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Confronting the Police State and Imagining Alternatives

By AK Press | May 25, 2009

Last Friday, AK Press held what turned out to be an amazing event in our warehouse. “Confronting the Police State and Imagining Alternatives” was an open strategy discussion, masterminded by the Friendly Fire Collective, to discuss organizing against police power in the Bay Area. The plan was for representatives from police accountability groups in San Francisco, the East Bay, San Jose, Sonoma County, and Watsonville to sit down together to share ideas and experiences, including current campaigns, strategies for fighting police violence, and improving our response capacity, with the ultimate goal of a) figuring out what’s working and what isn’t and b) building community self-determination.

The questions posed to the panelists by moderators included (to quote dave id’s indybay coverage of the event):

1) What tactics, strategies, or campaigns have your groups deployed that have been effective in combating police presence and abuse?

2) In what ways does your group relate to the communities in which you work? Do you experience resistance to your organizing from parts of these communities and how do you respond to that resistance? How do you hope to include more people from these communities in your projects?

3) How do you envision communities decreasing the presence of law enforcement and increasing their capacity for self-determination over time? Knowing that there will always be various conflicts and degrees of violence within our own communities with or without police, can you envision alternative models for resolving community conflicts without the police?

The results were inspiring and very productive. Thanks to the ever-resourceful dave id of Indybay (who has been a long-time pal and supporter of AK Press, even though, sadly, he no longer lives upstairs from us), we can provide audio of the event below. It’s also available on Indybay’s website here. Dave also provided one of the photos.

Please listen and then check out (and support) the Friendly Fire Collective.

Here’s the audio:

And here are some pics (the first courtesy of Indybay):

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