Author: L H

Action Alert – Call Berkeley City Council Today, Demand a Re-Vote on Urban Shield

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The Stop Urban Shield coalition is proud of the unity and resilience displayed by all those in attendance at last night’s hearing in Berkeley. We need to maintain this resolve in order to Stop Urban Shield in Berkeley and end the program entirely. We cannot tolerate this police abuse and city evasion of democratic process – Take Action Immediately!

Over 500 of us – advocates and Berkeley residents fighting to end police militarization – attended last night’s hearing. We were united in our call to permanently withdraw Berkeley from Urban Shield participation and to end participation in NCRIC. After listening to hours of testimony, with only one speaker out of hundreds speaking in support of the violent police program, Mayor Arreguin and other council members approved participation in NCRIC and attempted to move forward with a vote to remain in Urban Shield.

With the mayor attempting to rush and confuse the vote, community members broke out in chants and unfurled a banner to nonviolently display their protest. This prompted the police to respond with aggressive force with two people arrested (they have since been released) and others injured. This is exactly the type of repression we are standing against when demand an end to Urban Shield. It is the brutality faced daily by Black, Brown, and poor communities in the Bay Area.

The Clerk’s Office and City Council are deciding today on whether the vote will stand. Make a call right now!

I’m contacting you to demand that yesterday’s attempted vote on Urban Shield is not sustained by the Council or Clerk. The proposal was not transparent to the public or council, the motion and process were convoluted, and the vote was not publicly heard. In light of this evasion of democracy and yesterday’s show of police brutality following the hearing, this vote needs to be rescinded and heard again.

First, call the below numbers before 5pm today!

City Clerk: (510) 981-6900

Mayor Arreguin: (510) 981-7100

Then, copy the above message and send to: council@cityofberkeley.infoclerk@CityofBerkeley.info

If you are a Berkeley resident, worker, or student please include your address in the email.

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Berkeley Residents: Sign Petition to Withdraw Berkeley From Urban Shield

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URGENT: Turn Out to Berkeley City Council Tuesday March 14

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URGENT: Turn Out to Berkeley City Council Tuesday March 14

Stop Urban Shield coalition has continued to strongly mobilize in Alameda County, San Francisco, and now the City of Berkeley against the annual racist Urban Shield militarized SWAT training and weapons exposition. Join us!

Today, the Berkeley City Council will be hearing items about the city’s collaborations with other jurisdictions’ law enforcement agencies. Among the collaborations are participation in the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), which is the federal program that allows Urban Shield to take place.

Join the Stop Urban Shield coalition in demanding that city officials end their collaboration with UASI and withdraw all participation in Urban Shield.

Additionally, we are calling on Berkeley to withdraw from participating in the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), a fusion center that works to compile massive amounts of information gathered through surveillance. Fusion centers are the central gathering vehicles for Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), which have targeted Arabs, Muslims, and people of color.

Turn out and testify! (talking points and info provided)

Date: Tuesday March 14th at 7pm
Location: Berkeley City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way between Allston and Addison (near downtown Berkeley BART)

Contact Berkeley City Council and Mayor – Phone or Email Today!

Dear Council Member,

My name is ______ and I am a __ [Berkeley resident, member of organization, concerned resident, etc] __. I’m writing to demand that the City of Berkeley continue to stand firmly on the side of civil and human rights by ending its collaborations with Department of Homeland Security programs. Taking a stand to protect Berkeley residents is particularly important under the extremely racist and dangerous Trump administration.

We specifically demand that Berkeley does NOT continue its participation in NCRIC, and does NOT enter into any agreements with Urban Areas Security Initiatives, including no longer participating in or hosting Urban Shield.

Contact: stopurbanshieldnow@gmail.com or 510-444-0484 for more information.

www.stopurbanshield.org

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San Francisco supervisors condemn Urban Shield, move toward pulling out of militarized policing program

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San Francisco – At the Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday, city leaders condemned the militarization of Urban Shield, and passed a resolution that urged Alameda County to suspend the highly controversial policing training and weapons expo. Additionally, Supervisor Norman Yee stated his intention to introduce a follow up ordinance that would bar any San Francisco personnel or agencies from participating in Urban Shield, a move applauded by members of the Stop Urban Shield Coalition.

During the meeting, Yee stated that he was going “to look into legislation to prevent future participation of San Francisco personnel in Urban Shield.”

Before his closing remarks, Yee held up a picture of an item sold at the Urban Shield weapons expo, a t-shirt that features an M-16 assualt rifle and reads “Black Rifles Matter.” According to SF Weekly, the blatantly racist and violent item has been a “top seller” at the expo.  Although protest and anger from Bay Area residents compelled Alameda County Supervisors to mandate that “Urban Shield will be free from racist-stereo-typing,” organizers with the Stop Urban Shield Coalition maintain that the training and weapons expo are fundamentally rooted in the drive to further increase militarization.

Supervisor Sandra Fewer reiterated the Stop Urban Shield’s concerns that as a federally funded “War on Terror” program, Urban Shield ultimately targets people of color, immigrants, Arabs and Muslims, and other marginalized communities deemed to be “threats.” “When we start talking about a ‘war on drugs,’ when we use the language, or the federal government uses the language ‘war on immigrants,’ ‘war on terrorism,’ any time we use that phrase a ‘war on something,’ then we as citizens of the United States and as residents of the Bay Area are vulnerable…we should actually work against the militarism of the San Francisco police department and all police departments,” stated Fewer. “I think this is a very scary time, but what we do not need is to actually declare a war on the people of San Francisco.

The Stop Urban Shield Coalition will continue working in San Francisco to ensure that the city withdraws its support and participation in Urban Shield, and will build on this resolution to further push Alameda County Supervisors to rein in their Sheriff and put a halt to his dangerous program.

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