Author: Lily Haskell

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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