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Activists Successfully End Federal Militarization of Los Angeles School Police Department

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posted on May, 31 2016 @ 05:49 PM
After a long uphill battle, the people have spoken and their efforts have paid off. How this will affect other parts of the state and even the country is uncertain.

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.

The movement, oddly enough, has been supported mainly by the Black and Latino student body as well as neighboring ethnic communities. Strategy Center organizers felt that after witnessing the aftermath ensuing the death of Michael Brown in Missouri, a bigger crime was developing against the Black population that had to be dealt with.

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.

According to a new report, the federal government transferred over $2.2 billion worth of military gear to state and local agencies through Program 1033 between 2006 and 2015. The author of the report describes the deal as a “federally-sponsored ‘gun show’ that never ends.”

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.”

The fight originally began at their school, where the LA School Police had already showed signs of militarization. Beyond the local PD, there have been many others who have taken advantage of Program 1033.

Park districts, forest preserves, junior colleges, universities, natural resource departments and public safety agencies were all given access and have taken advantage of the “surplus.” In Illinois, the Department of Natural Resources, who’s job is to enforce hunting laws, received 174 M16 and M14 rifles.

Florida ranks as number one for police militarization, with over $300 million worth of weaponry amassed since 2006. Texas, California, Tennessee and Arizona follow in Florida’s footsteps.

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.

The list of specific demands:

1) Immediately withdraw the District’s participation in the Department of Defense 1033 program

2) Call on President Obama to end the entire DOD 1033 Program

3) Destroy or dismantle all military grade equipment obtained by the LASPD: specifically the documented 61 M-16 assault rifles

4) Make a complete inventory of LASPD’s military equipment and weaponry acquired throughout your enrollment in the 1033 Program

5) Document all weaponry currently in LASPD’s possession

6) Write to other school boards calling on them to discontinue their participation in the 1033 Program

7) Work with us to call on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department (LASD) to immediately withdraw from the 1033 Program and to destroy their military weapons obtained 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.

It would’ve been nice, had they focused less on their ethnicity and more about all civilians who find themselves being subjected to recent militarization efforts. Because I’m white, there’s a good chance that I’ll be lumped into their ideology as opposition, unless I wear my most liberal disguise and denounce the great white oppressor.

Hopefully they realize that most white people exist and operate in the same power structure as they do and the stronger we stand together, the greater goals we can accomplish.


edit on 31-5-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 06:15 PM
I've never understood how the words School and Police Department could rationally be strung together.

Wouldn't it be great if we could find the group of people most responsible for that nonsense ... and stick 'em with the bill?

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 06:32 PM
Too bad the Federal Government's only idea on how to better our schools is to transfer over 2 billion dollars worth of weapons to them.

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.

By turning schools into prisons what exactly are they hoping would be the outcome anyway???

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 06:50 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

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? I'm just....I'm not seeing how it's odd for those two groups to support this movement, especially with language like that in their body of work.

Good luck getting LAPD or LASD to give up their gear.

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 06:51 PM
a reply to: mOjOm

Government approved indoctrination.

Oops, I meant government approved education.

Wait, what?

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 07:01 PM

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 07:28 PM
a reply to: Shamrock6

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?

That in itself isn't odd, as I feel the group and the language are synonymous. I said that because this should have been a school-wide issue. The rest of the student body either didn't want to or weren't allowed to participate, which I find odd. If the the specific ethnicity was unfairly targeted, then they might have a point, but it's hard to say what behavior led to the ticketing.

This is an issue that all of us should be concerned with and just because a certain ethnicity feels targeted, doesn't mean they can speak down to another ethnicity, who even agrees with their cause, but is denied to share the same traction they gain. If whites created their own movement due to the inability to join an already established movement, solely to protest in tandem, they would be shunned and ridiculed. When will minority groups learn who the real enemy is?

edit on 31-5-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 07:44 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Your wording left me with the impression you found it odd that those two groups were driving forces behind the whole thing.

Mea culpa, mea culpa.

ETA - all that being said, I'm fairly certain the school district also had an APC at one point in time. I may be confusing it with another school district, but I feel like it was in LA. I see no reason for that and am glad to see they're giving up the toys like that, because that's what they were: toys.
edit on 31-5-2016 by Shamrock6 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 31 2016 @ 08:27 PM

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.

I'm guessing this is all a longish-term unexpected outcome of other decisions made in the past 30 years, which are now combining into a mutant hybrid outcome that looks like it just appeared from nowhere.

In the olden days when I was in school, we didn't have this, or school shootings, and during deer season at least a sizey proportion of the guys had firearms and ammo in their vehicles. At school.

A part of what has changed is the school's somewhat recent lack of ability to control the environment. In order to shield the kiddies from anything that looks like a 'no', or a 'stop that', they aren't allowed to do anything. So the kids sense that they're in a new environment where they outnumber the adults, and the adults are powerless to stop them from any behavior at all. High school kids being sort of emotionally undeveloped and mildly sociopathic, it immediately becomes "Lord of the Flies".

What USED to happen is that the kiddos were separated into like-behavior groups, and the mildly disruptive ones went to the behavioral issue classes that had football coaches for teachers. The more disruptive ones got transferred to the special ed schools, and the very disruptive ones were expelled. The behavioral anomalies that cropped up among the generally well-behaved kids were dealt with by minor punishment up to "meet with the coach" for continual infractions, where you'd receive a physical behavior adjustment.

In addition, the kids that just couldn't hold still for class, and weren't EVER going to be able to, had alternative education like welding or machine shop or auto repair. That's not the bad thing it's made out to be. Some people are physical/tactile and are better at that sort of thing than they are learning about Louis XIV or the chain rule in precalc.

And some kids can't learn as fast and need slower, more structured concrete classes. But now it's a truism that if you only take the slow kids and the shop kids and mix them in with your clever ones, they'll somehow learn how to do calculus by exposure. It doesn't work that way. The shop kids are just miserable and feel humiliated, so they act out. It would be like taking the nerds and making them do weight lifting classes with the defensive linemen on the football team.

And combine all that lack of ability to discipline with miserable kiddos and no home discipline, and you get the current situation. It's a multi-dimensional f-up.

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