Victory Against Urban Shield!
September 4, 2014
Dear Bay Area Activist,
I'm Susan Harman, CODEPINK’s representative in the Stop Urban Shield Coalition in the Bay Area. As a member of the Bay Area Civil Liberties Coalition, I've helped organize three major forums on surveillance and loss of our civil liberties. I've lived and worked in Oakland for 20 years.
Today, I'm very excited to let you know that thanks to the work of CODEPINK members and other organizations and individuals with the Stop Urban Shield Coalition, the Marriott and the Alameda County Sheriff’s office have announced that Urban Shield will not take place in Oakland in 2015!
Urban Shield is a weapons/surveillance tech expo and urban
war exercise which includes local, regional, and state agencies that
first started in the Bay Area in 1999. Sponsored by organizations
including the Department of Homeland Security, it provides a sales and
publicity platform for manufacturers of armored vehicles, drones, surveillance technology, and tear gas used in Oakland, Ferguson, and Palestine.
I'm also happy to let you know that in response to a letter from the Bay Area Civil Liberties Coalition (BACLC) regarding Urban Shield, Congresswoman Barbara Lee agreed to move her fundraiser scheduled for today at the Marriott - in the room next door to the arms vendor show - to an alternate venue.
Despite our tremendous victories, our work is not done. This year’s Urban Shield is still taking place, with militarized exercises around the Bay all weekend, including “responding” to peaceful protests, and seminars and the vendors show at the Oakland Convention Center on Thursday and Friday. Join us to protest!
Join CODEPINK, the War Resisters League and Dignidad Rebelde to create art & build community before our rally on Friday.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. We remain concerned that this urban warfare extravaganza will simply re-emerge next year elsewhere in Alameda County. The
Pentagon continues to donate weaponry to police departments around the
country, and police departments continue to act like occupying armies. Private corporations are raking in profits from transforming our police into military command units.
When we say Bring Our War $$ Home, we do NOT mean spending them to militarize our police departments!
Our pressure has worked in Oakland; stay tuned for the announcement of
our national campaign to de-militarize our police everywhere.
With hope for peace,
Susan Harman and the CODEPINK team