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(en) US, Cop Watch LA* Victory Statement

Date Sat, 18 Nov 2006 08:07:02 +0200

William Cardenas was released on November 15th, 2006
We feel that it was a victory on our part, for the family of William
Cardenas, and for this movement that has begun to grow when William’s
felony charges were dropped. The police and their courts were forced
to back off. If it wasn’t for the organizations, and organizations
like Cop Watch Los Angeles, that stood behind the family and this
case, and revolutionary lawyers like Kwaku Duren (who defended William
pro-bono, and is still fighting to win him justice), that put pressure
on the mainstream media and courts by putting out the video for the
world to see; they would have brushed this brutality under the rug and
William Cardenas will still be in jail today. We forced the system
and the institution of the LAPD to take a step back and be on the
defensive, now all eyes are on the LAPD.

We want to let the world know that this is the beginning of a
revolutionary movement. Part of our mission and goals are to support
family members that have been victims of police brutality and police
murder, as the William Cardenas family. We’re also organizing in our
own communities, and we’re made up of oppressed people who are
targeted by the injustice system on a daily basis, through racial
profiling, economic exploitation, the prison industrial complex, and
overall neo-colonial conditions. We organize to defend our
communities and take direct action by patrolling the police when
they’re carrying out their business as usual (harassing, detaining,
rounding us up), which is our legal right to do. We want to create
the culture and the conditions where people are stepping up and
fighting for their own self-determination. Cop Watch is one tactic in
an overall movement. Cop Watch uses different tactics as an organized
group in communities to implement
short-term, mid-term, and long-term solutions to problems that face our
communities, like police brutality.

We don’t want to make the decisions for neighborhoods, we want
neighborhoods to make decisions for themselves, and organize
themselves. We provide the training, the resources and the support in
the self-organization of oppressed communities. In order words we’re
a different type of organization, and a different type of democracy.

This victory would have never happened under Citizens’ Review Boards,
or by the police conducting their own investigation. This victory
happened through grassroots organizations like Cop Watch Los Angeles,
but this is one victory in an overall fight. William Cardenas was
released but the police who beat him, Patrick Farrell and Alexander
Schlege have not been prosecuted for their crimes. Our demand is that
they get fired and all other cops who brutalize us and kill us are
fired immediately. William Bratton who is also responsible and should
be fired, we’re taking matters into our own hands now.

Thanks to this case other cases have been able to surface as well.
There is the case in Venice where a homeless man was pepper sprayed
inside a police car, and an Iranian student who was tasered at UCLA
inside the library by UCPD. There are families who are still fighting
to win justice for lost loved ones who were killed by the police and
sheriffs, like Gonzalo Martinez, Devin Brown, Deandre Brunston, Suzie
Lopes Pena, Javier Quezada, and countless others in Los Angeles.

Cop Watch L.A. and oppressed communities in Los Angeles are not taking
it anymore. We want justice and we want freedom now, we’re not

All power to the people and our oppressed communities!

Members of Cop Watch L.A.

Cop Watch Los Angeles is a community organization that is based within
oppressed communities, and is fighting police brutality and police
terrorism on all fronts.
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative
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