From: Long Beach Cop Watch Command Post c/o REACH Center
684 Redondo Ave
Long Beach CA 90814
ATTENTION NEWS DESK; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On January 1st the Long Beach CopWatch (a subsidiary of RACUN) opened its third command post in Long Beach at the REACH Center (aka the Revolutionary Empowerment and Community Help Center and Long Beach Infoshoppe) located at 684 Redondo Ave. Coincidently the Long Beach Police contacted the REACH Center's leasing company, Crestwave, on the 2nd and threatened to take legal action against them if the REACH Center was not shut down. Crestwave management were told that police came to a benefit show held at the REACH center on December 28th on a noise complaint and that someone tried to assualt them. An eye witness explained that police officers came to the show in response to a noise complaint, stating the noise needed to be turned down, and then the police left. There was no confrontation. The situation was dealt with peacefully and respectively. The noise was turned down, the last two bands were canceled, and the show ended at approximately 8pm, 2 hours early. Another attendant stated that "If someone tried to assault the police, that person would have definitely been arrested immediately and possibly beaten."
A REACH Center volunteer stated that "the LBPD appear to be disappointed that despite intensified political repression against anarchists in Long Beach, the REACH Center still remains open. There has been a continuous effort by Long Beach Police, FBI and INS to repress political dissent, particularly that of the anarchist movement in Long Beach. Police are now actively trying to shut down the center - the only anarchist community space in Long Beach." The REACH Center is an anarchist space that seeks to provide the community of Long Beach an open community space for meetings, political events, programs such as Food Not Bombs, CopWatch, and books and information otherwise not readily available to the community.
On January 7th there will be a press conference to notify the public of the activation of CopWatch. It will be held outside of the Long Beach courthouse (415 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA. 90802) at 4:30pm. Preceding the press conference, members of CopWatch are set to deliver a statement during the public response period of the City Council meeting explaining the intentions and goals of CopWatch.
CopWatch believes that participation in holding the police accountable and monitoring of the police are crucial first steps toward building a movement which is capable of stopping police violence and of challenging the increasingly powerful role of police throughout society. They have joined together to fight for the rights of Long Beach residents by taking on the task of directly monitoring police conduct. CopWatch goes out and videotapes the police as they
stop people or pull over their vehicles. Additionally, CopWatch provides access and spreads information about the public's rights when confronted by the police.
For more information contact CopWatch at the REACH Center at 562-434-6934.
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