From conflict to cooperation: freeway blogging with the California Highway Patrol
In the post 9/11 era it has become harder and harder to exercise our constitutional rights. For example police often crack down on peaceful demonstrations that are protected by the First Amendment - freedom of speech. This video shows how freeway bloggers in Davis, California were able to turn a bad situation with the CHP into a good one. It is a model that political activists can use in any city or state.
Briefly here is the history:
In October 2009, our 2nd ever freeway blogging event in Davis, we ran into the harassment and intimidation of the CHP. Although we were not breaking the law
or causing any risk to traffic and they refused to look at the evidence of our innocence they threatened us with arrest and jail and made us take down our banner.
In December 2009 we filed a formal complaint with CHP over the harassment etc. explaining why we had a legal right to do what we did the way we did it.
In February 2010 we met with the CHP Captain to arrange a plan for us to go freeway blogging with CHP's cooperation and consent. The key was in understanding the 911 emergency dispatch system and how CHP responds to a situation they are unaware of.
This video shows the April 2010 freeway blogging under the new plan with CHP and compares it to October 2009 when they harassed us. We have gone freeway blogging in Davis 7 times since then and had the cooperation of the CHP every time. A couple of times they did not even show up (which we like).
The point is that it is possible to get the cooperation of the CHP in freeway blogging and other peaceful demonstrations. It helps to have a friendly police counterpart but police can be educated on this topic and persuaded to cooperate rather than obstruct.
Be aware that freeway blogging is an inherently noisy activity and is not for those with sensitive hearing.
For more information on freeway blogging see www.FreewayBlogging.com