Critical Resistance Oakland is a founding member of Stop Urban Shield, a broad coalition of organizations that came together in 2013 to end Urban Shield, which was the largest SWAT training in the world. It was funded through a counterterrorism grant program of the Department of Homeland Security, and included an annual militarized police training and weapons expo that took place in the Bay Area from 2007 to 2018. Organized by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Urban Shield brought together local, regional, and international police-military units to collaborate and train on new forms of surveillance, repression, and state violence.
In 2014, the Stop Urban Shield Coalition and broader community organizations and members built upon Oakland’s rich history of organizing against policing and for self-determination by forcing the City of Oakland to stop hosting Urban Shield. In 2016, we organized a statewide mobilization that brought hundreds to rally around a direct action that shut down the Alameda County Fairgrounds where the Urban Shield weapons expo was being held.
Through legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic media and communications, the coalition elevated Urban Shield as a hot button issue in the Bay Area’s political landscape and beyond. Stop Urban Shield successfully compelled the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to end the program, making 2018 the last year that Urban Shield was held.