Urban Shield is part of a growing national and international coordination of policing empowered by military tools and tactics, and our Coalition insists that we must work to roll this back while advancing community-led initiatives to provide actual safety. Specific goals are to provide a “multi-layered” training exercise in hopes of enhancing skills and abilities of first responders and those responsible for conducting and managing large events.
Every year, here in Oakland, there is an exercising event where real-life scenarios are conducted for practice and quality performance. A protest was held on Friday September 11, 2015 where demonstrators were opposition of this exercise. According to ABC7, “With drums and chants, peaceful demonstrators in Oakland voiced their opposition to the annual arrival of Urban Shield to the Bay Area. “
While the Urban Shield event of 2015 was held in Alameda County, it sparked the interest off individuals in Oakland. Kamau Walton, a Black Lives Matter protestor, stated, “We want Oakland agencies, such as Oakland PD and the fire department and EMTs to stop participating in Urban Shield and have more face-to-face conversations with the community about what we actually need instead." Because of strong impact of the Ferguson, movement of last year, Oakland has shared a huge role in creating change and moving towards approaches where the people are benefitting from positive action and approaches made by police.