Dignity Dialogue held at First Congregational Church
Simon Sedillo, visiting activist, gave training and info on migra/police watch
· For over 20 years in both US and Mexico, Simon has been documenting interactions b/t police and community, as well as the causes of global migration due to militarism.
· Simon called migra/cop watch “a militant strategy in self-defense” and stressed that the tactics he shared are not intended to be violent or antagonist, but instead are meant to create a power balance between law enforcement (police, ICE, CBP, etc) and the community.
· Of migra/cop watch, Simon said it’s more about preventing atrocities than documenting them, and that documenting police is a constitutional right in the U.S.
· He especially encouraged white allies of the undocumented community to step up and practice this tactic.
· He acknowledged that every individual has to figure out their own risk level.
· Simon broke down the “how” of doing migra/cop watch, stressed to never do it alone, and said a team of 5 people is best: spokesperson, note taker, and 3 cameras.
- He said never to go alone and never to approach the law enforcement from behind.
- The spokesperson should be the calmest. Their job is to let the officers know that their group is there, watching and that it is within their civil rights to do this.
- The note taker should take notes on EVERYTHING (badge numbers, street names, vehicle plates, etc.). They should be saying everything that they are writing down aloud to let the officers know that it is being recorded.
- People can film and be a spokesperson if needed.
The second half of the Dignity Dialogue focused on highlighting differences between the City of Bellingham ordinance and the proposed Keep Bellingham Families Working ordinance that the undocumented community and allies preferred.
· Small groups to discuss and then role-play making phone calls to City Council members and the Mayor. This was done to help us anticipate what responses we might receive and how to respond to them.
**Shout out to Nan for taking these notes!