24 Mar
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Encouraging Bystander Empathy

One corollary of our efforts to drive a change in culture through direct action tactics is an increase in bystander empathy, and ultimately, action. Bystander empathy with regards to police abuse has posed a challenge because of the inherent fear that people rightfully feel when confronted by a police officer. The Peaceful Streets Project was launched because Antonio Buehler was assaulted and framed because he tried to get two police officers to stop assaulting a woman who had not committed any crime, and who had not posed any public safety threat. If Antonio did not stand up for the woman who was being abused, he never would have been arrested. Such tactics by police can have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to stand up for others. However, Antonio’s case was unique in that another random bystander took video of Antonio being assaulted by the police, and that helped give him the evidence that would allow him to fight and beat a felony charge.

The Peaceful Streets Project wants to empower tens of thousands of volunteers to stand up for one another as opposed to remaining silent when they see police abuse. In order to do that we need to do more than help people find the courage to speak up when they see abuse; we need to encourage bystander empathy. One of the shortcomings of our society is that we more often than not collectively empathize and side with police officers as opposed to the people they interact with, as we buy into the notion that police officers are automatic heroes who risk their lives to protect us from criminals, while those they arrest or harm are assumed to be those dangerous criminals. In addition, in our society certain demographics of people are more easily dismissed or forgotten when they become the victims of police abuse and violence than others.

By sharing stories of abuse through the Police Abuse Complaint Departments, building communities of diverse people, and bringing people together to engage in direct action, the Peaceful Streets Project plans to shift that collective empathy from police officers to the victims of police abuse, or at least to a neutral position. This will help people overcome their apathy so that they will stand up for those they may not normally identify with, which will in turn help other people to do the same. Additionally, we hope that this mentality bleeds into courtrooms so that suspects may one day be able to realize the stated ideal that we are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, as opposed to a jury assuming one is guilty and automatically believing the testimony of police officers who may be the real criminals.


  • If you live in a state that doesn’t criminalize open carrying a loaded weapon, I encourage this empathy be assisted with the same force that the thug criminal cops have. The ONLY time I was arrested was when I was armed only with a camera and I was videotaping my son getting Rodney Kinged. I will NEVER disarm myself again! Guns are liberty’s teeth. I agree in the non aggression principle, but that does not apply to self defense. These armed violent, sanctioned rapists and killers don’t respect law or the system. THEY CONTROL THE SYSTEM.

  • My heart goes out to you, and I believe you are all wonderful people. I hope you set into action a grassroots uprising, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Leveller rebellion.

    It is vital that we come to the aid of motorists who are being preyed upon by the police, offering to be witnesses in their trials, if they should choose to fight for their right to travel freely. Most predation of innocent people by “law enforcement” happens on the roadways, during “routine traffic stops.” (Should bullying and theft ever be “routine” in a free country?)

    Of course, the police are generally not self-directing agents, as they should be. They are not intelligent enough to be self-directing agents. In fact, this is a requirement of the job. All of the police who understand that there is no valid, legitimate, or constitutional “cause of action” in a traffic stop, or a drug bust, or other victimless crime or “warrant fishing expedition,” are viewed as “underperformers.” Worse, and more likely, the police are actually evil people (sociopaths) who don’t mind or even actively enjoy bullying, controlling, and hurting innocent people.

    One could correctly argue that the police aren’t the most important part of the problem, that it is the prosecutors, politicians (attorneys general, district attorneys), and judges who are most to blame. However, this truthful analysis sometimes leads people to overstate the case that “it isn’t the police officer’s fault” because “they’re just doing what they’re told to do.”

    Well, that’s known as “the Nuremberg Defense,” because the Nazis who had murdered men, women, and children all claimed that “they were just following orders.”

    If your orders require you to commit acts of evil, which violate normal (empathic) human conscience, then those orders are not considered legitimate. The intellectual police officer can always claim that he is obeying the constitution: of course, then his job becomes very limited. The only crimes such a police officer then investigates are robberies, homicides, rapes, assaults, and fraud. In short: crimes against people and property.

    Simply owning any sort of private property does not constitute a criminal offense in a valid, free, constitutional republic. Neither does gambling or prostitution. It is only because the government has become an unconstitutional “tyranny of the majority” (characterized by the dominance of well-organized politically-powerful power-seeking sociopaths), that any “victimless crime” law can be enforced.

    So what can truly be solution to this problem? Well, since juries need to be unanimous, when even 5% of society fully opposes an unjust law, that law becomes unenforceable: assuming jurors are randomly-selected, and that the jury is a proper jury that requires a unanimous vote of 12 jurors to find someone “guilty.” The odds of convicting a “victimless crime” defendant when 95% of society agrees with victimless crime law they are charged with breaking, is .95^12 = .54 or “54 percent.” No prosecutor will even enter a courtroom with those odds. They require upwards of 99% of the public agreeing with the enforcement of the law.

    So why are prosecutors so good at obtaining “guilty” verdicts? Simple: the Constitutional system of law has been destroyed in the USA, while you were busy jerking off. It happened gradually over 100 years, and the primary motivator for that destruction has been the adoption of government schooling. People who have been educated in philosophy, law, economics, and history will frequently refuse to pay taxes. However, simpletons who have had no exposure to these subjects will happily toil away on their hamster wheel, and will gladly pay the property taxes that pay government schoolteachers. So, if “public” (government) schoolteachers want to continue drawing a salary that is above what’s commensurate to their skill as teachers, they inherently are incentivized to avoid teaching proper history, philosophy, law, or economics.

    By what actual mechanism is this loss of philosophical and legal knowledge used to prevent proper jury trials? Primarily by “voir dire.” You see, prosecutors desire all the power they can get. Long ago, prosecutors and judges realized that if they could stack the jury before the trial began, they’d be able to control the outcome of any trial, assuming a stupid and servile general public. So, in 1851, after Fugitive Slave Law was becoming unenforceable due to the abolitionist movement, judges began allowing prosecutors to question jurors for agreement with the Fugitive Slave Law, before the trial. If a potential juror (venireman) stated that he disagreed with the Fugitive Slave Law, he was sent home and replaced with some moron who actually thought that it was good to enforce every existing law.

    In a true constitutional republic, MOST LAWS GO UNENFORCED, and are, in fact, UNENFORCEABLE.

    Ever since the Fugitive Slave Law, prosecutors have realized that a substantial number of people are conformists, and that they don’t comprehend the prior facts. In fact, as psychologist Stanley Milgram proved in the 1950s, this is the reason why mass-murdering dictatorships like Nazi Germany have existed throughout the 20th century, even in “the modern age.”

    It’s all up to you, the person reading this. Will you answer honestly and get yourself removed from jury duty? If so, then you have the same philosophy as the majority of the Nazi citizenry, obeying immoral laws that sent women and children to the gas chambers.

    Or will you smarten up? Will you be one of the educated 5% who tells the totalitarian prosecutors and judges what they want to hear (ie: when asked “Could you apply the state of illinois’ marijuana laws in this case?” you reply “Yes, your honor”), gets seated on the jury, and then votes “not guilty” anyway (as it is fully within your right and power to do).

    Antonio Beuhler is doing his part to stop the unconstitutional enforcers from violating your rights on the streets.

    Do your part to back him up, when you are called for jury duty.

    For more information on the right of jury independence, please read the book “Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine” by Clay Conrad, or “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice” by Paul Butler. Also recommended is Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority, An Experimental View.”

    The abolitionists defeated the Fugitive Slave Law in several states, prior to the Civil War. They used the strategy above, making sure that their families and friends would set free escaped slaves. They made it clear to their families and friends what was expected of them: If called for jury duty, you will answer the “voir dire” questions like an idiot, get seated, and then vote “not guilty.”

    If you can’t handle such simple instructions, then you’re basically not a citizen at all, you’re more of an obedient dog, useful to tyranny, and no help to justice and freedom.

    This isn’t hard stuff, people. It’s a national embarrassment that it’s so difficult for so many Americans that we have the highest per-capita prison population in the entire world.

    So start talking to your family and friends today. Let them know that your standards for friendship include being friends with people who aren’t mindless supporters of the rising American police state. Let them know that you wouldn’t want to be friends with anyone who will mindlessly act as the tool of judges and prosecutors, putting innocent people behind bars. Let them know that you expect them to be independent agents, and do your best to get seated on the jury (by acting bored, like everyone else acts –prosecutors and judges are suspicious of people who are excited to serve on juries).

    There are 2.4 million people in prison in the USA. According to FBI statistics, over 60% of them are incarcerated for “victimless crime” offenses. Even if you’re a socially-intolerant “social conservative” (ie: a goose-stepping, mindlessly obedient idiot) and want to punish such people, keeping them in jail is coming out of your taxes, which then conflicts with the more legitimate “fiscal conservative” portion of your philosophy.

    There’s a better way: The political philosophy of libertarianism or “classical liberalism.” Rand Paul is a fairly libertarian member of the Republican Party. Jared Polis is a fairly libertarian member of the Democratic Party. Or, you can just vote for the Libertarian Party candidates, no matter how goofy or strategically weak some of them are, and be secure in the knowledge that you didn’t vote to violate other people’s rights.

    Continue reading. If you’re in public, and you see the police violating someone’s individual rights, then take out your cell phone and videotape them. Offer to be a witness at someone’s trial, if you see them being unlawfully arrested. Hand them your business card (cheap information cards are $94 for 5,000 from Vistaprint).

    The back of my business cards reads:

    “In 1850, Northern judges and prosecutors were frustrated by juries that returned “not guilty” verdicts in moral opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law. So, beginning in 1851, judges began allowing prosecutors to question jury members for disagreement with the law, and remove them if they disagreed. This unconstitutional process was called “voir dire” and is still practiced before every trial as a means of enforcing immoral “victimless crime” laws. The solution? Answer “voir dire” questions as an unthinking conformist who agrees with the law, and get seated on the jury. Once seated, jury verdicts must stand, even if they’ve practiced “jury nullification of law” by voting “not guilty” due to moral disagreement with the law. Call 1-800-TEL-JURY for a free information packet on your individual right to jury independence.”

    Anyone who wants this text is free to copy it and reuse it on their own business cards.

So, what do you think?