Friday, March 4, 2011

International Copwatch Conference!)

Organizing for the International Copwatch Conference is underway. It’ll be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada this year from July 22-24.

The conference has a dual focus on both the tactics and organizing involved in sustaining a copwatch organization, as well as broader discussions about the role of police in society (policing in the context of colonialism; police and immigrants, youth, sex workers, gangs, domestic violence; the politics of lobbying for police “accountability,” privatized policing; criminalizing dissent; and prison abolition/alternatives).

It is being organized by the very cool and thoughtful folks of Winnipeg Copwatch. They have been running a successful Copwatch for the past 5 years which has involved regular street patrols, observing and filming interactions between civilians and police to deter violence, hosting Know Your Rights workshops and organizing public events and presentations in schools toward imagining community-based alternatives to police and encouraging a critical analysis of the role fo police.

Confirmed conference participants include Berkeley Copwatch, the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, Andrea Ritchie (author of Queer (in)Justice), the Native Youth Movement, No One is Illegal (Montreal), and many more to come!

If you are interested in presenting, or can suggest organizations or individuals you think might be interested, please be in touch!

International Copwatch Conference

July 22 to 24, 2011



The 2nd International Copwatch Conference will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on July 22, 23 and 24 of 2011.

The conference will include sessions of panel discussions, workshops, and video screenings that focus on particular aspects of policing. Some topics to be included are policing in the context of colonialism; policing and immigration; policing as a gendered and racialized practice; the fluidity of defining crime and criminality; keeping the police accountable; community alternatives to policing and practice of restorative justice models, and a range of other topics.

The diverse nature of this conference will allow copwatching groups and individuals from all over North America to share their particular experiences and knowledge of police in their communities, while contributing to a larger understanding of police in general and providing people with new creative tools and ideas to take back to their own communities.

Our goal is for this to be an event that people who have experienced police brutality can feel safe and comfortable attending. For many people who have experienced police misconduct and violence, the presence of law enforcement officials will make it an inaccessible event. For this reason this conference is open to anyone except law enforcement officials.

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