While world watches US law enforcement, ‘Urban Shield’ brings defense contractors, law enforcement agencies, and SWAT teams for war games and arms trade
Sustained resistance in Ferguson, Missouri — in the face of riot police, and military service members, and war-grade weapons and vehicles — has forced the issue of police racism and militarization into the national and global spotlight.
As the summer closes on a note of outrage, forces driving police militarization — including defense contractors, law enforcement agencies, and SWAT teams from around the world — are converging in Oakland, California on September 4th through 8th for the 9th annual “Urban Shield” exercise and weapons technology expo that is bankrolled by arms manufacturers and the Department of Homeland Security.
They are being met with protests from grassroots organizations and local residents who say Urban Shield is not welcome in their city — or anywhere.
“People all over the world are watching the militarization of U.S. law enforcement and making the connections between militarization on the global level and local policing,” Lara Kiswani of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center told Common Dreams. “This is an opportunity for us here in Oakland to demonstrate how we stand against militarization.”