Emergency Response Policy

Problems at the Grove Circle

Where we should call the ambulance and police for the emergencies that most people normally think of there is also another situation that the Grove may be called upon to deal with. There should be very little tolerance in our Grove for incidents involving basic religious hate. There are various legal remedies in place in our society that should be used. The use of controlled force to detain and identify suspects is spelled out in statute and law. We are members of a larger community and should respect the systems that are in place. Public attention to injustice can be a very good thing when resolving this issue.

The big thing is to identify the persons involved in any incident. In all cases, call the police (911 if the vandals are still around). Document all the damage yourself even if the police initially minimize the incident. CCTV, video and photos with a newspaper are excellent ways to date and show the damage to persons and property. Hospital reports go far as well. Assault can, at a minimum, be verbal slurs. Battery is a physical contact involvement. A one sided physical involvement generally lands the aggressor in jail for a time.

Vandalism in the desecration of a "church" can be considered a hate crime if the persons are caught. Our Grove Circle can be considered one as it is being used as a 501(c)3 religious site. Police may confuse the issue as being a domestic incident as the site is private property. Explain the situation clearly and concisely for them and show them physical evidence. You may have to repeat it several times for several officers and investigators. WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY.

Get a police case number and ask for the assigned detective or the squad assigned. Keep tabs often to maintain an active file. Notify newspaper reporters as a method of keeping activity on the case in a political arena. A newspaper article is worth much in enlightening the public and getting the case resolved. In some cases, calls from lawyers can be effective.

Anti-Defamation and Civil Liberty Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

www.aclu.org
The American Civil Liberties Union is the nation's foremost advocate of individual rights - litigating, legislating and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States. The mission of the ACLU is to assure that the Bill of Rights - amendments to the Constitution that guard against unwarranted governmental control - are preserved for each new generation. Check out their site.

Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network (ERLAN)

www.conjure.com/ERAL/eral.html
ERLAN is a service organization that helps Earth Religion Rights activists communicate so they can help people with problems. ERLAN does the administrative work creating and managing communications mechanisms to help Earth Religionists with legal problems associated with their religion and those individuals and organizations that help them. The ERLAN site offers lots of resources, a discussion list and contacts.

Alternative Religions Educational Network (AREN)

www.aren.org/home.html
(Formerly the Witchs' Anti-Defamation League) Here you will find Listings and Resources to aid in the ongoing fight for Equality and Fair Administration of our First Amendment Rights. Included on the AREN site are FAQs on Wicca and Paganism, religious rights information, graphics, charts and much more.