Dear friends, check out some of the work we have been doing!
On Tuesday (5/9) the Coalition supported Students Deserve’s Defund School Police action in front of the LAUSD office in downtown LA. The rally was held outside of the building during the LAUSD board meeting. Student organizers gave public comment inside the building, demanding LAUSD completely defund school police. Outside we heard from powerful organizers and enjoyed music from some incredible performers. Dr. Amir Whitaker led the ACLU SoCal Youth Liberty Squad in a riveting drum circle.
Later that evening, we held our monthly War on Youth webinar. This month our topic was Non-Profit Infiltration & Youth Surveillance. We discussed Stop LAPD Spying Coalition’s public records lawsuit against City Councilmember Paul Koretz over his refusal to respond to our requests for his communications with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Celine discussed ADL’s comparison of the National Students for Justice in Palestine to far right white supremacist group, the Proud Boys, and how this connects with broader efforts to criminalize political organizing.
Lastly, we talked about LAPD social media surveillance and how it has been used to target youth political activity. We also gave a sneak peek of our upcoming town hall with the Brennan Center on LAPD Social Media Surveillance on Tuesday 5/17. The event will be held at 6 pm at the Robinson S.P.A.C.E in historic Filipino Town.
On Wednesday (5/10) members from the War on Youth work group presented an introduction to the Coalition’s work to our very own Nadia’s ethnic studies class at Maya Angelou High School. We had a blast!
Later that day the Coalition had our second in-person SARA Work Group meeting with former Echo Park Lake residents and fellow organizers. The group is working toward expanding our outreach effort by making contact with local groups and creating popular education materials to better inform communities about SARA.
On Friday (5/13) the Coalition attended City Council’s last Budget and Finance Committee hearing on the upcoming city budget to demand they defund LAPD surveillance efforts. Ni and Hamid both provided a scathing indictment of the expansion of the surveillance state and highlighted the atrocious disparity in funding between the criminalization of communities and the resources our communities need.
Later that evening, we attended the Skid Row Power Assembly at LA CAN alongside Skid Row community members and partner organizations of LA CAN. After discussing organizing strategy collectively, Hamid presented an introduction to the Coalition’s work and solicited some examples from the crowd about how surveillance shows up in our daily lives. We also touched on the elements that comprise the stalker state and how they work together to datafy our bodies.
To plug in with any of the work groups listed above, or for more information about the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, email us at [email protected].
If you or your organization are interested in hosting a teach-in or discussion regarding our report please fill out this google form.