Urban Shield is a war game police training simulation that used to take place annually in Oakland, but has moved as of 2015 to Pleasanton after former Mayor Jean Quan declined to renew the Urban Shield contract in 2014. The event is hosted by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. In addition to the simulations, there is a vendor show where companies market high-tech weapons and gear to police from around the world. In past years this took place at the Marriott downtown.
East Bay Express says: "Every year, UASI puts on a SWAT-team training competition called Urban Shield, which attracts participants from law enforcement and first responder agencies across the US and overseas. In recent years, security forces from Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan have participated in Urban Shield. The competition consists of live-action scenarios such as hostage-holding terrorists, active gunmen, bomb threats, chemical weapons attacks, and catastrophic fires.
Mayor Quan's 2014 snub came on the heels of growing public pressure against increasingly militarized police actions nationwide which have disproportionately impacted the black community.
In Urban Shield 2012, Sheriff Ahern's staff tested an unarmed aerial drone in front of television cameras, setting off heated debate over a now-stalled plan to purchase two drones for the Alameda County Sheriff." [source]
Urban Shield 2014
Sept 5, 2014 Protest
There was a protest rally against Urban Shield at the downtown Oakland Marriott Hotel, on Sept 5, 2014 from 4-6pm. See https://occupyoakland.org/ai1ec_event/urban-shield-protest-rally-press-conference/?instance_id=. The protest was organized by the "Coalition Against Urban Shield", a group of about 26 anti-war and anti-poverty organizations; see http://facingteargas.org/stop-urban-shield-oakland.
There was a barbecue and march to the rally in the afternoon, 12:30pm-4:30pm. See https://occupyoakland.org/ai1ec_event/justice-james-rivera-mario-romero-andy-lopez-bbq/?instance_id=277877.
The event and protest received a large amount of coverage, probably because the anti-police-militarization protests in Ferguson after the police shooting death of Michael Brown were just a few weeks prior.
Journalist @shane_bauer was live-tweeting from inside Urban Shield providing a good real-time source of info and images. Here is the article he produced that includes pictures from his tweets.
There was also some media relating to the corporate sponsors of Urban Shield, specifically Uber: "Why is “libertarian” Uber sponsoring San Francisco’s giant police militarization conference?" from Pando Daily.
On Fri. Sept. 5th, Mayor Jean Quan said in a press conference that Urban Shield wouldn't be returning to Oakland for a third year: "“The City Administrators Office will be asking our agent not to pursue another contract,” Quan said in a statement issued Friday evening." [CBS]
Urban Shield 2013
Oakland co-hosted Urban Shield in 2013. It cost $200,000 (personnel for planning, etc.). It appears to have been approved in April and the council was only made aware of it on Sept. 24. 2013. The expenses are supposed to be reimbursed.
Oct. 25th, 2013 Protest
On Oct. 25th, 2013, there was a protest in downtown Oakland against Urban Shield & also to commemorate the second anniversary of Occupy Oakland's eviction. There were many helicopters and a high police presence.
- Please add any photos here.
News & External Links
- Urban Shield Official Page
- Urban Shield YouTube Channel
- Vendors at Urban Shield
- urban shield official presentation materials.pdf (from public intelligence)
- Urban Shield's Facebook
2011-12-02: "The Israelification of American Domestic Security" The Nation Institute
Urban Shield timeline and info on Public Intelligence
2013-10: Alameda County Newsletter included a bit on Urban Shield
2014-09-04 - Urban Shield reignites militarization debate in Oakland - Al Jazeera
2015-09-04 - Urban Shield coming to Pleasanton - Pleasnton Weekly
2015-09-20 - Oakland Residents Respond as the Largest Police Training in the World Invades - The Nation