IN$IDE URBAN SHIELD: Police Militarization in Oakland, California
October 20, 2014
Occupy Oakland General Assembly, Code Pink, et al & Mother Jones & RAP4 - Special to Environmentalists Against War
In September 2014, 35 of the world's elite SWAT Teams converged in Oakland, California, to compete in the 48-hour Urban Shield training exercise. For two days these teams were tested in emergency medical, traffic control, outbreak quarantine, and combat operations. A section of a passenger train donated by California's Amtrak Railroad served as the battlefield for the teams to test their combat skills against the clock.
SWAT Teams Attacked By Domestic Terrorists!
(September 16, 2014) -- In September 2014, 35 of the world's elite SWAT Teams converged in Oakland, California, to compete in the 48 hour Urban Shield training exercise. Without pause for two days these teams were tested in various disciplines including emergency medical, traffic control, outbreak quarantine, and combat operations.
A section of a passenger train donated by California's Amtrak Railroad served as the battlefield for these teams to test their combat skills against the clock. The tools provided were RAP4 468 Training Rifles, RAP226 Training Pistols, and prototype DMAG Helix Magazines for maximum realism.
The Scenario: (Team of 8 Operators)
The SWAT Team is tasked with the security of a foreign diplomat during transit via passenger train. A two-man personal security detachment (PSD) armed with pistols sit with the diplomat on the second floor of train car #1. A six-man quick reactionary force (QRF) stands ready on the first floor of car #5.
When an assassin armed with a pistol attempts to attack the diplomat, the PSD must react quickly to kill or capture the assassin while the QRF makes it's way to car #1. Team must act together to extract the diplomat to the safe zone: a designated structure located 500m from the train. However, upon entering the building the team is met by a single-assailant ambush.
Teams were scored by a number of factors including completion time and target hits. The RAP4 training weapons provided the realism they needed to train as they fight - and fight as they train! Armed with the latest line-up from the cutting-edge designs of former firearm engineer Omar Macy, these 35 teams agree that the 468 is truly As Real As it Gets!
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(October 15, 2014) -- Four activists infiltrate the Urban Shield, war training games for Police Departments, and tell their experiences.
IN$IDE URBAN SHIELD:
Police Militarization in Oakland, California
Occupy Oakland General Assembly, Code Pink, et al
OAKLAND, Calif. (October 19, 2014) -- It was to be expected, I suppose. Three Oakland police units, having nothing better to do on a Friday evening in a town where no one ever complains about crime, showed up before the Inside Urban Shield forum on the militarization of police, ostensibly to inquire into whether a gathering convened expressly to listen to speakers in an auditorium was getting ready to hella march.
Fortunately, they must have gotten an emergency call for donut delivery, as they eventually left some eighty odd of us attendees to listen to excellent talks by Shane Bauer, Joshua Smith, Susan Harman and Julia Wong.
Here is a video of the four speakers, with the time each begins listed, and some excerpts below:
• Shane Bauer: 0:10
• Joshua Smith: 13:26
• Susan Harman: 24:50
• Julia Wong: 32:15
Excerpts from Video:
A device that blinds you for ten minutes. It scrambles your occular fluid.
I asked him (the spokesperson for Urban Shield), "Do you think there's validity to the criticism that the US is becoming a police state?" He said yes.
The aggressive, military-warior mindset. I saw Sniper rifles, M16s, drones, armored vehicles and surveillance equipment. I picked up some free informational brochures and a small notepad. The uniformed officer immediately asked if I was law enforcement, and I responded, "No, I am an analyst," only to have the material abruptly and physically snatched from my hands.
This scenario was a dentist smuggling in arms. The plane was there. The pilot had been taken captiive by the dentist. A couple of bad UPS drivers who knew what was goiing on, unloading the arms from the plane. The minute you were shot -- and you knew you were hit because it hurt -- you had to lie down.
What I'd like to do is distinguish between the legitimate emergency response practice, that and the clearly excessive militarization.
The two big issues that were constantly on my mind, that were constantly in the air and never being spoken about, were -- fear and money. Everything that happens at (Urban Shield) is supposed to have a nexus to terrorism.
Inside the vendor show it was remarkable just how much Federal, State, local money was around for these vendors. [One exhibitor] got a grant to create a dummy dog, so they could practice rescue for canine units -- this while there was an action outside [the hotel] for people making minimum wage, fighting for $15/hr.
A gallery of pictures from the forum, taken by Daniel Arauz, are here. The rest of the forum consisted of a video of an interview with Radley Balko, author of The Rise of he Warrior Cop, a Q&A with the speakers from audience members, and a discussion about "What's Next: Where do we go from here in combating police militarization, terror and the surveillance state?" (When video of the Q&A and "What's Next?" segments becomes available it may get posted here or in a separate post.)
The event was organized by members of the Occupy Oakland General Assembly, the Oakland Privacy Working Group, Code Pink and the Oscar Grant Committee.
Inside Urban Shield:
The World's Largest SWAT Training Event
(September 9, 2014) -- At Urban Shield, a first-responder convention sponsored by over 100 corporations and the Department of Homeland Security, our coverage was cut short by police.
Urban Shield SWAT Competition
(February 6, 2014) -- Join Omar Macy, the designer of the 468™ Professional Training Rifle™ (468 PTR™) as he chronicles the latest Urban Shield multinational SWAT team competition! Force-on-force training tool. Ideal for military units, law enforcement agencies, security contractors, and recreational shooters worldwide for force-on-force training, less lethal applications, and reflexive fire drills.
CSPN005: Urban Shield 2014 SWAT Competition
(September 12, 2014) -- In this short episode of the Combat Sports Programming Network we get a sneak peek at the footage from this year's Urban Shield multinational SWAT team competition!
Urban Shield 2014: Terrorist Attack, Bay Bridge
T. J. Bender / YouTube