Join the Stop Urban Shield Coalition as we demand the Alameda County Board of Supervisors VOTE NO on the Stingray Upgrade on Tuesday, October 13th at 10:45am.
The Alameda County Sheriff wants authorization from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to execute an agreement on behalf of the District Attorney’s office for a telephone tracking technology upgrade in the amount of $113,419 for the period 8/31/15 – 12/31/15. The technology referred to is commonly known as the “Stingray” tracking device. “When cellphones within its range connect, it harvests the IMSI from all of them, which could include data from thousands of unsuspecting people. If the authorities have the IMSI of a subject — which sheriff’s officials said they wouldn’t obtain without a search warrant — they can focus on where the phone’s signal is coming from and, after moving the device a few times, triangulate a location to within 10 feet.”
Alameda County residents, you have a little more than a week to tell your Board of Supervisors how you feel about Sheriff Ahern’s proposed upgrade to phone surveillance technology shared by several law enforcement agencies in the county. The Board will consider the proposal on October 13.
IMSI catchers, also commonly referred to as “Stingrays”, are devices that masquerade as a legitimate cell phone tower, tricking phones nearby to connect to the device in order to track a phone’s location in real time. While law enforcement says it uses them to locate suspects, they can sweep up the signals of people in a wide radius. But the current technology in use in Alameda County does not have 4G capabilities, and this week, the Board put the brakes on approving funding to upgrade to the system.
Currently, though it’s a little unclear because of the secrecy surrounding IMSI catcher technology (also commonly referred to as “Stingrays”), records indicate that the Alameda County District Attorneys office and the Oakland Police Department have the technology. The DA’s at least was purchased with federal grant money from the Department of Homeland Security. This proposal would upgrade the existing technology “in partnership with” the DA and the Oakland and Fremont Police Departments.
It’s no secret that law enforcement agencies around the country are increasingly arming themselves with incredibly invasive surveillance technology, with the help of federal money. What is secret is what kind of technology each agency has and how they use it. And perhaps more than any other kind of technology we’ve seen adopted recently, when it comes to IMSI catchers, it’s clear that this secrecy is no accident.
That’s why we were concerned to see the County of Alameda considering an upgrade to its own technology with no public discussion. We sent a letter to the Board pointing out exactly why:
Law enforcement agencies across California have improperly denied public records act requests about the use of “Stingrays.”5 That governments would work with surveillance vendors to hide technology from both the general public and the judges charged with protecting our constitutional rights is truly disturbing. Sheriff Ahern is asking for approval to sign an agreement with this company. You should deny it.
Lawmakers are starting to question this secrecy. As we mention in the letter, California bill SB 741 would address some of these problems. SB 741 passed the California Senate and Assembly nearly unanimously, and it’s currently awaiting a signature from the Governor. And Santa Clara, which recently considered purchasing an IMSI catcher:
ultimately decided against it. Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey Smith says this was due to Harris’ overly restrictive contract terms, noting, “we couldn’t get them to agree to even the most basic criteria we have in terms of being responsive to public records requests.”
The use of IMSI catcher technology in Alameda County has never been subject to the requisite open public discussion. But the Alameda County Board of Supervisors doesn’t need to look far to get an idea of how Alameda County residents feel about street level surveillance technologies:
As demonstrations against Urban Shield, activism around Oakland’s Domain Awareness Center, and packed public hearings about Sheriff Ahern’s purchase of a drone demonstrate, Alameda County residents are clearly concerned about the use of surveillance technology in their community.9 Sheriff Ahern ignored public sentiment against drones when he decided to circumvent your authority and use taxpayer dollars to purchase a drone in December.
In fact, many of the same activists who recently demonstrated against Urban Shield, as well as Brian Hofer of the Oakland Privacy Working Group, attended the September 29th meeting where the Board considered Ahern’s proposal.
That pressure at the meeting is why the Board postponed approval of the IMSI catcher upgrade for two weeks, in order to provide more time for public comment. The Board will consider the upgrade at its October 13 meeting. In the meantime, we hope Alameda County residents will take this opportunity to make their voices heard by contacting their supervisors (contact information below). You can get inspiration from EFF’s letter. Even the two-week postponement means the Board knows IMSI catchers aren’t trouble-free. Make sure they know exactly how much trouble they can be.
Contacting the Board of Supervisors via phone is best. However, the emails provided are for their legislative aides and can also be used to contact them and tell them what you think about IMSI catchers. Check the Board of Supervisors site to find your district if you’re not sure.
District 1, Supervisor Scott Haggerty Phone number:(510) 272-6691
District 2, Supervisor Richard Valle:
Phone number: (510) 272-6692
District 3, Supervisor Wilma Chan Phone number: (510)272-6693
District 4, Supervisor Nate Miley Phone number: (510)272-6694
District 5, Supervisor Keith Carson Phone number: (510)272-6695
 It’s clear from public records that the Oakland Police Department has a contract with IMSI catcher manufacturer Harris Corporation and uses its Stingray regularly for arrests. It’s also clear that the District Attorney was awarded grant money to purchase IMSI catcher technology. In September of 2014, the DA’s office told ARS technica that the purchase hadn’t yet been fulfilled. What’s unclear is if more equipment has been purchased since then, or if the agencies are sharing equipment. The Sheriff’s proposal states “The current equipment owned by the District Attorney’s Office is proprietary to the Harris Corporation.”
 In addition to the IMSI catcher upgrade, the board considered distribution of Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). UASI is the organization that coordinates disbursement federal homeland security grant money for the 9-county Bay Area.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is leading an attack on rooftop solar in California. Join a rally outside of PG&E’s headquarters in San Francisco and speak out against this dirty attack on clean energy.
Rooftop solar is booming in California. So utilities are trying to kill it, with a brazen attack that would make it harder for Californians to generate their own clean solar power.1
By the end of this year, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is required to determine how much credit Californians will get on their utility bills if they choose to go solar in 2016 and beyond. The major California utilities have launched an underhanded attack, pressing the agency to make it much more expensive to go solar.
One of the utilities leading the charge is PG&E. Our friends at the Vote Solar are leading a rally at PG&E’s headquarters in San Francisco to speak out against the company’s brazen attack on clean energy.
With massive water conservation efforts underway, and drought-fueled wildfires raging, it’s clearer than ever that we need to transition as quickly as possible to clean energy.
But utilities are terrified of rooftop solar because it allows individual consumers to produce their own energy and get bill credits for their excess clean power, instead of buying dirty fossil fuel energy supplied by utilities.
That’s why Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric are trying to halt the solar progress we’ve made in California. They’ve all filed proposals with the CPUC that would implement a painful combination of unfair fees essentially punishing people for installing solar, and lower utility bill credits that would not fairly compensate rooftop solar customers for the valuable solar power they deliver to the grid.
If the utilities succeed, they’ll do major harm to California’s booming solar industry, an industry employing tens of thousands of Californians and dramatically reducing fossil fuel pollution. We have to hold San Diego Gas & Electric accountable, and urge Governor Brown and the CPUC to stand up to their dirty attack on clean energy.
The question of Berkeley police’s relationship with UASI has been moved from a Police Review Commission subcommittee to the full commission
The question before the PRC is not whether to abrogate the BPD-UASI relationship, but whether to add a rider calling on the city council to halt BPD participation in UASI-funded Urban Shield. As several of the commissioners expressed that they did not know enough about Urban Shield to take a position on it, an extra week is being taken for them to familiarize themselves with the issue.
You can help move the commission toward a negative recommendation on Urban Shield by doing two things: speaking in public comment next Wednesday at 7, and providing written resources now for the commissioners to read in the interim (ASAP!).
Please note that these are centrist folks who see a lot of value in policing, and in disaster preparedness, and in regional cooperation among police agencies. And so forth. They could be moved by non-rhetorical, mainstream sources. Their process is like a cost-benefit calculation: what does the BPD get out of the exercise, vs. what are the negatives for Berkeley? Ideological statements will be a negative to getting them to reject Urban Shield.
If we are able to get the PRC to move against Urban Shield, that would be a major step forward in the Stop Urban Shield campaign. Please help make this happen!
We, the General Union of Palestine Students, declare Palestine in a state of emergency and urge all of our community organizers and leaders to come forth as we rise with the uprisings, as we rise with Palestine in front of the Israeli Consulate.
As you may have heard recently, the situation in Palestine has been deteriorating. Within the past few weeks, Zionist forces have shut down Al-Aqsa and Al-Aqsa compound, forbidding all Palestinian and Muslim worshippers from their homes of prayer and restricting their rights to practice their religion in safety. Hundreds of Zionist settlers have stormed into Al-Aqsa, plunging Jerusalem and the greater West Bank into chaos. Zionist forces continue to violate and damage Al-Aqsa by burning down doors, setting fire to the rugs, and breaking the glass windows, flexing their control in complete provocation against Palestinians…leading to the murder of four Palestinian youth within the past few days and over 200 injured by snipers, rubber bullets, and gas inhalation. Our people of Palestine are frustrated, enraged, and resisting these constant acts of terror throughout the country. From Ramallah, to Nablus, to Jenin, and Al-Khalil, the Palestinian people are rising against the oppressive Zionist regime and defending Jerusalem. Along with the murder of our youth, Zionist forces have also demanded the demolition of their family homes in Ramallah, Surda and Nablus. Palestinian men and women have been surrounding each and every city day and night to protect the homes of their fellow people and to protect their cities from Zionist invasion.
We stand together in support of the Palestinian resistance against the oppressive Zionist regime and ask you all to stand with us. We need to stand united in front of the face of settler colonialism and echo the rage of our Palestinian people!
Flags, posters, and noise are encouraged.
Palestine Youth Movement-PYM
The Freedom Archives
Susie Cagle and Sarah Jeong on the Internet and the Law
Join artist-journalist Susie Cagle and legal journalist Sarah Jeong for a brief talk inspired by the Museum’s Gallery of California History. They will speak on current issues relating to privacy, copyright law, and the Internet. This pop-up talk, originally scheduled for June, is back—mark your calendars!
Included with Museum admission. During Friday Nights @ OMCA, from 5 to 9 pm, admission is half-price for adults, free for ages 18 and under. Admission for Members is always free.
RSVP Here: http://goo.gl/forms/
We’re at a pivotal moment in Oakland – the face of our city is changing before our very eyes. Rents have gone up city wide by 50% in the last 2 years, private speculator buy out is through the roof, City leaders and the Mayor have threatened to sell public land to luxury housing developers, and families and folks of color are being pushed out on a daily basis. The reality of it all is, fighting this crisis is going to require all hands on deck in order to prevent the Bay Area from being wiped out as we know it.
Join us Saturday October 17th to hear from panelists, community and labor organizers and performers from across Bay to learn whats happening, why its happening and what you can do to fight back!
RSVP Here: http://goo.gl/forms/
We’ve all seen the hordes of Canadian geese around the lake. They are an invasive, non-native species that have taken up residence, are shitting all over everything, and are depriving local wildlife of resources.
The City has installed a bird sanctuary on the west side of the Lake, but it is not sufficient to make up for the displacement of the indigenous bird population by the relative newcomers, the Canadian geese, especially since several Canadian geese have taken up residence in and around the housing previously designated for native species.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It’s time to show those geese who’s boss! Bring your grills, your dogs, your stereos, your instruments, and your children! Let’s make sure those geese know the Lake is for the Town, not for foul-tempered fowl.
We will not be seeking a permit from the City; we are uninterested in the platitudes they give us with one hand to quash our dissent, while they use the other hand to build more and more open spaces for the geese to use at the expense of the wildlife who existed here prior to the geese’ arrival.
[[ Note: This protest may or may not be related to this cancelled protest ]]
An International Panel Discussion
This panel brings together organizers from Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and North America to discuss the significance of anarchist ideas and tactics in the 21st century.
The participants will compare experiences from the wave of protests and uprisings that has swept the world since 2010—exploring the role of demand-based politics in both catalyzing and limiting movements, examining a variety of forms of repression, and critically evaluating experiments with direct democracy. They will conclude by assessing the prospects of contemporary struggles for self-determination in an era of globalized capitalism and state control.
All of the presenters are contributors to a recent outreach and dialogue project, To Change Everything, which appeared earlier this year in over twenty languages.
More info: http://fireworksbayarea.com/events/to-change-everything-the-promise-of-anarchism%E2%80%A8-oakland/
Calling all activists, allies, and legal professionals! Join us for the NLG’s annual Law for the People Convention, October 21-25 in Oakland, CA for 5 days of panels, workshops, CLEs and camaraderie.
REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Register now at early bird rates, available through September 10. Current NLG members receive 20% off! Sliding scale rates are available*
This year, our Keynote Speaker will be Alicia Garza, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and programming will address topics including housing and labor rights, racial justice, police accountability, international law, and much more.
We’ll be updating nlg.org/convention regularly with updates and other news, so be sure to check back for more. RSVP to the Facebook event and join the conversation using the #Law4thePeople hashtag onFacebook and Twitter!
Weiner Roast 3. Scott is not on your side. Oct. 23rd, you can let him know how you feel. This type of protest will get his attention. Wear themed costumes, Les Miserables, weiner, peasant uprising with pitchforks and torches. Bring jokes. Bring hotdogs, the fixings, and we may need additional grills. Small hibachi style or camping bbq. An unknown number will be there and we want more than enough food. Homeless are coming, and the food won’t be wasted. Clothing optional. Spread the word.
We all know the shananigans Stupidvisor Scott Wiener pulls every day. His hatred of poor people especially the homeless is beyond belief. Well, for the third time we are going to go visit him to shout loudly:
- SF is not for sale
- End Homelessness Now
- Affordable Housing for All
Many of us have survived the shelter system and choose not to repeat that experience. Instead we camp on the sidewalks and other out of the way places. This conduct while necessary is prohibited from 7:00 AM until 11:00 PM by the SF Police Code. There are exceptions: most important is the one which deals with rallies, demonstrations, meetings and similar events.
Homeless Action Team is a self-advocacy network of homeless, unemployed and employed workers. We are an affinity group of First They Came for the Homeless our decision making process is autonomous. We our Homeless not Helpless. We are demanding a Hand Up, Not a Handout. We promote self-reliance individually and collectively. We defend and serve our community under the terms of Mutual Aid and Voluntary Cooperation.
Register at https://goo.gl/m3Haxc
The KPFA Multi-Media team is holding a training/education event to help build our network for multi-media: live streaming, and use of social media to help build the KPFA streaming channel and also to help labor and community organizations build their own live streaming channels.
Help us expand KPFA and other news sources through interactive communication and get your events on the KPFA streaming channel. Get to know producers, streamers, and activists fighting for working people and immigrant rights, housing rights, against racist violence and environmental rights. The struggle against cuts in public services and privatization of education are issues that all working people need to see. We will also have presentations on how multi-media and streaming is being used to break the information blockade. Training and conference will be bi-lingual and streamed on KPFA web.
Bring your mobile devices for the workshop because every device is a little different.
Pre-Registration Requested: Contact KPFAStream@gmail.com to register.
It’s Orion’s Birthday and their 5th Anniversary.
Bring Acoustic Instruments and/or your voice.
During the early hours of October 25, 2011, hundreds of violent police officers stormed into Occupy Oakland’s home base at Oscar Grant Plaza, near city hall, to evict protesters & to remove their belongings. 96 of our comrades were arrested after the cops used tear gas, flash-bang grenades and less-than-lethal munitions to subdue the crowd.
Occupy Oakland’s spirit was not damaged, we were emboldened and radicalized as thousands returned that afternoon to stand up and fight back. Unforgettably, so did the p…olice. The battle for the plaza went on into the night, turning downtown Oakland into what looked like a war zone. Hot canisters of tear gas flew through the air, rubber bullets crashed into the bodies of our fellow occupiers, one hitting an Iraq war veteran in the head, putting his life in serious danger.
This year we say, FIGHT BACK! Let’s re-converge and re-claim our home!
Meet at Oscar Grant Plaza at 3PM for an open forum to discuss how to effectively combat state and police oppression before the 7PM FTP march on OPD. Let’s show these pigs we will never back down in the face of violent oppression!
After the march, let’s hold down the plaza all night and continue our conversations on how to better serve our community and how to empower each other to stand up and fight back against the OPD street gang who puts so many Oaklanders in danger.
Please join us for a day of discussion on how to effectively combat
state and police oppression on October 25th at Oscar Grant Plaza (City Hall) at 3PM.
Schedule of events:
- Converge on OGP at 3 PM to begin the open forum
- Dinner/break out groups at 5 PM
- FTP March at 7 PM
- Occupy OGP and continue conversations all night.
Please bring: Tents, warm clothes, shields, a defensive attitude and hella friends!
Added 10/16/12 –
Roughly 10 organizers for this event have been meeting regularly to make sure this night is a success, meaning no arrests or casualties. Knowing that we cannot and will not control autonomous actions & respecting the various forms of anger within those who will be participating, we would like to make it clear that un-targeted property damage is not part of the plan and is discouraged in the interest of extending our presence past the march. This is not to say that a second autonomous march later in the night is out of the question.
Rather than the tactic of smashing, this night would be a great time to exercise our defensive tactics. (Bring shields, “tools of violence,” work together and act smart!)
There are multiple goals to achieve through this action including, holding space through out the night, calling out OPD violence in a very public way & celebrating our unity against oppression.
The march will make stops at various downtown locations where the OPD has shown their ugly side against dissenters. We would like to stop at each location and project video and images of what the police have done to us there, on the walls of a near by building or on our mobile slide show screen. Calling out OPD is such a public way will be a huge win for the Occupy Oakland community by showing the general public what true violence is.
The march will then end at one of three undisclosed locations where we will hold that space through out the night. Remember to bring items that will help you accomplish this goal: Warm clothes, blankets, tents… (For those bringing small easy to erect tents, it would be awesome to see them go up on the return end of the march, and held high above our heads as we zero in on our target.)
See you all on the 25th & seriously, FUCK THE POLICE!
Travel with members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the NLG through Oakland, visiting key sites of struggle for the Black Panther Party and other Black radical movements in the historic Town. From the site of Huey P. Newton’s trial and Bobby Hutton’s murder to the location of major demonstrations against the Vietnam War and the killing of Oscar Grant, you’ll see the history of Black radical movements in Oakland from the 1960s to the present. The tour is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Meet: Lobby of Oakland Marriott City Center to walk to Alameda County Courthouse.
Open Circle, first and foremost, is an opportunity to build community with one another. Secondly, it is a space to reflect and collaborate on strategies and actions to bring an end to these egregious crimes.
Please join us for the Potluck at 3:00 pm followed by the Open Circle at 3:30 pm. Please bring a dish or snacks to share!
~ Open circle will begin at 3:30 with a speaker. Then checkins and updates with the families affected by police violence
~ Reflection and dialogue on how we can help support them in their fight for justice.
~ Brief announcements for upcoming events.
~ Working groups: tbd
Solidarity is afoot so bring your ideas!
Notes from last meeting:
The San Francisco Law School and UC Hastings Chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, invite you to join their esteemed panel for a discussion of the legal issues surrounding the wrongful conviction of Kevin Cooper, the death penalty and the mass incarceration of People of Color. In 1983, Mr. Cooper was convicted and sentenced to death row for the killing of a family of four in Chino Hills, San Bernadino County. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest. Mr. Cooper was scheduled to be executed in 2004, but was granted a stay of execution by the Ninth Circuit. On May 11, 2009, his petition for habeas corpus was denied en banc, upon which five judges of the Ninth Circuit dissented, stating that they believed he was innocent based on evidence tampering by the San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department.
Mr. Cooper’s attorney, Norman C. Hile of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Carole Seligman, a member of Mr. Cooper’s Defense Committee, will serve as panelists. Mr. Cooper will be participating on the panel from San Quentin.