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COALITION ACTIVITIES—October 17, 2021

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Dear friends, this week the Coalition supported BAJI’s in-person action, conducted chronic offender outreach, and began planning what is bound to be a powerful O22 action. Click the link to read more about the work we’ve been doing!

On Tuesday 10/12, we supported the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) in an action kicking off the Until We’re Free (UWF) Coalition’s National Week of Action in support of Black Migrants. UWF is an invite-only Black-led coalition envisioned, staffed, and convened by BAJI combatting anti-Black provisions within federal legislation. The event amplified the recent brutalization of Haitian migrants at the border by CBP officers and condemned the draconian legislation that enables the mass incarceration of Black migrants. Protestors met at Grand Park, across from City Hall where we listened to speakers engaged in the fight for Black Migrants. We then took to the streets and marched to the Metropolitan Detention Center in a show of love and solidarity with our detained migrant siblings. Our very own, Ni, was there to help document the action, and video from the action is available on the Coalition’s Instagram page. Maraky Alemseged, the BAJI Los Angeles Organizer, will be joining our webinar this upcoming Tuesday to further discuss global migration and the policing of Black Migrant groups in the United States and at its borders. To learn more about the work BAJI is currently engaged in, log on to baji.org.

On Wednesday (10/13), the Coalition continued its outreach efforts with individuals on the Chronic Offender list. We met with another community member targeted by the LAPD, who dealt with years of harassment and violence with the goal of banishing them from the community. Their testimony was heartbreaking and a tragic reminder of the mechanisms these white supremacist powers have at their disposal. However, the individual we spoke with was eager to share their story in the hopes of empowering others that may feel isolated by this experience. Their willingness to reach out and speak up to bring to light the commonality of the LAPD’s abuse was incredibly up-lifting. We look forward to continuing to build collective power among these powerful survivors of LAPD abuse. 

Later that evening, we held our first Wednesday night Coordinating Team meeting. After receiving updates from other groups, the Data Driven Policing working group provided an update on the Coalition’s upcoming report on Land and Policing. The report is scheduled to be released on Monday 11/8 and we’ve been working with some of our coalition partners to best facilitate a rollout and communications strategy. This will include a press conference along with a social media component in which members of our affinity groups can participate in the amplification of the report’s release. We’re continuing to meet regarding updates and will provide more information as it develops.

We also discussed how we can better incorporate our guiding principles into our working group meetings and Webinars. Ni and Mariella were gracious enough to volunteer the facilitation of a deep dive into one of our guiding principles during this upcoming Tuesday’s webinar. 

On Thursday 10/14, the Coalition met with BLM-LA, Street Watch, NOlympics, and LACAN to begin planning an action for O22. The Coalition is seeking to bring a resurgence to what has historically been an engaging day for Angelenos to take the street in condemnation of police brutality. Ni will be creating what is sure to be an eye-catching graphic. While Matyos is teaming up with BLM-LA’s Jason Reedy to craft a twitter toolkit to educate folks on the history of O22. The action will feature live music from LACAN’s freedom singers along with other bands, and a list of powerful local organizers speaking on the LAPD’s long-standing tradition of fuckery. We plan to conclude the action with a film projected onto the LAPD headquarters.

We also hope this will serve as an opportunity for the many freedom fighters across LA to reflect on how the police have used every instance of the people holding this white supremacist state accountable to beat, maim, or arrest us. Then using the collective indictment of their actions to grow their reach and power through reform. We hope this O22 will reaffirm our commitment to stay out on these streets and emphasize that abolition is the only to stop this cycle of state sanctioned violence. 

The Coalition also has several Public Records Act requests pending with LAPD and its collaborators where we are seeking to expose the details of how police terror operates. We received some records from these requests this week, including information on LAPD’s “SARA projects” that are part of their current “Data-Informed Community-Focused Policing” program. SARA stands for Scanning, Assessment, Response, and Analysis, and it’s a methodology that LAPD used to surveil, map, harass, and eventually raid the Echo Park Lake encampment earlier this year, as we detailed in our Blueprint for Displacement zine last month. SARA was also how LAPD ran its Operation LASER “predictive policing” programs. This week we received 96 pages of records showing LAPD’s current “SARA projects,” which are all locations LAPD is targeting for extreme policing and surveillance.

We also recently received from UCLA (because they’re a public university, they must answer PRA requests) a batch of emails exchanged between Jeff Brantingham, who created the racist data-driven policing tool “PredPol,” and others working to advance police surveillance. Previously we also received hundreds of documents on LAPD’s use of “shadow teams” during the 2020 uprising. If you’re interested in looking at any of these records and helping us research and analyze them, hit us up!

That’s it for this week. We look forward to sharing our collective fight with you again, next week.