The event, which is part of Radical Rush Week, is hosted by the campus anarchist group UNControllables.
“As an anarchist group, we want the world without police,” said James Hoopes, a senior Latin American studies and mathematics double major.
“We think that when the police are the only legitimate purveyors of violence of society, that means they can get away with murder like we saw in Durham, N.C., last year, where a 17-year-old Latino kid, Jesus Huerta, wound up dead in the back of a police squad car.”
From various Occupy movements to specific accounts like Jesus Huerta’s, Hoopes said there are many examples of police infringing on Americans’ liberties. He said there are many students who want to see this change, and tonight’s information session is geared toward them.
“The purpose for this talk is to arm radicals who want to make a change happen with the information they’ll need to do it safely, and to understand what kind of surveillance and oppression the state will bring against them,” Hoopes said.
The talk will also feature Eric Ginsburg, associate editor and co-founder of the newspaper Triad City Beat. Ginsburg wrote a 2013 article about police surveillance, causing the city of Greensboro to try to obtain a temporary restraining order in an attempt to stop the distribution of his article.
“What I was investigating at the time was the police surveillance of activists,” Ginsburg said.
“There was a lot of interesting approaches that were being taken, and I was really looking at officers in Greensboro, but I found out they worked in collaboration with officers around the state, including officers from Chapel Hill, Asheville and Charlotte. For example, at the Carrboro Anarchist Book Fair one year, the police set up in an empty shop from across the street so they could monitor the activities.”
Ginsburg gave a similar talk during last year’s Radical Rush Week, discussing his article and the current police state.
“Last year, I really enjoyed the entire presentation,” said Devon Allen, a sophomore biology major.
“Social change is definitely my thing, and the UNControllables are really informative about what the police are doing wrong. I can’t wait to hear their guest speaker again, too. His story from last year was so powerful about standing up for what is right.”
Hoopes said the point of the talk isn’t to expose the police, but to highlight the inefficiencies in the system.
“It is not a broken system,” he said.
“It exists exactly as it is designed to, which is to terrorize people, and it’s efficient.”