The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Archive (SLSC Archive) is an “an/archive” of ongoing community resistance: a digital place where we trace the many stories of our fights spread across a body of documents.
These documents and stories have been organized for us, by us (the community) so that we can better understand what surveillance is and how it works in Los Angeles, today.
This community knowledge also helps us better resist the “Stalker State”—the name we use for the part of the government that actively surveils us, our schools, and our neighborhoods.
Many of the documents in this anarchive have been acquired through Public Records Act (PRA) requests filed with the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)—two significant participants of the “Stalker State.”
Because of that, we keep in mind that the state makes itself the most important subject in its own documents. Therefore we are careful about replicating how the state wants to be seen. Instead, we as abolitionists work on building transparency through these documents to critically show how the state currently operates.
The SLSC Archive is also a community organizing tool.
To start, we create community knowledge through our active work of filing PRAs, requiring us (the community) to research and communicate with the LAPD and have essential documents released to the public.
Then, we invite the community to participate in looking at these documents together and finding the stories of our fights within them. Together, we develop folksonomies and metadata for archival materials to help future community researchers more easily access the archive. This way many voices and perspectives help tell a more complete story about our fights.
Want to join in? Here are some ways to get started:
- Explore Our Featured Stories
- Learn More About the SLSC Archive
- Watch a Tutorial for How to File a PRA
- Browse the Archive
- Train to be a Community-based Researcher. Collaborate with different SLSC working groups and develop metadata and archive PRA documents for the SLSC Archive.
- Join the SLSC Archive Tech Team. Collaborate with others to help maintain the archive website by uploading documents, updating metadata, and helping research. Or simply help us identify ways to improve our web accessibility, digital preservation, and collaborative tools.
- Take Part in Internal SLSC Archiving. Help us think about how we might archive coalition materials from the past 10 years! Most of the materials exist digitally—Google Docs, photographs, video, etc.—but many do not.
- Develop SLSC Archive Education Materials. Help produce materials make it easy to train and empower any interested volunteer to participate in community-based archiving. This is ideal for anyone with zine making or design experiences. This might be anything from workshops, zines, flowcharts.
- Organize Folksonomies Workshops. Brainstorm with coalition folks on ways to engage local community members to develop folksonomies.
Contact us at [email protected]
Our long-term vision for the SLSC Archive is to be able to house PRAs from other organizers and/or support them in building their own community-based archive based on the digital tools and resources we have gathered—including open source code and computational tools in development. This digital archive has been developed on WordPress for its wide-spread familiarity, and thus, a smaller learning curve for web maintenance and community members. We aim to release the code as open-source so that interested grassroots organizations and collective could more readily adopt and launch their own community-based digital archive. We hope that one day the SLSC archive will also exist as a physical archive.
The work of this digital archive was the recipient of both Phase One and Phase Two funding of Eyebeam‘s 2020-2021 Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future Fellowship.