CODEPINK to Host a “Hug-in for Peaceful Cities” Outside of US Mayors Conference

CODEPINK Press Release

June 17, 2015

Contact: 

Where: Hilton San Francisco Union Square 333 O’Farrell Street San Francisco, CA

When: Friday, June 19, 2015 at 10:00 am (EVENT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)

San Francisco, CA –– CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots peace organization, will be hosting a “hug-in” outside the Hilton Hotel at 333 O’Farrell in San Francisco. The hug-in will take place during the 83rd U.S. Conference of Mayors, and will offer a theatrical alternative to the militarized policing programs that have brought weapons of war into our local communities. Organizers intend to bring attention to the militarized aggression by law enforcement especially against communities of color.

The mayors have refused to act upon a proposed resolution calling for the demilitarization of law enforcement, and have instead acted against the interests of their constituents on issues pertaining to police militarization and excessive use of force against people of color and community race relations. The mayors need to take a stand against heavily militarized police, police brutality, and rampant police impunity."

“We have had enough of police militarization and violence, which only perpetuates fear in our communities. We deserve to live in peace and we deserve justice,” said Reverend Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man killed by San Francisco police in 2009.

San Francisco and Mayor Ed Lee will serve as host of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, with 200 mayors from across the country expected to attend.

“Our cities should not be war zones, our police should not be military. We need to stop militarizing our cities and save lives,” said CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans.

According to the The Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services, since its inception in 1990 the 1033 program has transferred more than $5.1 billion of military property to law enforcement agencies across the US. Although some of the equipment was created in the military arena and, in many cases, was created for military use, law enforcement agencies have been able to repurpose the property for domestic law enforcement uses. Currently, over 8,000 U.S. federal and state law enforcement agencies, from all 50 states and the U.S. territories participate in the program.

“There has been little to no oversight on the acquisition of military grade weapons, or cultural sensitivity training for those whose hands these weapons are being put into. We must put an end to the feud between law enforcement and the community, and the violence that has been disproportionately affecting communities of color.” said Michelle Pineiro, Campaign Manager for CODEPINK’s Communities Organizing to Demilitarize Enforcement (C.O.D.E.). “This year alone, 515 people in the United States have been killed by police enforcement. Mayors need to look at the numbers, listen to their constituents and create a pathway for communication and reform,” she added.

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