Oakland Battles City Hall over Surveillance State #DAC

Dee does a human mic/mic check in the middle of the circus that was city hall Tuesday night.

Dee does a human mic/mic check in the middle of the circus that was city hall Tuesday night.

Despite widespread opposition by Oakland residents, business owners and activists, deeply concerned about the attack on civil liberties and privacy-the Orwellian project known as the *Domain Awareness Center (DAC). The DAC was initiated and funded by the Department of Homeland Security, which if they have it their way, will move forward with their plan to build an unparalleled surveillance center, to spy on the people of Oakland.

Public comment at the city council meeting went until 2:30 Wednesday morning, which drew the ire of activists who felt that the city council pushed back the agenda item as a stalling tactic. Nonetheless, at wee hours in the morning residents spoke about their concerns of the massive surveillance system and invasion of privacy, while raising critical issues and questions. Speakers made a compelling case against this misguided project which is brought to us by the corrupt and morally bankrupt priorities of the Federal government, which have nothing to do with “keeping us safe”- as is the stated goal.

In this scheme, they partner with companies that have legacies of corruption, and human rights abuses (and are known #BDS offenders) such as G4S, Motorola Solutions and SAIC (which was recently dropped due to its record) and push them on the local level-by dangling low fruit of desperately needed funds. It is also worth mentioning, that the Feds are the one’s to cut the budget when it comes to pesky things like: education, health care, food stamps and housing; otherwise known as things that REALLY keep communities safe. Meanwhile their solution for public safety is to pour countless trillions of dollars into war and occupation abroad, and prisons at home for the military contractors that are always seeking new clients and to expand their markets which they seem to have found in Oakland City Council…

Not if we have anything to say about it!

Dee does a Mic Check in the middle of the circus that was city hall last night!

Dee interrupts the city council meeting last night with a mic check!

Activists believe that the city doesn’t fully comprehend the vast implications involved, or the appreciate the process-for which Oakland is being used as a testing ground, if this continues unhindered. Still the effort didn’t change most of the council’s minds, “even as members struggled to discuss the issue over the deafening chants of protesters demanding the council delay a decision: “Table it! Table it! Table it!”.

Resistance is our only option.

    Activists warned that other city officials should be prepared for an ongoing surveillance campaign against them – while they are leaving their homes and in public places, with friends and loved ones.

    Activists surveill the surveillers at city council meeting 11/19.

    Activists surveill the surveillers at city council meeting 11/19.

    Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, was the only member to vote against the resolution, saying she had too many unanswered questions. She also was the only one to vote no to Urban Shield, at the Public Safety meeting in September, by similar tactics that prioritize militarizing the police for “public safety”, directed to Oakland by the Federal government (see previous posts) for the past 7 years.

    By the wee hours of the morning, activists didn’t know whether to scream or cry at the tragic comedy playing out before us. So many just broke into hysterical laughter when Councilwoman Libby Schaff said things like, maybe they didn’t need to plug in the cameras, to record us – making clear she fully understood the implications at stake.

    This charade is yet another blatant reminder that “democracy” is just an illusion, and only manifests itself to the level and extent the people demand it to. When you think about it, all the freedoms and rights we have anywhere, are only the one’s we fought for.

    Oakland, due to its history and legacy of resistance, reminds me of Gaza, Palestine and that’s why they are both testing grounds for the harshest policies, weapons and tactics against poor, black and brown people. ‘They’ think/know, if they get away with it here, they can get away with it anywhere! They’re probably right.

    Email OaklandPrivacy@gmail.com for more info, or find out how you can get involved.

    #1984 #OccupyOakland #ResistenceIsExistence #ExpectUS

    Protester speaks against the sham of a process.

    *The DAC will act as a fusion center, aggregating video feeds and real-time data from a number of sources around Oakland. Possible program components for the DAC include integration of closed-circuit video feeds (CCTV) from all over Oakland, including 700 cameras at Oakland public schools and 135 cameras at the Oakland Coliseum complex. Video and data feeds from all over Oakland are to be aggregated and monitored at the DAC, then analyzed with license plate recognition software, thermal imaging and body movement recognition software, possibly facial recognition software, and more, all with absolutely no privacy or data-retention policies in place, or substantive debate at the committee or council level about the program.” http://oaklandwiki.org/Domain_Awareness_CenterSix #1984

    1. Oakland surveillance center protest dissipates; Will Kane, November 20, 2013: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-surveillance-center-protest-dissipates-4995249.php#src=fb