-your-buck non-profits advancing liberty.

I worked at IHS for over 2 1/2yrs, last serving as director of the campus outreach program, which demonstrated to me the benefit of coupling online and in-person communications. While there I read Bruce Benson’s The Enterprise of Law, Carl Watner’s I Must Speak Out, the Tannehill’s The Market for Liberty, and Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism just to name a few. At some point while at IHS I realized that I was an anarchist, although I initially hesitated to describe myself as such, fearing I’d do more harm than good since I might fail to adequately address the critiques posed by others. That self-censorship soon passed.

In early 2008, I left IHS for Bureaucrash, a then-principled activist-oriented organization. It was a tough decision, but it was my logical next step. The intellectual foundation and skills I’d acquired over the past few years and the discretion afforded in my new role facilitated the creation of tools and content that helped advance the voluntary society. A vibrant social network meant individuals could connect online, share ideas and even meet in-person. Events, videos, merchandising and other efforts reinforced this community’s growth. A year later, I left DC to “search for freedom in America” through the Motorhome Diaries (MHD) with my friend Jason Talley, who, too, had been active in DC’s libertarian think tank world.

We set out in our RV, dubbed MARV, the Mobile Authority Resistance Vehicle, and pointed our cameras at those advancing the freedom movement. We held meetups in over 50 cities and did media and outreach. Shortly into the tour we received an email from Adam Mueller, who I subsequently nicknamed Ademo, and who later changed his last name to Freeman, to show that he owned himself. He expressed interest in joining our project. A week later he took the train from Milwaukee to Chicago, and we picked him up as we headed west. A month later we were stopped in Jones County, MS for having a temporary, rather than a permanent, metal license plate. This led to our unjust arrest and the search of MARV, and underscored why we were doing what we were doing – the police state was alive and well, but so was the liberty-oriented community, who made hundreds of calls to our captors, raised bail money, and helped get more attention on our rights-violations. I still get teary-eyed when talking about the spontaneous nature of the support we received from friends and other lovers of liberty. After seven months we had visited 41 states, met thousands of people, and uploaded 200 video interviews from policy wonks, activists, thinkers and, yes, three politicians (including Ron Paul and Adam Kokesh).

In early 2009, I joined Ademo at Cop Block (CB), a police accountability project he’d started after being harassed by an individual working for his local police department. Its tagline, “badges don’t grant extra rights” and proactive tactics have resonated with a lot of people, including a growing number of contributors. Though everyone approaches the issue from a different angle and with a different tone, we all seek to communicate that it’s the monopoly on the provision of law enforcement that must cease to end the rights-violations from those wearing badges.

A couple of months later, after I bought Jason out of his half of MARV, Ademo and I founded Liberty On Tour, through which we sought to advance the voluntary society. Taking what we learned from MHD, we spent a few months on logistics for our next tour. This time, over 30 organizations such as FEE, FFF, Freedom’s Phoenix, Free Keene and Strike The Root stepped-up. We included their brands on our video intros and outros, wore their swag, adhered their graphics to MARV (a rolling billboard for liberty), distributed their materials, and more. By this time we had relocated to Keene, NH, to be involved with the growing community of doers on the ground seeking to achieve “liberty in our lifetime!” A few weeks before we hit the road we traveled to Greenfield, MA, to bail out a friend. We were filming, as we often do, which eventually led to us being kidnapped and caged by aggressors wearing badges. Together we were threatened with three felonies and five misdemeanors. After over a year of legal hoops – we had a trial. By that time, only three charges remained (including the wiretapping). We represented ourselves (though the judge assigned us lawyers over our objections) and communicated that it wasn’t us but those wearing badges that were the criminals. People were supportive and emboldened to stand up for their own rights. The jury found us not guilty. When the jurors left, they received a standing ovation from those present to support us.

We completed another cross-country tour – 13 cities in 13 weeks that departed from Keene and ended in Miami, complete with more unfounded arrests – and this past summer (2011) did a shorter tour focused mostly on the growing liberty community in New Hampshire. My experiences in these roles only further strengthen my belief in and advocacy for consensual interactions.

Right now, I’m brainstorming with Ademo about future plans for Cop Block and Liberty On Tour. The former has had enormous traction due to its decentralized nature and the sheer number of people whose rights have been violated by those wearing badges, so it’s likely we’ll focus efforts on that front.

The ideas of liberty and of voluntaryism specifically have made me a better person. Most individuals mean well, but they’ve only been exposed to the misinformation peddled in gun-run schools and by the mainstream media, which communicate that it’s ok for people working for the government to do things that would be wrong for others to do. Introduction to the ideas of self-ownership, one mind at a time, can only encourage the peaceful evolution toward a more free and prosperous society. And oh yeah – that American flag tattoo is now covered by a big circle-A, which has been an excellent conversation starter about my journey, and the ideas of liberty.

_______________________________________

My Journey To Embracing Freedom in All Issues At All Times

I’m often asked, “How did you become a libertarian?” Because I believe it is important to humanize the face of libertarians so that they and the views they espouse cannot be dismissed on a whim by statements like, “You don’t care about people,” I will (hopefully) give a relatively-quick and entertaining overview of my journey.

While I cannot point to one specific date or event that turned me on to ideas, I do know that I always had some strong motivations, such as a thirst for knowledge and self-discipline. I remember one of my favorite books that my folks gave me when I was a kid was called, Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise, which helped spark my interest in questioning why the world works as it does.

When I was in high school classes were easy enough, but let’s just say my questioning of authority came out in force. Though I am tempted to move on, I think it’s worth emphasizing that my encounters with school bureaucrats caused me to question the system that I was supposed to seed authority to based on their demand. I still recall with relish the first time my folks backed me up in one of my “disagreements” with school officials (which instilled in me that when people are not complacent, reason can prevail over the status quo).

My first semester of undergrad was spent at the University of MN, where, among other organizations, I went to some College Republicans meetings. For those of you who just thought, “Eww!,” remember Axl’s call for “a little patience.” Apart from a memorable speaker from FL who had been instrumental in pushing through their right to carry law, their other activities did not appeal to me. I did not particularly care for promoting candidates with I whom I disagreed on numerous issues. My quest continued…

After looking ahead at all the math required for civil engineering (not my comparative advantage) I soon transferred to MN State University, Mankato and decided to major in law enforcement (LE). One of the requirements for LE was to take a class in Ethnic Studies (ES), under the auspices that cops should have more familiarity with different communities. It was these two programs and my own personal reading that laid the foundation for my libertarianism.

In the mandatory ES class, I was captivated by the history of oppression suffered by numerous groups through the actions of Congress and other governmental bodies. I decided to double major in LE and ES (which I learned was the first such combination at my school). In my ES classes, I found I was often the lone voice calling for less government. When confronting, say, racism, most of my classmates looked to the government as savior, which they thought could legislate the problem away, while I, on the other hand, saw that group A was only being denied their rights because group B was working through the government to restrict them, whether out of xenophobia, protectionism or any other rationale.

Later, when I had a more firm grasp on economics, I was able to take the lessons that had become clear to me in my ES classes; that big government allows for the restriction of rights. In economics, big government allows companies to rent-seek, to basically protect themselves from competition, which hurts consumers and entrepreneurs alike. (See, libertarians are not lap-dogs for big business, but rather than point the finger at a Haliburton we would say that the company is only acting under the incentives created by the government. The solution is not to deal retroactively with each misdeed but to be proactive and shrink the State.)

On to the LE portion of my undergrad. Those who seek to become a licensed Peace Officer (doublespeak anyone?) in MN are required to take a 1.000-question psych test called the MMPI. Though even as a freshman I was already considering moving away from the semi-socialist North Star State, I decided to take it just in case I stayed. My results? That I trusted people and questioned authority — not quite the typical attributes for a cop. But, I decided to continue on, doing countless ride-alongs with many jurisdictions and an internship with the St. Paul PD.

I was also getting a Sociology minor, and in my Law & Chemical Dependency class, one of the assigned books was Judge James P. Gray’s Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About Them. Though I was already strongly opposed to drug prohibition, this book provided me with a one-stop shop for all the reasons our drug policies were flawed. I was hooked. I devoured all drug-related books I could get my hands on. I started to question if I wanted to be another cog in the machine. At my internship with St. Paul, after I had accompanied a dozen officers on buy-busts, I asked the officers, “Was it worth it?” and was told, “Don’t think about it that way,” and “It’s just part of the job.” Even when I asked some of the brightest members of LE organizations I was in, some stated that drug prohibition was “job security.” That may be true, but the same could have been said by members of the Totenkopfverbande

With graduation fast approaching I took the recommendation of some professors whose opinions I respected and decided to go to grad school. I initially sought out a MA in drug policy, though, despite my research I could find no such program. I even sent an email to Drug Policy Alliance head Ethan Nadelmann, and though some of his acquaintances, who were teaching at universities across the globe, let me know their programs had a course or two on the issue, the subject was just too specialized. (Though check out this link from an email I just got yesterday!)

I decided to continue on my LE route. I thought maybe I could work my way up the ladder and then change departmental policies that violated people’s rights (as I had become an outspoken critic of victimless crimes). Based on the excellent reputation of the program and the fact that I landed a Graduate Assistantship, I decided to head down to Western Illinois University (WIU).

One day when in line getting food, a girl (and soon friend) named Jamie asked me about my “No More Drug War” t-shirt. I had on. She soon brought me into the fold of WIU’s College Libertarians. Though the meetings, run expertly by my bud Kevin and our faculty advisor Dr. Chacksfield., were only scheduled to last an hour or so, we often discussed issues late into the night – something my friend Erica dubbed “mind sex” due to the stimulation. I think it would do it injustice to refer to it in any other way.

Through our informal discussions that pushed me to apply my beliefs in one area (such as prostitution) across the board (to areas such as government schools), our debates (and beat-down) of other campus political groups, and my continued reading, I soon came to fully appreciate the principled stance of libertarianism.

Being proactive, I wanted to secure a job prior to graduating. I tested with Seattle PD, who had come to Minneapolis to recruit. I later found out I was at the head of their applicant pool. I went out to NYC and took the written test and did awesome (though I was told by NYC cops I struck up conversations with, “You don’t want to be a cop here”). And I tested with the LAPD, including a 1.000-question psych test similar to the one I had taken over four years previously in MN. The results were the same.

I never entered the field of law enforcement, in part due to my disillusionment with drug prohibition, the bureaucracy, and the corruption, but also because I knew I could have a bigger impact on the outside. (Fortunately today, an excellent organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition exists, which is made up of current and former cops and prosecutors etc., who believe that drug prohibition is causing more harm than the drugs themselves.)

Initially I had a job lined up with a private surveillance company. I would have made decent coin and had a company car, but fortunately I received an email before my start day that took be down a completely different path.

I was accepted at the Cato Institute as an intern, where I was exposed to some of the most brilliant minds working on cutting edge research and policy proposals. After my stint at Cato, I was accepted into the Koch Summer Fellow Program, which is a 10-week long summer policy internship ran by the Institute for Humane Studies. My internship location? The Drug Policy Alliance. At the conclusion of the summer I was fortunate to be brought aboard the staff at I.H.S., and it still boggles my mind that I get paid for doing what I do.

Hopefully this story helped shed some light on my journey, in which I cut through a jungle of misinformation and propaganda and discovered a treasure: a principled framework that maximizes freedom and prosperity. If you need a tour-guide, please let me know!

Liberty: Preferable to Coercion is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Open carrying 460 Magnum; Denying giving ID to the cop upon request

Friday, January 18th, 2013

I was open carrying a 460 Magnum on my chest walking home from the gym when I encountered this. I saw two cop cars (one with its lights on) next to a civilian car that was parked and off. I didn’t see a civilian. It was about 3:00 AM in the morning.

The reason I stopped and filmed was because I saw the cop going inside this car. When a tow truck pulled in the lot I assumed that they were just towing an illegally parked car (car was in a handicapped spot). I dont know police proto call but I found it weird that the cop would have his emergency lights on for just simply getting a car towed in an empty parking lot with 0 traffic around with the assistance of an additional cop car. And also for the fact the cop was going through this car looking for stuff. I decided to continue filming just encase the tow truck driver accidentally damaged the car or something and claimed that it was that way when they showed up. The cop didn’t seem to like me filming and asked me if I needed help several times. After the tow truck drove off with the car I proceeded to walk home. The cop pulled up next to me and proceeded to ask me for my name. When I refused to answer he was quite rude in telling me “thanks for cooperating.”

This video was sent to CopBlock.org by In Cognito, on YouTube, using our “Submit a post” tab. Feel free to share your videos, stories or ideas about police accountability by clicking here

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Open carrying 460 Magnum; Denying giving ID to the cop upon request is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Full Length Video of TSA Encounter for Wearing Offensive Shirt

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

For wearing a shirt offensive to TSA (which is my right), I was harassed, detained, assaulted, and threatened by TSA for no reason other than the fact that the TSA agent in question found my shirt (pic below) personally offensive.

It’s not the best quality and it’s long, so instead of watching the whole thing I recommend looking through the transcript below and skipping to any part you find interesting.

You may not agree with my method or the content of the shirt, that’s fine. The only reason I wore it was to make myself feel a little less uncomfortable about having my fourth amendment rights walked over every time I go through security, and I certainly succeeded in that goal. Following the incident, I had multiple people (including the person sitting across the aisle from me on the airplane) congratulate me for my efforts and tell me that they were proud that someone is speaking out.

I have submitted the following to TSA as a civil rights complaint. I’ve contacted the ACLU but I’m not sure if I should send this to anyone else, such as news stations.

This action is, as you might expect, protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as upheld in the Supreme Court case Cohen v. California. I was quiet and compliant with the entire screening process.

TSA agent Raymond D. Evans (briefly violently) confronted me, and committed the following actions, and by his own admission only because he found my shirt personally offensive:

Suppression of my first amendment right to freedom of expression (18 USC § 242 Deprivation of rights under color of law, RCW 9A.80.010 Official misconduct) – Entire incident
Suppression of my first amendment right to freedom of the press (18 USC § 242 Deprivation of rights under color of law, RCW 9A.80.010 Official misconduct) – Multiple times when my camera is blocked, both by Raymond Evans and TSA agent 2 (see below) – See Fordyce v. City of Seattle, 9th circuit, 1995 which protects my right to record government officials in public Illegal detention (RCW 9A.40.040 Unlawful imprisonment) Assault (RCW 9A.36.041) – [4:18] in the video

Lied to the Port of Seattle Police dispatcher (RCW 9A.76.175 Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.) – Raymond Evans told the Port of Seattle Police dispatcher that I was “harassing the public,” a statement directly contradicted by video evidence
Harassment (RCW 9A.46.020) – Entire incident
Threatened to arrest me (RCW 9A.60.045 Impersonation of a law enforcement officer) – [7:49] and [8:11] in the video
Repeatedly insulted me (Fortunately for Raymond Evans, not a crime, but still unbecoming a federal employee)

Before entering the security checkpoint, I was wearing a sweatshirt over my yellow t-shirt. I removed my sweatshirt and put it in my suitcase about 30 seconds before the video starts, right before I entered the line to the screening area.

TSA

[0:00] I entered the security line wearing my shirt, started filming.
[1:47] My boarding pass and ID (passport) are checked by the TSA agent before the screening area, she is polite.
[2:21] I’m asked if the back of my shirt is the same as the front, I reply that it is. I don’t remember who asked and from the video it’s not clear.
Between [2:21] and [4:13], I quietly try to make my way to one of the screening lines. I am doing nothing but waiting in line and holding up my phone (recording).
[4:13] TSA agent that confronted me appears
[4:17] TSA agent tells me that my shirt is “offensive” and that I should take it off.
[4:18] I decline, “No, I’m not required to.”
[4:18] TSA agent makes a lunge for my camera.
[4:26] TSA agent tells me I “don’t have a right to take pictures.”
[4:28] TSA agent tells me I don’t have the right to wear an offensive shirt “like that”
[4:31] I remind the TSA agent that my right to do so is protected under the first amendment
[4:37] I request that the TSA agent call a law enforcement official
[4:39] TSA agent responds that they’re “working on that”
[4:45] TSA agent “It’s our right to protect [unintelligible] and we find you offensive.”
[4:50] I’m OK with him having his own opinion
[4:55] TSA agent asks if I’m wearing another shirt underneath. I reply that I’m not taking my shirt off.
[5:00] TSA agent says he’s going to call the Port of Seattle [Police].
[5:03] TSA agent tells me to turn my camera off. I decline. I reiterate that I have the legal right to record, and that I have a copy of TSA recording policy in my pocket.
[5:23] TSA agent 2 is now visible.
[5:22] TSA agent is speaking into his radio, requests that “Eric” call the Port of Seattle Police, and ask them to come down to the “south checkpoint” (checkpoint 2) Transcription follows:
“I have a passenger in the line here with very offensive language on his shirt, also taking photographs and uh, basically just being uh, harassing the rest of the public here.
[...]
Yeah, it’s uh, 4 or 5, 5 6, … and uh, his shirt is uh, graphic uh, uhh, language and uh, personally I find it offensive and so does everybody else in this area and so I want to bring in bring in uh, bring in the police officers so they can straighten him out.
[...]
Uh, no he’s just uh, being a, uh, he’s actually even recording and photographing everything as he comes through line and his t-shirt says first amendment uh, F-K TSA security theater, uh, Cohen v. California, whatever versus California.
[Other voice on radio unintelligible]
Uh, he’s uh, somewhat. Yeah, Kindall here is aware of it, he’s actually watching but I took it upon myself to intercept this guy because of his uh, his shirt and the language. OK, ‘preciate. Thank you. OK, thank you.
[7:23] [Radio done] TSA agent says “OK I’m just going to stay with you until they arrive.” I agree and comply.
[7:28] TSA agent wonders if he should move me through the line to the secure area.
[7:48] TSA agent explains that the quicker he moves me through the security line, the quicker he can arrest me
[7:49] TSA agent threatens to arrest me, thereby impersonating a law enforcement officer (a crime):
Me: You are not a law enforcement officer, sir, you personally cannot arrest me.”
Him: Oh, but I am a federal officer and I do have enough authority in here-
Me: You do not have the authority to arrest me.
Me: I know the law.
Him: (sarcastically) Oh, are you a lawyer?
Me: I am not a lawyer but I know my rights.
Him: (sarcastically) Oh.
[8:11] TSA agent says “If you try to take photographs of anything or of our equipment or any imagers or whatever, then I will stop you.” I reply, “Well, you don’t have the legal authority to do that.”
[8:32] TSA agent confirms that the back of my shirt is the same as the front.
[8:40] TSA agent decides to move me through the security line.
[9:00] TSA agent is indecisive about moving me through the line so I politely wait.
[9:28] TSA agent leaves, leaves me with TSA agent 2
[9:47] TSA agent 2 starts blocking my camera with his hand I try to explain that he legally cannot do that, to no avail
[9:57] TSA agent 2 is visible
[10:37] TSA agent 3 appears (camera is too low to see his face), but this agent is merely curious to know my name and is not confrontational. I politely decline to identify myself, and he is understanding and leaves me alone.
[12:24] I’m still detained, waiting for the Port of Seattle police to arrive, TSA agent 2′s face is briefly visible in the video
[13:32] I say “There they are” to the camera, meaning I can see the Port of Seattle police approaching the security checkpoint (not visible in the video yet)
[13:39] I’m greeted by the Port of Seattle Police
[13:44] Port of Seattle police officer speaks to me and is visible in the video
[13:58] Officer sees that I am recording, and asks if I am going to post the video to the internet. I explain that the video is streaming live to the internet and that I cannot delete the video from my phone.
[14:16] I state my intention to fully comply with the TSA screening process. The officer asks that I state to the camera that I will comply with the TSA screening process, I do so.
[14:47] The officer asks that I stop recording.
[14:49] I decline to the officer.
[14:58] The officer states he does not know TSA procedure on filming.
[15:00] I state that I have TSA recording policy in my pocket.
[15:14] I hand the printout of TSA policy to TSA agent, which he reads.
[15:34] TSA agent claims that “my purpose is disruptive.”
[15:36] I disagree.
[15:38] TSA agent berates me and expresses his distaste for the content of my shirt. He’s permitted to his opinion.
[15:56] TSA agent tells me that he will make sure that I take off my shirt before I go into the checkpoint. I remind him that that’s where he starts violating my rights.
[16:00] Port of Seattle police is seen in the background photographing/filming me. This is their right and I do not mind.
[16:04] I give TSA agent a quick lesson on the first amendment.
[16:16] TSA agent claims I am causing a disturbance by “just being here.”
[16:19] I point out that the “disturbance” only started when TSA agent initially confronted me. During this time TSA agent requests my boarding pass. I comply.
[16:47] TSA agent says “We’ll let the airline handle it” after determining that I am flying Delta.
[16:56] I inform to the TSA agent that I never intended to wear my shirt on the aircraft (which is true, airlines are private companies and I did not intend to wear a potentially offensive shirt on board)
[17:06] I explain that there is a difference between the checkpoint being public property and the airplanes (owned by the airlines) being private property.
[17:12] TSA agent calls me a smartass.
[17:30] I’m still detained before the security checkpoint. 4 Port of Seattle police officers are conferring near the initial security line.
[18:07] TSA agent claims he has the right to block my camera and starts doing so
[18:12] I cite Fordyce v City of Seattle, (9th circuit, 1995) and am ignored
[18:45] I state TSA agent’s name to the camera, “Raymond D Evans” (which is what was displayed on his badge, but not legible in the video)
[18:55] TSA agent asks to see my driver’s license. I remind the TSA agent that I have already given him my ID and I will not provide him a second form of identification. TSA agent asks a second time, I still decline.
[19:35] TSA agent asks if he can touch my bags so as to move them through the screening area. I say that I would prefer to escort my belongings myself if possible. TSA agent agrees.
[19:46] Speaking to someone off-camera, TSA agent refers to me as “ignorant person.”
[19:50] I am finally permitted to begin the screening process, after being illegally detained for over 15 minutes.
[20:16] TSA agent requests that I take off my shirt again. I decline.
[20:19] I put my phone in the bin to be screened, camera facing up.

While my phone is in the bin and my belongings are screened, off-camera I am led through the metal detector with no incident.

[23:21] The bin containing my phone exits the x-ray machine
[23:43] I am seen retrieving my belongings, and the video captures a view of the shirt I am wearing along with my face
[25:56] I retrieve my phone from the bin
[26:06] A man off-camera tries to tell me that I “cannot record here,” and that I “can go to jail for that.” I reply “There’s no law against it.” Off-camera the man looks frustrated but leaves me alone. Again, not visible in the video, but the man is wearing a suit and I assume he is an airport official.
[26:33] My camera is blocked by someone. I am heard asking if the person is with the airline, with no response. I do not recall but I believe this is the same person as in [26:06].
[27:15] My camera is unblocked. TSA agent is seen speaking to a woman who works for Delta.
[27:31] TSA agent asks which state I’m a resident of. I reply Washington state.
[28:17] Employees of Delta start to talk to me. It’s hard for me to tell what they’re saying in the video. My camera is pointed down.
[28:22] I explain to the Delta employees that I did not intend to wear my shirt onto the aircraft, as I understand it’s private property, and I agree to take off my shirt for them at the checkpoint.
[28:43] I tell the Delta employees that I will not put my shirt on after I take it off, and they won’t see it on the aircraft.
[29:03] Delta employees request that I stop recording. I comply. The video ends.

Immediately after I turned off my camera, I was approached by a man who identified himself as a federal air marshal (with photo identification). He demanded to see my passport, which I gave him. He took a photo of the identification page of my passport, and then took a photo of myself using his cell phone. Then he refused to answer any questions and walked away. (Sidenote: I have submitted a FOIA request for these photos and any other files TSA has on me.)

At this point, the Delta employees requested I remove my shirt. I complied. After this, I was confronted by another angry Delta employee (who walked up after I took the shirt off, so she didn’t see it) who told me that “there was only about a 50% chance” I would be able to board my flight, that she was “making a full report to the Captain,” and that I could go to my gate but I “would be watched.” Ultimately I boarded my flight with no issues, but considering that Raymond Evans made it his sole personal mission to prevent me from flying by any means necessary, it’s likely he lied to the Delta employees regarding my compliance at the security checkpoint to try to prevent me from flying.

This post was sent to us via an anonymous source using CopBlock.org’s submission tab.

Full Length Video of TSA Encounter for Wearing Offensive Shirt is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

“If I end up on YouTube I’m going to be Upset”

Monday, January 7th, 2013

TheDrewKS, on YouTube, made the video above regarding his camera being taken by a local police officer of the Ramsey County Sheriffs Department. Even though TheDrewks was filming her legally, in public space, the officer still took the camera. She, the officer, even acknowledges TheDrewks’s right to film but them mumbles something about the privacy of another person. Sorry folks, if you’re in public space it doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you can be recorded. In fact, this is extremely common due to all the camera at business and in possession of government (like red light cameras), so you’re already being recorded.

TheDrewks then heads down to the police station to try to get his property back. After a long conversation with two police officers they promise to help return his property and sort out the misunderstanding. Yet, two weeks go by before TheDrewks ihears anything back so he attempts to inquire about his property again. That’s when he finds out that not only are the police keeping his property but they’re actually charging him with disorderly conduct (contempt of cop) and obstruction of justice. All because the police simply don’t want to admit their officer did wrong and make right. It’s more logical, in the minds of police, to place a few charges on TheDrewks to justify the actions of their fellow officer.

I feel that TheDrewks will win this case, even if only in the court of public opinion, because he’s done what most forget (or are unable to do). He took video of the incident and posted it publicly, as well as the video/audio of the follow up incidents. Making it clear to everyone that the police are simply protecting themselves and highlighting, with amazing clarity, who has the gun in the room.

I’ll keep you posted on the progression of this case and feel free to check out TheDrewks’s other CopBlocking videos on his YouTube Channel.

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“If I end up on YouTube I’m going to be Upset” is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

The Police State & Warfare State: Both Couched On a Bad Idea

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Tonight, when hanging out at the Keene Activity Center, my bud Darryl Perry told me that New Hampshire – where I now live – has a drone base.

A quick Google search by Garret Ean found the write-up below by David Brooks, which was published in The Nashua Telegraph on June 15th, 2012.

In the interest of being unbiased, it’s worth mentioning – as you’ll see if you read the article – it’s claimed that the drones housed in NH are tiny and not militarized.

Is that slight delineation of fact really a big deal (assuming of course, it was true and is still true)?

Anyone thinking can see where the trajectory is heading. Assuming the Statist Quo continues.

How did we reach this point? Where it’s plausible that weaponized aerial tech controlled by some indoctrinated person* sitting in a shipping container out in the southwest desert might push a button and end the life of someone just up the road?

And why is this topic being discussed on Cop Block, which gives as its mission police accountability? Because I don’t believe most folks are happy with the paramilitary nature of policing today**, and because the same perverse incentives are inherent in the warfare state as in the police state.
Much of the growth has happened since 9/11. And now local police departments are getting their own drones.

Let’s apply this to an issue many seem focused on: firearms.

Some people clamor that a big “gun grab” is near. But that wouldn’t be even a consideration if those same folks weren’t first given the authority to regulate guns.

At its root, the real issue is: Why does any uninvolved third party have anything to say about your property?

People boast about having a permit or license to carry concealed, but doesn’t that action – requesting permission to act – denote just who is the slave and who is the master?

When you allow for even a kernel of a double-standard to exist, it will always increase. When you allow a person to steal from you to “protect” you, how do you expect things to go?

That’s why, throughout history, it’s always been the “authorities” responsible for the most death. The most famine, property destruction and environmental degradation. There is simply no accountability. It’s the reason internal investigations can never “fix” the issue police brutality.

The allowance for double-standards – or democide, as coined by R.J. Rummel – brought-about over 250,000,000 deaths last century. Such genocide has occurred due largely to the belief in a bad idea. The police state is based on the same bad idea***.

The proliferation of drones, Bearcats, and prisons is the natural consequence that occurs when a person is granted extra rights.

Do you believe someone, based on their place of occupation or costume worn, has extra rights? I sure don’t. If you don’t, I encourage you to have a conversation about that with those in your sphere.

Ideas have consequences. Think for yourself and encourage others to do the same.

There’s clearly a reality being crafted that many who advocate for peaceful interactions, or just a ‘live and let live’ mindset, aren’t fans of.

Fortunately, the future is not set, and many good folks are working to bring-about one better.

BTW – Essam, the artist who made the NYPD drone image at the top of this post, was kidnapped by men with badges. Is the “free” society you want to perpetuate?

* with the glaring exception of Brandon Bryant
** fortunately more current police employees are thinking for themselves
*** watch my recent video, Want to End Police Brutality? Focus on the Institution

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Military says drone aircraft are based at or near Mount Washington
by David Brooks, The Nashua Telegraph June 15, 2012

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw says that group “does not have a UAS/UAV base in New Hampshire.” He says Wasp and Raven drones are “Army pieces of equipment,” issued to Army special operations units.

Unmanned drone aircraft have been based on or around Mount Washington by the military, according to presentations given by the Department of Defense and Air Force in 2010 and 2011, but it’s not clear when or why.

“Mt. Washington” is listed as the location for the basing of small unmanned drones in both an April 2010 presentation given by Dyke Weatherington, deputy director of the unmanned warfare section of the Department of Defense, and a June 2011 presentation by Lt. Col. Maggie Howard of the U.S. Air Force Safety Branch.

Both presentations, which are available online, indicate the Mount Washington operation is overseen by Special Operations Command, which oversees worldwide use of special operations elements of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Mount Washington is the only location in New England where drones were listed as being based.

The presentation indicates that the Mount Washington operation involved small drones, models known as Wasp and Raven.

A Wasp drone can weigh less than a pound, so small they can be launched by a slingshot, while the Raven usually weighs around 4-6 pounds and can be launched by hand.

Both are powered by electric motors and according to publicly released information are used for reconnaissance, carrying cameras or other recording gear. The Raven in particular has had extensive use in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, since it can fly as high as 15,000 feet above sea level at speeds of 30-60 mph.

Neither presentation gives any specifics about the Mount Washington listing, such as location or purpose or how often the drones fly.

The next closest operation is in New Jersey, although several locations in upstate New York were listed in both presentations as future sites for drones.

Calls to the Department of Defense, Air Force and the Special Operations Command were made by The Telegraph, but no more information was available Thursday.

The listings were first made available Wednesday by the group Public Intelligence, a 3-year-old international nonprofit that provides documents, analysis and “open-source intelligence products from the private and public sector,” arguing that it can help “engender a more informed and proactive populace.”

When contacted by The Telegraph, the group said it had no more information about the Mount Washington listing.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks’ blog on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).

The Police State & Warfare State: Both Couched On a Bad Idea is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights