July 27, 2012
The Peaceful Streets Project has proven it’s here to stay, much to the dismay of police officers across Austin, TX. The group is furious at police abuse of authority and has been holding Know Your Rights trainings in efforts to keep public servants in check.
Their trainings primarily consist of teaching what and what not to do or say in the presence of officers in order to survive encounters while maintaining your rights.
However, they have taken police accountability one step further in response to the riots that have broken out in Anaheim, California and Dallas.
Today they will hold a rally outside of the Austin Police department in protest of police abuse and stand in solidarity with people from Anaheim where police killed an unarmed man and next invaded a protest unleashing rubber bullets and K9’s onto peaceful demonstrators.
Anaheim police further incriminated themselves when they later went around asking to purchase footage anyone had taken of the event.
Peaceful Streets seeks to hold police accountable by having everyone film police interactions to curtail abuse. A few weeks ago Peaceful Streets took the initiative to hand out 100 digital cameras to brave Austin citizens who have agreed to film the police.
The crowd of more than 200 were captivated by stories of police brutality and corruption.
CopBlock.org’s co-founder, editor, and writer Pete Eyre gave a speech
highlighting the need to hold police accountable for corrupt acts.
Their first Police Accountability Summit saw an outpouring of support from the community. More than 200 people attended the historic event where they received digital cameras if they didn’t already have a device with videorecording capabilities.
These people have become the new face of justice. A child as young as 13-years-old knows the importance of keeping a camera on him at all times.
The idea to form a group that films cops first came about when the group’s founder Antonio Buehler was falsely accused (by officer Patrick Oborski of the Austin Police Department) of spitting in the face of an officer, an offense Buehler states no one in their right mind would make. Fortunately for Buehler, there was a good Samaritan across the street that filmed his entire incident, and not once in the film do we see Oborski wipe the spit from his face.
The idea of holding police accountable by way of photography has sparked a flame throughout the nation. Many in other states have told Antonio they plan to start their own version of the Peaceful Streets Project in their areas.
Despite officer Oborski’s actions that night, APD assistant police chief David Carter told Fox 7 they’re OK with being filmed as long as the public maintains “a reasonable distance.”
On Saturday the group is planning yet another Know Your Rights training where they will train photographers in filming police encounters and activity. They will also hold a “Copwatch” session at 10pm where they will take to the streets in mass with cameras in hand to monitor police encounters throughout the city.
In a way, we can sort of be grateful that officer Oborski falsified his police report; if not for his treacherous behavior, none of this tremendous activism would have taken place.
Alex interviewed Antonio on the Infowars Nightly News earlier in the year where he described his situation and spoke about his organization’s work against police abuse.