In March, the alameda county board of supervisors voted 4-1 to end Urban Shield after 2018. It is the world’s largest militarized SWAT training and weapons expo, financed by the u.s. department of homeland security and hosted by the alameda county sheriff’s department. It attracts law enforcement from around the world and has been opposed for years by community members and organizations including the Stop Urban Shield Coalition. There was a huge demonstration in 2017 that members of LAGAI participated in, blocking entrances and marching through the Alameda Fairgrounds.
Urban Shield represents everything we all have been fighting against — from collaborating and training with ICE, hosting the white supremacist militia the Oath Keepers, training with and sending officers to apartheid Israel, glorifying policing and militarization, exploiting tragedies and natural disasters and public health needs – Urban Shield has no place in the Bay Area or anywhere.
Ending Urban Shield reminds us that we can win through cross movement building and strong organizing.