#StopTheCops: Chicago Activists Shut Down International Police Conference (VIDEO)
Organizers from multiple groups created this event, including BYP 100, Assata’s Daughters, We Charge Genocide, #Not1More, and Organized Communities Against Deportations. Here’s an excerpt from the BYP statement on the protest:
Together, we’re organized to demand that our lives, our communities and our futures be made a priority. The police chiefs who belong to the IACP, and their local departments have a debt to pay for the lives and the resources they’ve stolen and we’re here to collect.
From Chicago to Oakland, New Orleans to New York City, Black people live under police occupation everyday. Black folks who are poor, women, formerly incarcerated, working class, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming, differently abled, and/or undocumented are particularly vulnerable to police violence and hyper-surveillance. As a people living in Black bodies, state-sanctioned violence is always a clear and present danger. This must end.
…Black people deserve to live with human dignity. We are building a movement rooted in people who understand why we must fight. We are constantly at risk of experiencing anti-Black violence by state and its accomplices.
The event was also called #FundBlackFutures, because participants want to divert the ever-increasing millions spent on police into sustainable communities and solutions for systemic racism, poverty and inequality.
Remarkably, #StopTheCops featured 5 simultaneous direct actions: a march, three separate blockades in intersections around the conference center using u-locks and lockboxes and, perhaps most impressively, a fourth blockade inside the actual convention center, which forced cops to crawl to get inside:
— PrestonMitchum (@PrestonMitchum) October 24, 2015
A climber even replaced the convention center’s American flag with a flag which read “Unapologetically Black”:
— Chicago Rising (@ChicagoRising) October 26, 2015
Traffic around the convention center was disrupted for hours. In total, there were 66 arrests:
— We Charge Genocide (@ChiCopWatch) October 25, 2015
As someone that’s organized coordinated direct actions, I’m in awe of the time, planning and skill that went into this highly effective protest.