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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tara Tabassi cell (917) 971-2498 || tara [at] warresisters.org
Stephen McNeil cell (415) 350-9305 || SMcNeil [at] afsc.org
May 25, 2016
CIVIL LIBERTIES, HUMANITARIAN AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR MAINTAINING
PRESIDENT’S CUT TO URBAN AREA SECURITY INITIATIVE (UASI)
UASI Fuels Police Militarization
New York, NY and San Francisco, CA—War Resisters League and The American Friends Service Committee, joined by twenty-three other civil liberties, religious, and social justice groups called on the Senate Appropriations Committee to maintain the President’s cut to Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) funding as a “step in the right direction.” UASI-supported programs have accelerated police militarization in communities across the country. By requiring training supported by UASI funds to contain a “nexus of terrorism” UASI not only fuels the dangerous culture of aggression so rampant in U.S. police departments, it also subjugates vital emergency response resources to militarized law enforcement.
The President has proposed a cut of $270 million to the Department of Homeland Securities program that funds trainings and equipment grants in 29 high-density urban areas across the country. The groups urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to support programs for education, housing, job training, mental health and other resources that address the needs of our communities.
Groups signing onto the call to support the cut are War Resisters League, American Friends Service Committee, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Center for Constitutional Rights, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Media Alliance, Moana Nui Action and Alliance, Environmentalists Against the War, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Eastside Arts Alliance, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Catalyst Project, Arab Resource Organizing Center, National Lawyers Guild, Oakland Privacy Working Group, Xicana Moratorium Project, Berkeley Copwatch, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Codepink Women for Peace, World Beyond War, the Anti Police Terror Project, Civilian Soldier Alliance, BAYAN USA, Black Lives Matter- Chicago, Evanston Neighbors for Peace.
The War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity. We are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war, including racism, sexism and all forms of exploitation.
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.