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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.


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 and CC:

Supervisor Haggerty // (510) 272-6691
Supervisor Valle // (510) 272-6692
Supervisor Chan // (510)272-6693
Supervisor Miley // (510)272-6694
Supervisor Carson // (510)272-6695

No Urban Shield Funding: Press Conference and Pack the Board Meeting

Board of Supervisors can say NO to funding Urban Shield and say YES to community solutions!

On September 9, 2016, we successfully mobilized hundreds to disrupt the Urban Shield weapons expo in Pleasanton. Although that was a great show of people power and proof of what we are capable of even in the face of militarized police, the fight is not over till we end funding for Urban Shield! And together, we have the power to do it.

So now we urge you to continue the fight for the long haul to bring an end to attempts further militarization of police used to repress our communities.

Oct 11th is the last Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting before funding proposals to the Urban Areas Security Initiative that could include resources for Urban Shield 2017. We need YOU to help us show that the community will not stand for further police militarization.  The Alameda County Board of Supervisors can take decisive action to Defund Urban Shield now! Help us demand that NO FUNDING  for Urban Shield be included in any funding proposal for Fiscal Year 2017!

Join us for Press Conference and to pack the Board Meeting
Tuesday, October 11th
10am-11am Press Conference
11am-4pm Pack the Board Meeting
1221 Oak St, Oakland

We want to show our power and presence at the beginning of the meeting and encourage people to show up at any point and to stay as long as they can. Coalition members will be there until the very end with signage and ready to speak about the Coalition’s report on the impact and the alternatives to Urban Shield Urban Shield: Abandoning Hope not Building Hope .

We will also be delivering letters from different groups and organizations including but not limited to educators and health care workers  who know that Urban Shield is destructive, divisive, and not a sustainable response to emergency.  We encourage other organizations to write a letter standing against Urban Shield and to send letters to Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Please email your letter as an attachment to and CC:

Supervisor Haggerty // (510) 272-6691
Supervisor Valle // (510) 272-6692
Supervisor Chan // (510)272-6693
Supervisor Miley // (510)272-6694
Supervisor Carson // (510)272-6695

We hope to see you Oct 11th at 10am in Oakland!

Sign up for our email list at, and visit to stay involved.

Health Workers Join the Growing Call to Stop Urban Shield


Health workers with the Oakland Power Projects, an initiative of Critical Resistance Oakland to reduce reliance on policing and build up alternatives, have written a statement against Urban Shield, and are asking for health workers to sign and circulate:

As Health Workers, we are committed to promoting and supporting wellness and care for all individuals and neighborhoods to enable people and communities to thrive. Through our experiences, we are strongly committed to the belief that healthcare must fundamentally be decoupled from policing and militarization, because of the historic, structural and current antagonistic role that police play in relation to health and community wellbeing.

Too many times, we have seen the deadly impact of policing in our neighborhoods – through police murders of predominantly people of color, as well as the disproportionate impacts of everyday policing and imprisonment on people of color, poor people, and people with specific mental health needs/disabilities. These trends illustrate that these communities are exactly the people who cops are trained to see as “problems,” to repress through surveillance, interrogation, detainment and use of force.

Policing interferes with–if not obstructs– people’s access to healthcare and interferes with the quality of care that people are able to receive. Policing can deter people from seeking emergency medical help, impedes with the actual delivery of life-saving care during emergencies, and can intimidate and discourage people from accessing routine medical care and health support when entangled with clinics, hospitals and community-based services. Policing is a public health threat.

It is imperative that we take a clear stand as professionals and Healthcare experts against the pervasiveness of policing in our neighborhoods. Urban Shield, a program funded by the Department of Homeland Security, aims to further equip cops with military training and weapons to enhance their power over our communities. The program is held in the Bay Area every year, and I am writing to ask your support to get it out. We do not want emergency response funds to go to military, weapons, or police trainings. We do not want cops and military trainings to co-opt EMT and emergency response resources. These actions are not just wasteful, but deadly.

Join us and take action: STOP URBAN SHIELD! Please stand with us as Health Workers, healthcare professionals, and community caregivers.


Alejandra Cano, Oakland Power Projects
Braden Lake, Oakland Power Projects
Caitlin Miller, CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife)
Danny Kim, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) medical student
Joan Chen, Community Health Worker, Berkeley Free Clinic
Lara Barth, Community Health Educator
Lisa Guide, RN CNS (Registered Nurse Clinical Nurse Specialist)
Megan Rees, LPCC, Oakland Power Projects
Nadia Gaber, MD-PhD Candidate, UCSF
Rupa Marya, MD UCSF
Maisa Morrar, Alameda County EMS, EMT, PYM, Oakland Power Projects
Alma Sanchez, MD, MPH, UCSF Family and Community Medicine
Carolyn Kraus, MD/MS Candidate, UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program
AJ Pluss, Doctor of Physical Therapy Student
Juliana E. Morriss, MD, EdM UCSF Family and Community Medicine
Yakira Teitel, MD, MPH Resident Physician, UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine

Health Workers’ Letter to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors



Circulate this statement to Health Workers and join the signatories. Email Croakland to sign on with your name, preferred affiliation or certification. Put “Health Worker signature, Stop Urban Shield” in the subject.

Sign the Stop Urban Shield petition 

Endorse the demand to Stop Urban Shield and with your organization, group, or network. Email

Check out the new Urban Shield Report

In the wake of a massive mobilization against the Urban Shield weapons expo in Pleasanton on Friday, a newly published report authored by the Stop Urban Shield coalition illustrates the negative social and economic impacts of Urban Shield. The report also shows how the Alameda County Board of supervisors can take action to end the controversial program and instead fund programs less dominated by law enforcement. A digital copy of the report can be found here.


On Friday Sept 9, we took a powerful stance against Urban Shield and police militarization. We believe that we can defund and end Alameda County’s participation in Urban Shield, but we need your support to win this fight. Please continue the strug­gle to Stop Urban Shield by taking three simple steps:

  1. Tell the Alameda County Board of Supervisors NO MORE URBAN SHIELD. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has the power to Stop Urban Shield! Call Board of Supervisors Pres­ident, Scott Haggerty’s office at 510.272.6691 to demand that the Board of Supervisors de-fund this destructive program!

SAMPLE LANGUAGE: Hello, I’m calling to urge President Haggerty to demand that no funding for Urban Shield be included in any funding proposals for Fiscal Year 2017. I have learned that propos­als to the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative will be due on October 14. Alameda County has an opportunity to seek funding for emergency response resources that prioritize health and well being and not militarized policing. Defund Urban Shield now!

  1. HELP US MAKE A PLAN TO WIN. Today’s action is the beginning of an organizing push that can end Urban Shield in Alameda County once and for all. Bring your people to get involved in the next steps to defund and end Urban Shield:



West Oakland Youth Center

3233 Market St, Oakland, CA 94608


Sign up for our email list at, and visit to stay involved.

Activists lock down entrances to Urban Shield, over five hundred community members mobilize, 23 arrested

Pleasanton – Today, activists chained themselves to the entrances to the Alameda County Fairgrounds to protest Urban Shield, the highly controversial SWAT training and weapons expo hosted annually by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. 23 activists were arrested, cited, and released. Over 500 community members from many cities across California, including Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, joined the Stop Urban Shield Coalition in a massive mobilization, march and rally that included powerful speakers, art, and musical and cultural performances. A broad coalition of grassroots community and social justice organizations, the Stop Urban Shield Coalition is amplifying the growing opposition to the militarization, policing, and violence in Black, Brown, and poor communities, and seeking to end Urban Shield.

Urban Shield brings together police units from across the country for 48 consecutive hours of highly militarized scenarios, a program that activists condemn as promoting further violence and an increased war mentality by police in marginalized communities. It is funded by the Department of Homeland Security through a grant program called the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), one of many controversial “War on Terror” efforts.

Participants in Urban Shield also include armed forces from around the world, many of which have been accused of war crimes and human rights abuses. This year, Urban Shield lists law enforcement units from Mexico and Taiwan. Israel, which is widely condemned for its abuses against the Palestinian population, has also been featured prominently in past trainings.

“When Urban Shield is bringing together repressive forces from all over the world to train with police here, we must stand together, work to end it, and fight policing and militarization here and everywhere.” said Nora Abedelal of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

The Stop Urban Shield Coalition, along with one of its members the War Resisters League, has been collecting the stories of survivors of SWAT raids in order to uplift the voices of people impacted by the practices that Urban Shield promotes. “Across the country, we are seeing a growing normalization of militarized policing and SWAT deployment against people of color, particularly Black communities,” said Woods Ervin of Critical Resistance. “As a SWAT training program, Urban Shield is only expanding the violence that people face at the hands of police, and must be stopped immediately.” In the 1980s, there were roughly 3,000 SWAT raids a year; today, that number is up to 50,000. According to an ACLU report, Black people are up to 40 times more likely to be impacted by SWAT raids than white people.

The coalition will continue to organize to amplify widespread opposition to Urban Shield, and militarization of police more broadly. They are planning a large town hall event in Oakland in the coming weeks focused on alternatives to Urban Shield.

Rally to Stop Urban Shield Sept 9!

Join us for a powerful mobilization against global militarization and policing.

We are only one day away from what will be the 10th Urban Shield, the largest annual SWAT training and weapons expo in the world. Forces from around the country and globe will be convening in Pleasanton to share the oppressive tactics that have been used on Black, Indigenous, Brown, and poor people in the US and abroad. Join us on September 9th at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton at 8am sharp!



Alameda County Fairgrounds

Pleasanton Ave & Fairgrounds Rd., Pleasanton CA


The Stop Urban Shield Coalition has been hard at work organizing for our mass mobilization tomorrow. As we gear up to bring communities from across the state together to rally against Urban Shield, please review some important information about tomorrow:

  • We are planning to meet at the intersection of Pleasanton Ave. and Fairgrounds Rd.
  • We are planning to be out there for four hours. It will be warm, so please dress accordingly. We will have water, but do bring some with you in case.
  • Reem’s Arab Street Food will have food available for purchase.

Spread the Word! Social media info
In order to make this event even more powerful, we are calling on people to help amplify our message. We will be livestreaming on Facebook out of the accounts below. Additionally, please follow and share information coming out of these social media accounts:Spread the Word! Social media info


Stop Urban Shield
Critical Resistance
AROC:Arab Resource and Organizing Center




The Stop Urban Shield Coalition is coordinating transportation to ensure that as many people as possible can participate in the September 9th mobilization and action day.


Please let us know any accessibility needs for attending on September 9th. Contact information: stopurbanshieldnow@ or call (510) 444-0484.

For a wheelchair accessible ride, please email or call the above contacts.

Carpooling from the Bay Area and across the state

As of today we are no longer using the google form to field requests. Please email or call the above contacts.

Public Transportation

We are also encouraging local Bay Area residents to take BART to Dublin/Pleasanton BART station for those who are able. There will be some cars and a bus shuttling from the BART station. From BART, if the car shuttles are at capacity, there’s also the 10R bus that goes close by (15 min ride leaves every 15 minutes).

ACE train from South Bay

The ACE train goes directly there from San Jose and Santa Clara if you are coming from the South Bay. Note that tickets are pretty steep at $14 each way.


There is street parking in the neighborhoods near the mobilization site. We recommend you park near the intersection of Rose Ave and Pleasanton AveLook for signs or individuals directing you where to walk for mobilization.

There may also be parking in the ACE lot at the nearby intersection of West Angela St and Pleasanton Ave, however please note there are “commuter only” parking signs.


For additional information and questions you can email stopurbanshieldnow@ or call (510) 444-0484.

Sign our Petition! Demand an End to Urban Shield!

Sign our petition to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors here!

To the Alameda County Board of Supervisors: We urge you to take steps to end the militarization of our communities by rescinding all present contracts and declining all future collaborations with Urban Shield. Divest from policing and militarization, and invest in our communities!

To Communities Everywhere: Support our Mass Mobilization against Urban Shield on September 9!

Although proponents of Urban Shield claim that it provides police departments with emergency response training, we know that these weapons, training, and tactics become normalized and broadly used against our communities, such as in drug raids, to issue search warrants, and against protesters. These weapons and surveillance tools get integrated into the violence of everyday policing targeting Black, Brown, and poor communities. For instance, Black people are up to 40 times more likely to be impacted by SWAT raids than whites, clearly demonstrating the racism inherent in militarization and policing.

As a national and international event, Urban Shield is not only increasing militarization in Alameda County, but across the country and world. To the Alameda County Board of Supervisors: Stand with our communities in the Bay Area and everywhere, and rein in the Sheriff’s unchecked attempts at increased militarization by cutting all ties with Urban Shield!

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