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California Nurses Association Urges Alameda County Board of Supervisors to End Urban Shield

The California Nurses Association (CNA)one of the largest labor organizations in the state, has joined the ranks of dozens of other organizations and hundreds of community members and health care professionals in taking stance against the militarization of police by opposing Urban Shield. In a recent letter to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors CNA points to the critical nature of emergency preparedness and how the militarization of such a response actually undermines community safety.

“We strongly support the development, support, and expansion of true Emergency Preparedness programming in Alameda County. We are distressed to learn that our Board of Supervisors plans on allocating five of the $6 Million dollars granted by UASI Urban Shield, while not spending a single dollar on many of the emergency preparedness goals, such as Goal 1: Planning and Risk Management, Goal 5: Medical and Public Health, Goal 6: Emergency Planning and Community Preparedness, or Goal 7: Recovery.

We do not support programs that train first responders and law enforcement officials to see the people who live in our communities as their greatest threat. We do not support increasing the use of militarized weaponry and tactics in everyday law enforcement. These training exercises perpetuate racist and xenophobic stereotypes and increase trauma in communities already suffering under the massive number of police killings, militarized SWAT raids and sweeps, and surveillance technologies and are further eroding already fragile community / police relationships. This decreases public safety, destabilizes communities, and puts more cops at risk.”

You can read the full text of the letter here. 

URGENT: Turn Out to Berkeley City Council Tuesday March 14

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

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

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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Community to Mobilize on 2/28 to the SF Board of Supervisors. No War on our Communities!

On Tuesday, February 28th at 2pm the Stop Urban Shield Coalition will pack the San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting as the City votes whether or not to apply for the 2017 Urban Area Securities Initiative funds from the Department of Homeland security, the funding that is used to finance Urban Shield.  While the Supervisors have shown that they are concerned about the militarized police training and the harm and violence that Urban Shield brings into our communities and have introduced several amendments to the resolution, we still need to show them that ending Urban Shield altogether is strongest path forward. 

At the same meeting, community members will also be urging the Board of Supervisors to divest from banks that are financing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Indigenous Water Defenders and their allies have been defending the land of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota for months and have repeatedly faced militarized police forces trying to repress their efforts. They have drafted an open letter to the Board of Supervisors and are asking for supporters to sign on. They have also asked attendees to wear blue as a show of support. Additionally the Supervisors will be voting on a resolution to prevent the use of City infrastructure to enforce a registry based on identity, national origin, religion or ethnicity. Such a resolution would prevent the City from complying with the Muslim registry that Trump has repeatedly promised to implement.

The Stop Urban Shield Coalition recognizes that these issues are part and parcel of the same resistance. The violence of policing, racial profiling and militarization affects communities of color, immigrant and indigenous communities from Oakland to San Francisco to the Standing Rock reservation. Given the very real threats we face under the Trump administration we need to stronger than ever in the defense of our people and especially  standing together in struggle across our communities.

Turn out to 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl at 2pm to say No War on Communities of Color, Immigrant, Indigenous and Muslim Communities!

 

All Out to the SF Board of Supervisors! Say No to Urban Shield!

This Thursday, February 2, 2017, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee will discuss and vote on a resolution authorizing designated City and County officials to execute and file on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco any actions necessary for the purpose of obtaining State and Federal financial assistance under various grant programs, including the Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Urban Areas Security Initiative Grant. This currently includes Urban Shield.

Demand that the Supervisors exclude Urban Shield from the resolution tomorrow!

As the fiscal agent for Bay Area UASI funds, the SF Board of Supervisors has the power to exclude Urban Shield as a program funded by this money. Let’s turn out strong for this meeting! As we have seen with the ban on refugees from Syria and immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries issued by Trump on Friday, this administration and the Department of Homeland Security (which provides the funds for UASI and Urban Shield) will stop at nothing to bring harm to our communities.

San Francisco has already demonstrated that it wants to push back against this executive order as well as the systematic dismantling of other protections for Muslim, Arab and immigrant communities such as Sanctuary City ordinances. Urban Shield is part and parcel of these recent actions and will contribute to the continued war on our communities and families here in the Bay Area and around the world. Join us to put an end to it.

Turn out to the Budget and Finance Committee meeting: 2/2/2017, 10am, SF City Hall, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl , San Francisco, CA 94102. Say NO to Urban Shield!

TAKE ACTION NOW: Call Board of Supervisors Today. Demand NO Funds for Urban Shield

Tomorrow, January 25, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee will decide whether or not to allow San Francisco to receive funding that supports the Urban Shield police war games and weapons expo.

On January 10, we showed Alameda County of Board of Supervisors the strength of community opposition to Urban Shield. Now it’s time to show their peers in San Francisco.

Tell San Francisco Board of Supervisors: No to Militarization! Vote No on Urban Shield!

Fight for stronger, safer, and healthier communities.

Take these two steps to end Urban Shield now:

1. Call the SF Board of Supervisors today, January 24th. Tell them to vote no on Urban Shield!

Please spread the word and encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to let the Board know, we want and end to Urban Shield now! Use the script and contact information below.

Sample script:

Dear Supervisor _________,

I am calling/writing to urge you and all San Francisco Supervisors in the Budget and Finance Committee to take leadership in putting an end to the militarization of police and the militarization of disaster preparedness in the Bay Area. On Wednesday, you will be asked to decide whether to authorize the City to enter into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative. Because San Francisco is the fiscal agent for these programs in the Bay Area, this agreement will include funding for the militarized Urban Shield training and weapons expo, unless you amend the resolution to exclude Urban Shield. Several of your Supervisor colleagues last year publicly called for an end to Urban Shield. [see attached] As you are aware, the divisive election of Donald Trump has raised concerns about an increase in militarized policing and attacks on immigrants, Arabs and Muslims, communities of color, and poor people. We call on you to stand with the communities you represent and end the divisive, dangerous, and xenophobic Urban Shield training and weapons expo.Tomorrow, we urge you to exclude the authorization of any funding for Urban Shield. Thank you.

Call or write San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee members:

Supervisor Malia Cohen (415) 554-7670, Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
Supervisor Norman Yee (415) 554-6516, Norman.Yee@sfgov.org
Supervisor Katy Tang (415) 554-7460, Katy.Tang@sfgov.org

2. Bring yourself and your people out to make a public comment on Wednesday, January 25th against Urban Shield.

Wednesday, January 25th, 10:00 a.m., San Francisco City Hall Room 250. Sign up for public comment on Item 161354 (8thitem on the agenda).

If the committee approves this resolution, it will go to the full Board of Supervisors, where there will not be an opportunity for public comment.

                                                                      * * * * *

By listening to the clear and powerful voice of San Francisco residents, the Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to shift away from the cynical fear mongering at the heart of Urban Shield and toward an approach that responds to genuine Bay Area disaster threats by investing in health, food security, emergency shelter, and community resilience.

Take Action to Stop Urban Shield Today!

On Tuesday January 10, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will decide whether or not to allow the county Sheriff to receive funding for the Urban Shield police war games and weapons expo.

Tell Alameda County Board of Supervisors: No to Militarization! Vote No on Urban Shield!

Fight for stronger, safer, and healthier communities.

Take these three steps to end Urban Shield now:

1. Call the Board of Supervisors Today, January 9th. Tell them to vote no on Urban Shield!

Please spread the word and encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to let the Board know, we want and end to Urban Shield now! Use the script and contact below or click here.

Sample script:Dear Supervisor _________,I am calling/writing to urge you and all Alameda County Board of Supervisors to take leadership in putting an end to the militarization of police and the militarization of disaster preparedness in Alameda County. On Tuesday, you will be asked to decide whether to authorize the Sheriff to enter into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative. This agreement will give the Sheriff access to funding for the notorious Urban Shield training and weapons expo. As you are surly aware, the divisive election of Donald Trump has raised concerns about an increase in militarized policing and attacks on immigrants, Arabs and Muslims, communities of color, and poor people. We call on you to stand with the communities you represent against such harm. Ending the divisive, dangerous, and xenophobic Urban Shield training and weapons expo is one significant way to do this. Tomorrow, we urge you to say no to the authorization of any funding for Urban Shield. Thank you.

Supervisor Haggerty // shawn.wilson@acgov.org (510) 272-6691
Supervisor Valle // christopher.miley@acgov.org (510) 272-6692
Supervisor Chan // jeanette.dong@acgov.org (510)272-6693
Supervisor Miley // anna.gee@acgov.org (510)272-6694
Supervisor Carson // amy.shrago@acgov.org (510)272-6695

2. Bring yourself and your people out to a Rally and Press Conference on Tuesday, January 10th against Urban Shield. Afterward, pack the boardroom to show that our communities reject Urban Shield. We will meet at the Alameda County Administration Building at 1221 Oak St, Oakland, CA 94612.  Please share the Facebook event page widely!

3. Are you an Alameda County Resident? Sign our petition, and share it with your networks.

* * * * *

By listening to the clear and powerful voice of Alameda County Residents, the Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to shift away from the cynical fear mongering at the heart of Urban Shield and toward an approach that responds to genuine Bay Area disaster threats by investing in health, food security, emergency shelter, and community resilience.

For more info, visit: http://stopurbanshield.org/

Standing Up, Fighting Back: Moving Forward Against Trump and Militarism in the New Year

From the disturbing images of police repressing indigenous resistance in Standing Rock to the often unreported near-daily SWAT raids in Black and Brown neighborhoods in our cities, we know that police militarization is a violent strategy of containment, control, and warfare. But we also know that all over the world, people are fighting back. The Stop Urban Shield coalition sees its work as a tangible and winnable step toward diminishing the destructive impacts of police militarization that serves to destabilize our communities. In 2016 the organizations that make us Stop Urban Shield have been proud to come together with others to educate ourselves about the shady path of resources and power involved in police militarization, to strategize to disrupt that toxic flow, and to take bold and inspiring actions against warfare in our neighborhoods and cities.

In 2016 many hours of outreach and building with community member and organizations culminated in a powerful direct action and civil disobedience against the Urban Shield weapons expo in Pleasanton in September. This mobilization disrupted both the expo and some of the war games crucial to an increase in police militarization. Building on the momentum of that action, we were also able compel elected officials in Alameda County to finally call critical questions about Urban Shield and the unaccountable and untransparent power exercised by the Sheriff’s office in controlling this program. All of this work was held together by different volunteer members of our coalition thinking together to research, analyze, understand, and critique Urban Shield. We are proud to this year to have issued our report Urban Shield: Abandoning Hope Not Build Hope as a strong educational foundation to our work.

Moving into 2017, people are all too aware that the destruction being proposed by the incoming Trump regime will require a redoubling of our efforts to come together, to defend our communities, and to fight back. Trump’s campaign has been a platform of fear-mongering and hate – calling for increased policing, mass deportations, surveillance, registries, detention and deportation of immigrant and Muslim communities, and has even labelled social movements like Black Lives Matter as terrorist organizations. The communities that will be highly targeted and affected under a Trump administration are the same ones targeted by policing and militarization programs like Urban Shield.

Stopping Urban Shield in Alameda County is a key local step to resisting the threats posed by Trump. Alameda County must stop sponsoring the racist, xenophobic, and lethal strategies, tactics, and technologies being spread by Urban Shield. Ending Urban Shield is more important than ever.

Just days after the Start of 2017 we invite you to take action to stop Urban Shield.

On January 10, 2017, due to community pressure, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will conduct a long overdue information session on Urban Shield. We know that the Sheriff will use every trick in his book to rationalize and defend this violent program. We need as many of our people there to raise our voices and share the true impacts of Urban Shield and police militarization, and to compel the Board to take the only rational and humane step possible: Stop Urban Shield.

JOIN US!

when:  Tuesday January 10, 10am Press Conference and Rally

where: Alameda County Administration Building 1221 Oak St., Oakland

Following the Press Conference and Rally, we will pack the Supervisors Meeting to show our county’s elected officials Urban Shield needs to be ended once and for all!

P.S. Are you an Alameda County resident? Sign our petition!

SF Supervisors Avalos, Campos and Mar Call on Alameda Supervisors to Discontinue Urban Shield Funding

On October 6, San Francisco Board of Supervisor members John Avalos, David Campos and Eric Mar sent a letter urging the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to discontinue funding Urban Shield. Thank you Supervisors Avalos, Campos and Mar for standing against the militarization of police and the deployment of the tools of war into our neighborhoods and for community health and well being.

During this grant cycle, we encourage Alameda County to suspend its proposals for funding for Urban Shield and instead take the opportinity to seek funding for the above-mentioned Planning and Risk Management, Medical and Public Health, Emergency Planning and Community Preparedness, and Recovery areas. As noted, UASI offers us a fair amount of latitude in how we disperse and use funding. This may include a wide range of first responder trainings as well as opportinities for first responders to collaborate with county and city institutions, along with non-governmental organizations. Discontinuing funding for Urban Shield does not foreclose on essential training, but instead allows us to invest in other UASI areas that are less tainted by controversy and community mistrust.”

Read the complete letter here. 

Labor Unions, Faith Communities and Grassroots Groups Call on Alameda County to End Urban Shield!

us12Labor unions, faith-based communities and other grassroots groups around the Bay Area are calling on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to end their support of Urban Shield by demanding that no funding for these war games be included in any proposals for FY 2017. Read their letters here. If your organization would like to add your voices to this call, Please email your letter as an attachment to stopurbanshieldnow@gmail.com and CC:

Supervisor Haggerty // shawn.wilson@acgov.org (510) 272-6691
Supervisor Valle // christopher.miley@acgov.org (510) 272-6692
Supervisor Chan // jeanette.dong@acgov.org (510)272-6693
Supervisor Miley // anna.gee@acgov.org (510)272-6694
Supervisor Carson // amy.shrago@acgov.org (510)272-6695

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