Demilitarize

Issue Details

For over 13 years CODEPINK has worked to end US war and militarized aggression throughout the world. From Palestine to Syria, Mexico to Yemen, we have recognized that US funding of occupation and weaponization has resulted in continued oppression and contributed to increased violence globally. In that time, the United States has been in a state of constant war and uncertainty. More and more we are seeing the weapons of occupation finding their way into our communities. Gun violence in the US has claimed more lives than the total of all US wars and media hysteria continues to fuel product demand, further empowering weapons manufacturers to advocate for the perpetuation of this cycle from which they so greatly benefit.MG086_ArmsAreForHugging.png


We are here to break this chain of violence, to cut off the power of weapons manufacturers, and to expose links between US funded global military occupation and gun violence in our own communities. Check out the various campaigns in place to work to an end to militarism around the world.

"When you love people, you hate the fact that they’re being treated unfairly. You tell the truth. You sacrifice your popularity for integrity. There is a willingness to give your life back to the people given that, in the end, they basically gave it to you, because we are who we are because somebody loved us anyway." -Cornel West

For more information on how you can do this work in your community or to request support from CODEPINK's Communities Organizing to Demilitarize Enforcement campaign, please email campaign organizer Chelsea Byers in our Venice, CA office via chelsea@codepink.org or by calling 480-580-3968.

Pass a Local Resolution

5 Steps to Pass a Local Demilitarization Resolution.

 

We encourage all local groups to consider working to pass resolutions in support of demilitarization in their local communities. This is a great way to educate the public and to send a strong signal to other elected officials that people care about these issues. The ways in which you can pass a resolution will depend on the laws in the state and locality where you live.

1. Research

- Watch this step-by-step video on why and how you can get these resolutions passed.

- Our draft Demilitarization Resolution is less restrictive than some of the others, and therefore might be easier for you to pass, but each resolution goes through many iterations before it gets passed, with individual council members adding and taking away certain clauses. Don't get too caught up in the wording. The most important thing is to pass something that shows popular discontent with the human and civil rights crisis our communities are facing through violent policing, unregulated domestic drones and surveillance. We encourage you to modify and amend resolutions to fit the needs of your community. Check out this Google Folder of sample resolutions for support.

- Several states have passed drone legislation. Check these websites (ACLU and INSCT) to see if there is any legislation that has passed or is pending in your state. It will help to convince local officials if there is already state-wide concern (and you can try to make your local resolution stricter than the statewide legislation).

2. Organize

- Make a list of names of people and organizations in your city that might be interested in this campaign. Pick a date and time for a meeting. Call each person and convene a meeting to kick off the campaign. Depending on your city, this could be a public meeting of 30-50 people or just a small meeting of a few interested people.

Tell us about the meeting and we can help you contact other CODEPINKers in your city!

- At the meeting, divide up the following tasks:

              - Choose one person to facilitate and another to take notes

       - Choose a resolution that is appropriate for your community.

- Contact elected officials. During the meeting brainstorm the potential supporters on the city council or supervisors. Identify the best member at the meeting to connect with each council member. (Contact information & list of council members should be available on the city website online.) You’ll need to identify one or two council members who can help you introduce and push the resolution.

- Outreach to the broader community, building a support network in your city with like-minded groups. You might want to have a sign-on letter that shows broad support. Think of organizations that are concerned about civil liberties (civil rights groups, groups representing oppressed communities), faith-based groups, libertarians.

3. Take action!

- Make appointments with the City Council or Supervisor members you think will be most sympathetic (in some cases, you might want to approach the County instead of your city). Bring them copies of a sample resolution and if possible, a letter showing broad-based community support.

- Follow up to make sure that one of the elected officials will put the resolution on the agenda of the next council meeting. If it is difficult to get the commitment, you might have to get other people and organizations calling that council member’s office. Prepare a sample script for people to use when they make calls.

4. Get the votes

- Once you have gotten a city council member or supervisor to agree to introduce the resolution, follow up with the other elected officials to ensure you will have enough votes to pass the resolution.

5. Prepare for public comment

- When the resolution gets on the agenda, make sure you have people prepared to make public comments. Work with them ahead of time to make sure their statements are concise, on point and powerful.

6. Show community support at the meeting

- On the night of the meeting get as many people from the peace community there as possible. Organize a rally before the meeting outside of City Hall. Invite the press and use this sample press release. The more support you can show, the more pressure your elected officials will feel to listen to their constituents.

7. Follow up

- Contact the press with your success story and write an article yourself (make sure you send it to Chelsea so we can post it on the CODE blog, PINKTank, and help you spread the word). 

We’re making this sound simple, but it’s not always easy -- or successful. Whether or not you’re successful in passing the resolution, just the attempt itself will help spur a critical dialogue that will educate your community and put the industry on notice that the public is watching! Don't hesitate to ask, we're here to help! 

Stop Urban Shield

Urban Shield brings local, national and international law enforcement agencies together with “defense industry contractors” to provide training and introduce new weapons to police and security companies.

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Urban shield is mostly funded by Department of Homeland Security through UASI. A look at excerpts from Urban Shield's website show that this is about escalating violence and not finding peaceful solutions to problems.

"Urban Shield has grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region's response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement."

Urban Shield arises out of the incorrect assumption that suppression methods, such as the Wars on Drugs and Terror, as well as profiling tactics such as gang injunctions reduce violence in our communities. In fact, the opposite is true. The militarization of police and increased use of suppression tactics in schools, prisons, at the border, in our streets and against our youth are counterproductive to community well-being. Spending billions of dollars to militarize police agencies is deeply misguided. 

Stop Urban Shield,” a coalition of groups, has formed to put an end to Urban Shield and it's organizing efforts in three regions across the US. We are looking for support locally and nationally. 

What you can do:

1. Identify people and/or organizations with an interest in stopping Urban Shield. Perhaps you know someone who lives in an impacted region or you have friends or contacts we could pursue. Sympathetic synagogues, churches, peace groups, mosques, domestic violence centers, etc. are good candidates.

2. Spread the word on social media by following Stop Urban Shield on Facebook.

3. Write a Letter to the Editor to inform your community about Urban Shield's shady operations. 

4. Prepare to organize! Urban Shield will be back in Alameda County September 9-12th. 


Recent Urban Shield convening: 

Check out the Flickr set from Urban Shield 2015 in Pleasanton, CA, September 11th through September 14th. 

 

Media Coverage

The Guardian  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

End the 1033 Program

For over 13 years CODEPINK has worked to end US war and militarized aggression throughout the world. From Palestine to Syria, Mexico to Yemen we have recognized that US funding of occupation and weaponization has resulted in continued oppression and contributed to increased violence globally.  In that time we have been in a state of constant war and uncertainty. More and more we are seeing the weapons of occupation finding their way into our communities right here in the US. As a result of the failed 'drug wars' and hysteria in no small part fueled by FBI-organized cases of entrapment of so-called 'terrorists', we have witnessed the militarization of our local police departments with 'excess equipment' and funding from the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. 

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Through Department of Defense Programs 1033 and 1122 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and Homeland Securities 'Urban Areas Securities Initiative (UASI)' local police departments have become increasingly militarized both in equipment and tactics.  In his detailed history of militarized policing "Rise of The Warrior Cop" Radley Bilko writes that "Today in America SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than one hundred times per day. The vast majority of these raids are to enforce laws against consensual crimes.  In many cities, police departments have given up the traditional blue uniform for "battle dress uniforms" modeled after soldier attire".

In cities across the United States we have seen how this militarized mold of policing and the supply of armored vehicles, assault weapons and the like have resulted in police forces who no longer see their role as one of protecting and serving, but as an opposing army occupying towns and cities across the continent.

Our Goals

Through our campaign to support Communities Ogranizing to Demilitarize Enforcement we will seek to:

- End the 1033 program and other federal programs that equip police departments with military weapons, machinery, and gear.

- Support local resolutions to rid communities of the tools of war including armored vehicles, drones, assault weapons, Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD's), and tear gas. 

- Create effective civilian review, with subpoena power, of all shootings and allegations of misconduct by police.

- Hold Police forces accountable to the Death in Custody Reporting Act; while working to include reporting on all injuries occurred in the process of arrest or while in custody. 

- Demand an executive order that creates a strong and enforceable prohibition on police brutality and discriminatory policing based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, and housing status.

- Advocate for increased funding for the DOJ's Office for Civil Rights to ensure additional, accessible state-level responders for police and other civil rights violations.

- Establish a comprehensive national database of police shootings, excessive force, misconduct complaints, traffic & pedestrian stops and arrests, broken down by race, religion, gender identity and other demographic data to be organized and overseen by the US Department of Justice and made publicly available.

- Build support for the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).

 

Film Screening - Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA

Brave New Films released a new feature film, Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA, that tells the stories of five families and communities affected by gun violence and covers the issues of domestic violence and background checks, suicide and waiting periods, unintentional shootings and safety solutions, mass shootings and mass ammunition sales, and trafficking and the need for stronger corporate accountability and federal laws around gun sales.
nra-guns.jpgThe film is entirely FREE and aims to do two main things:
  1. Reframe the messaging around guns in America to one of the citizens’ right to safety being bought-off and endangered by the NRA and gun companies due to the huge amount of profit they make from our gun violence epidemic.
  2. Serve as an organizing tool for organizations to use to engage and mobilize members and new activists around this issue at the national, state, and local level. The film can also be used for your organization to fundraise off of.
There are 3 main ways to get involved in screening the film, which you can sign-up for here:
  • House Parties: BNF has a full-time organizer on hand to help individuals and organizations run house party screenings with an average of 10-20 people.
  • Group Screenings: BNF can support organizations, schools, and places of worship in putting on screenings.
  • Premiere Screenings: BNF will be having large screenings with Q&As and panels in theaters in these cities throughout the country that you can help organize, table at, and invite members to: Chicago, New York, DC, Miami, Denver, LA. Dates will be announced soon.

We encourage you to use this opportunity to gather in community and discuss the ways you can play a role in changing the conversation around guns and violence in this country. 

If you are interested in hosting a screening and would like CODEPINK to support you with outreach - contact Chelsea@codepink.org for support. 

Thank You for Telling Congress to Ban Assault Weapons!

Thank you for contacting your U.S. Senators to demand that they ban military-style assault weapons!

Can you help us get as much support as possible by using the links below to share this action on social media and by emailing your friends with the sample message we've included?

 Share This Action
 
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Copy & Paste This Message
 
I just took action to urge my Congressperson to ban military-style assault weapons. In the wake of yet another mass shooting in Orlando, we cannot stay silent, we must act!
Join me in calling on Congress to enact common sense gun control that will keep weapons of war out of the hands of those who would use them to kill our neighbors and loved ones.

http://www.codepink.org/enough_is_enough

Call Your Member of Congress!

Members of Congress are back in their home districts for the Independence Day break – which is a great opportunity for us to demand they back REAL gun law reform! Call your Congressperson while they are home and let them know your community wants them to take REAL action to prevent gun violence!

Step One: Get their district number

Use this Congressional lookup tool to find your member of Congress using your zip code. If your zip code is split between more than one member, use the map to determine who your member is.

Once you click through, find the number for their DISTRICT office (this is the office that is NOT in Washington, DC). That's the number you'll want to call.

Step Two: Call

Once you have the number, call your Representative. You can use the sample message below or your own.

"I'm worried about the threat of gun violence and mass shootings here in [city/town where you live]. The sit-in last week is just the start of what is needed to end the epidemic of gun violence in America. I support universal background checks on all gun sales and urge Rep. [Name of your Congressperson] to also co-sponsor H.R. 4269, a bill that would ban assault weapons. Enough senseless gun-related deaths!"

Step Three: Let us know how it went

Leave a comment below and let us know who you called and how it went. Include your district and the name of your Congressperson. If the person you spoke with made a commitment to back universal background checks or an assault weapons ban, let us know!

Step Four: Join the Anti-Gun Violence Action Team!

If this issue is important to you, we encourage you to join our Anti-Gun Violence Action Team. Members of the team will get information about local events and actions in support of ending gun violence as well as ideas for creating your own actions and events. Sign up here to join the team!

Petitions

Sign up to Action Team

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