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Historical Analysis & Discussion: Repressive Policing Models & Collective Resistance to the Legal System [San Francisco]

  • Howard Zinn Book Fair CCSF-Mission Campus, Harriet Tubman/John Brown Rm 1125 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110 USA (map)

Truth or myth? The severe curtailing of civil liberties in the US and simultaneous transition to models of domestic militarism took place after 9/11 when the country was in a panic about "the terrorists?"

Truth or myth? Political activists are impotent against the tremendous power of the legal system?

Activist and author Kris Hermes will join grassroots organizer and former RNC arrestee Kate Sorensen for a discussion at the Howard Zinn Book Fair on Sunday, November 15th at 3pm. Hermes and Sorensen will detail why these statements are historically inaccurate and why such oft-repeated statements from the liberal left are detrimental to effective movement analysis and strategy.

In his new book, Crashing the Party: Legacies and Lessons from the RNC 2000 (PM Press), Hermes examines a crucial part of our political and legal history, including how "court solidarity" tactics employed the collective strength of hundreds of defendants and their supporters to fight political cases like that of Kate Sorensen who was held on $1 million bail and charged with 20 felonies and misdemeanors.

Find out about the "Philadelphia Model" of policing that was developed during the RNC in 2000, how it shifted the national paradigm on police violence and the repression of dissent, and how it continues to be used today.

Then learn the important movement history of the R2K Legal Collective and the inspirational solidarity of hundreds of arrestees as they went from the streets to the jails to the courts with a commitment to protect those targeted by police and the state.

Hermes and Sorensen met through ACT UP Philadelphia and went on to work together in the R2K Legal Collective, supporting hundreds of arrestees fight their charges.

Hermes, whose skills include media and legal work, has co-founded and worked with several legal collectives over the years, most recently in Ferguson and St. Louis in support of the Movement for Black Lives. Hermes currently works for the National Lawyers Guild as its Mass Defense Coordinator.

Sorensen is a longtime grassroots organizer and healthcare activist. In addition to working with ACT UP Philadelphia and Queer Nation LA, Sorensen co-founded the "Up Against the Law" collective and was the program director and grant writer for STOP AIDS Project in San Francisco. Sorensen currently works for Just Cause in Oakland as a grassroots fundraiser.