Building for Self-Determination
 

We kicked Urban Shield out of Oakland!

 

Oakland’s communities have a rich history of political organizing against policing and state violence, and for building toward their self-determination. In September of this year, CR Oakland and other community organizations helped to bolster and continue this struggle by kicking Urban Shield, a weapons expo and SWAT training for law enforcement, out of Oakland. According to the Assistant City Administrator, Oakland will not be hosting any future Urban Shield related events “based on the controversy surrounding Urban Shield” – confirming that it was community pressure that compelled this move. This is a huge victory for our city, and demonstrates the power of our collective grassroots organizing.
 
The coordinating groups of the Stop Urban Shield Coalition, which includes the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, CR Oakland, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and the War Resisters League, worked together for over a year in this effort. By building on the growing opposition to Urban Shield in the Bay Area and organizing a series of actions and educational events both before and during its presence, we were able to gain widespread attention and support, ultimately delegitimizing police and militarization in our city.
 
While we are excited about this victory, we understand that our work is not over. It is now more important than ever to use this momentum to work toward shutting down Urban Shield entirely. Urban Shield is set to take place in Central Texas very soon, and will be coming back to another city in Alameda County next year. Our fight against it is just one front in the fight against the state's attempt to militarize every aspect of our lives, from its war making here and abroad, to the increasing presence of police in our schools. And a victory against Urban Shield reveals the real possibilities of fighting this growing trend of militarization in cities everywhere through grassroots movement building.
 
We will be ready for Urban Shield with our ongoing participation in the Stop Urban Shield Coalition, and we will continue to augment in every way possible the organizing against police and militarism, and the struggles for self-determination that have been growing all over the country, from Oakland, to Portland, to Ferguson.
 

In Solidarity,

Mohamed Shehk
Critical Resistance

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