veterans - police militarization in Berkeley

Veterans oppose militarization of Berkeley Police

East Bay Chapter 162
2022 Blake Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Serving Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

DATE: July 9, 2018
TO: Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Members of the Berkeley City Council


SUBJECT: Vote No on UASI (Urban Areas Security Initiative),Urban Shield, and NCRIC (Northern California Regional Intelligence Center)

Veterans for Peace, an educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war, is also strongly opposed to the domestic militarization of law enforcement and society (see our Mission Statement, below). Our members are absolutely against the continuation of UASI and both the Urban Shield and NCRIC programs which it funds. For the following reasons, we ask that you vote NO on any further receipt and distribution of funds for these programs contributing to the militarization of our police department,

1. As young men and women when we enlisted, or were drafted, into the military, we believed our purpose was to fight to defend our freedoms and rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution; freedom of speech and assembly, freedom from invasion of our privacy, and our right for equal treatment under the law. UASI, Urban Shield and NCRIC are eroding these freedoms and rights.

2. To vote for UASI, Urban Shield and NCRIC is to be complicit with the White Supremacist policies of the Federal government which funds these programs.

3. Not only are funds channeled down to local police departments, but also channeled are Federal racist and xenophobic policies. For instance, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Zero Tolerance Policy which has resulted in the separation of children from their parents who are lawfully seeking Asylum from violence and dire poverty in Central America and Mexico.

4. To Vote for NCRIC is an especially blind vote, because the City Council and the public have not seen the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Standard Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the FBI and the BPD (Berkeley Police Department). The JTTF, with three Terrorism Liaison Officers on the BPD, who are sworn to secrecy by the FBI, is essential to the surveillance and Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) of the NCRIC program. (For example, see the Standard MOU obtained by the ACLU from San Francisco.)

5. The San Francisco Police Department, independently, suspended their MOU with the FBI's JTTF. We'd like to see Berkeley again live up to its reputation as a progressive leader in civil rights, civil liberties and anti-militarism, not only overseas, but locally in our police departments.

6. To approve programs for which you have not seen in writing is to violate Berkeley's own laws. (e.g., BMC 2.04.170: "All terms and conditions of [BPD] agreements, understanding or policies."

7. President Trump's White Supremacist policies affect the entire Federal government. The Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, is headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose Zero Tolerance Policy applies not only to the FBI. but as well to ICE, a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which also includes UASI that funds Urban Shield's urban warfare training exercises. ICE participated in these exercises in Alameda Country last autumn 2017. (See the Center for Constitutional Rights and Color of Change, Briefing Guide: The DHS "Race Paper." 9 pages completely redacted.)

8. A city government truly in favor of achieving "Fair and Impartial Policing" must resist the lure of the Trump Administration's DHS Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) money which funds the urban warfare training and military equipment for our local law enforcement agencies. That the Federal government is influencing the Berkeley Police Department appears evident. (See "police worked with violent pro-Trump activists to prosecute left wing group: Anti-Fascist defendants in Berkeley say police behavior shows a pretty clear statement of choosing sides." The Guardian 6/15/18, and see "Justice Denied" East Bay Express 6/20-26/18). That the Berkeley 5 defendants were acquitted indicates that the Berkeley police did choose sides.

9. The U.S. Congress has every appearance of responding to corporate lobbyists and not representing the will of the populace in a manner that threatens our democracy. We implore you to not be complicit with this rapidly growing militarization of domestic law enforcement and our society Vote NO on renewal of UASI, Urban Shield and NCRIC.


Eugene E Ruyle, President,
Veterans for Peace, East Bay Chapter 162
510-332-3865 *

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About Veterans for Peace

Veterans for Peace is an educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war. As a global organization of military veterans and allies with over 140 chapters worldwide, we affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace and global justice. To this end we will work with others, locally, nationally and internationally,

* To increase public awareness of the causes and costs of war
* To restrain our governments from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations
* To oppose domestic militarization of law enforcement and society
* To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons
* To seek justice for veterans and victims of war
* To abolish war as an instrument of national policy

To achieve these goals, members of Veterans for Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.

JOIN US! Our East Bay Chapter of VFP meets on the second Saturday of most months at The Grassroots House, 2022 Blake St, Berkeley, CA 94704. For more info, contract Gene Ruyle, 510-332-3865 email: