Stop LAPD Spying Campaign Town Hall a Great Success!

Los Angeles communities express deep concern about LAPD surveillance and spying activities, and demand immediate rescinding of LAPD Special Order 11 and its newly revised version, Special Order 1.

At the community townhall meeting held on Saturday March 3rd, community members demanded LAPD to immediately rescind Special Order 11 and its newly revised version, Special Order 1. A diverse group of over 200 people including youth, artists, immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, academics, lawyers, faith based and community-based organizations shared stories on the abuse experienced at the hands of local law enforcement and the infringement on privacy by various government agencies. Among many others, a middle school girl shared her negative experiences with the LAPD when they destroyed the South Central farm that was feeding many people.

During the community dialogue at the town hall, a unanimous sentiment of distrust in the LAPD was very present- people simply do not feel comfortable or positive about local law enforcement having capability to probe even deeper than they already do into innocent people’s lives. While many expressed that LAPD has already been doing this, they felt that Special Orders 11 and 1 give them further legitimacy to criminalize innocent activities and ultimately abuse the rights and privacy of communities throughout Los Angeles.

Some key highlights of the community conversation were:

  • These policies are justified by creating fear of the “other” but in reality we are all the “other” and everyone is a target.
  • These orders are like “poison” and regardless of how many times LAPD changes the numbers (from 11 to 1) it will remain “poisonous” and result in destroying lives. Its fundamental intent is to criminalize our communities and about social control and cannot be reformed by bringing it up to constitutional standards. WE NEED TO STOP THIS!
  • We need to be aware of the history of abuse of such powers by LAPD. They used to be “red squads” and now they are dressed up as Special Orders. The impact on our communities remains the same.

People strongly expressed their desire and need for community action to stop this gross abuse of power by local law enforcement. It was clear that people have had enough of the government (including the LAPD) invading their privacy, leaving lives ruined and families torn apart. Various individuals and groups pledged to do what they could on their own and as joint communities to rescind Special Order 11 and 1. Several people signed up for next steps that include hosting information sessions, attending campaign meetings, actions and events, engaging in the teatro/theater committee, attending delegation meetings, providing resources, and joining the campaign. A big thanks to all the organizations who made the event possible, including Community Labor Strategy Center, Dream Team LA, IDEPSCA, ENLACE, LA CAN, Occupy the Hood, Youth Justice Coalition, National Lawyers Guild, La Chamba, ACLU and all other individuals on the campaign steering committee.

March 3rd Townhall Report Back