As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.
In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.
Each year since 2007, Urban Shield brings together law enforcement agencies from across the world to a weapons and SWAT training that militarizes police forces. Coordinated by the Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern, Urban Shield hosts “emergency preparedness scenarios” that perpetuate racist and xenophobic stereotypes through racialized imagery. In 2016, journalist and SURJ member Mary Noble witnessed police act out a “Boko Haram-style kidnapping” where the Boko Haram terrorists were brown mannequins, and the kidnapped women were local white women. The sales expo sells disturbing militarized technologies, such as a remote-controlled mini tank that can be sent to a room and shoot suspects before human police enter, as well as racist apparel such as “Black Rifles Matter” t-shirts.
Stop Urban Shield is a coalition of community and social justice organizations that aim to defund Urban Shield and invest in community-led alternatives to emergency prevention. They work to have local governmental entities in the Bay Area divest from Urban Shield and provide civilian-led alternatives for emergency preparedness. This year, hundreds of residents mobilized at Berkeley City Council and Alameda Board of Supervisors to hold public officials accountable to stop funding Urban Shield. SURJ worked with the coalition in phone banking community members to attend these critical meetings and speak during public comment to remind city and county leaders that their constituents do not want their police forces militarized.
This year during the Urban Shield conference, the coalition offered a community resource fair for disaster response. This fair provided trainings and toolkits for fire safety, earthquake preparedness, alternatives to calling 911, and mental health self care. In aiming to dismantle state-sponsored terror through the leadership of local People of Color led organizations, SURJ Bay Area stands with the vision of civilianized emergency preparedness and ending Urban Shield.