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After 18 months of pressure and activism, the Labor/Community Strategy Center reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles School Police Department to de-militarize school police.
As reported by Counter Punch, they agreed to return all military grade weapons procured from the federal 1033 Program, withdraw completely from the program and to apologize for the policy that brought the weapons to LA schools in the first place.
In August, 2014 Strategy Center organizers Manuel Criollo, Ashley Franklin, and Julian Lamb went to Ferguson, Missouri in solidarity with the movement protesting the murder of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson—and the larger crime of the U.S. government against the Black community and the Black nation.
When we saw the use of tanks, assault rifles we understood this was part of the war against Black people. At the time, we did not know about the Department of Defense 1033 Program but we and others soon found out.
The $2,2 billion reported by Open the Books doesn’t include military gear acquired by state and local law enforcement through Depart of Defense grants and other federal funding sources.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) runs the “Homeland Security Grant Program,” which in 2013 gave more than $900 million in counterterrorism funds to state and local police. According to a 2012 Senate report, this money has been used to purchase tactical vehicles, drones, and even tanks with little obvious benefit to public safety.
According to ProPublica, “In 1994, the Justice Department and the Pentagon funded a five-year program to adapt military security and surveillance technology for local police departments that they would otherwise not be able to afford.”
We did our research and found out that in Los Angeles the Los Angeles Police Department LAPD had amassed over 1,600 M-16 assault rifles, a military truck, military cargo plane and helicopter while the LA Sheriff has over 1,000 M-16 assault rifles, 2 MRAP tanks, and 62 mine detectors, all through the DOD 1033 program.
In particular, we situate the counterinsurgency culture as a conscious effort by the white power structure to suppress the history and traditions of Black-led revolution in the U.S. And we say this directly to the people in power.
Curious point: what's so odd about the movement being championed by blacks and Latinos when their publication contains the words "white power structure" in it?
originally posted by: mOjOm
Had they instead allocated 2 billion dollars to go toward teacher salaries, books, computers, school supplies, etc. I'm guessing they would get something besides criminals coming out of our schools.