Photo credits: Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition has a simple goal: to end dragnet police spying that treats everyone as a potential suspect. The coalition formed in response to the LA police department's instating of "Special Order 1," which authorized and instructed officers to file so-called "Suspicious Activity Reports" on people even where there is no demonstrated nexus to criminal activity, and to share this information with various agencies in the federal government. (This program operates in most major cities nationwide.) The order "infringes on privacy and civil liberties, and essentially legitimizes spying by local law enforcement and promotes racial profiling," the coalition says.
The latest target of the coalition's advocacy work has been the local fusion spy center, where activists held a march and demonstration last week to air their grievances with the police.
The coalition issued a release describing the event:
Over a hundred community members surrounded the Los Angeles Regional Fusion Spy Center on Thursday, December 13th in Norwalk demanding an end to invasion of privacy, assault on civil liberties, and waste of public resources. Several people were surrounded by LA sheriffs and private security, and threatened with arrest as people marched inside chanting “What are you Hiding!” At one point the whole building literally locked down.The Call to Action organized by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition exposed the local area Fusion Center, which is part of a larger network around the country of approximately 77 such spy centers.The coalition continues to build a diverse grassroots campaign to build public awareness, participation, mobilization and action to rescind policies such as LAPD Special Order 1 & the iWATCH program.
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Pacifica radio also covered the demonstration. You can listen to the KPFA report below. Click here to see more photos from the event.