Protestors say CA Urban Shield police program upholds bullying and brutality
OAKLAND, CA — Protesters took to the Oakland streets carrying signs and chanting for the end of Urban Shield — an annual first responders’ training — held in Alameda.
They say the law enforcement exercise was a practice in continued bullying and intimidation of communities of color.
However, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department — the host of Urban Shield — the training was meant to share techniques to better protect the community in all disaster situations.
The protesters say they can no longer rely on the police, and must be ready to protect themselves.
“We want to invest the money in Urban Shield in those programs as opposed continuing a useless exercise again, in racist and xenophobic policing,” said Nathaniel Moore, from the
Stop Urban Shield coalition. “Protesters argue that Urban Shield also attracts questionable people… the only people benefiting from Urban Shield are weapons vendors, international SWAT teams; many of whom have violations of human rights that get to fly to America and train our own police.”
In 2015, Urban Shield was scrutinized after a vendor sold a t-shirt that said “Black Rifles Matter” at the convention.
Fil-Am activists cite how President Trump recently rolled back another Obama administration executive order, by lifting a ban on the transfer of surplus military grade equipment to police departments.
“We know that with further police militarization that it only causes more violence to people of color communities, to the Muslim communities,” said Irma Shauf-Bajar, GABRIELA SF. “And we know that with Trump and his administration, we’ve seen through his Muslim ban and from him taking away DACA, that he is anti-immigrant.”
The Alameda County sheriff’s department hosted their own free disaster preparedness training for the community over the weekend as well, featuring many of the same workshops like self-defense and CPR.