Press Conference on Municipal Police Militarization at Encinitas City Hall
Residents of north county San Diego to stand against the police state & civil liberties erosions and demand Encinitas city council to take action
ENCINITAS, Calif. – On Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, North County San Diego residents will congregate at Encinitas city hall to shed light on the growing danger of police militarization & civil liberties erosions at the municipal level. North county townships & the San Diego sheriff have been taking grant money from the Department of Homeland Security for police militarization purposes. The grants require compliance with controversial federal laws like the PATRIOT Act. Citizens will then be encouraged to go inside and “occupy” Encinitas city hall in order meet with their representatives to lobby for change.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, 11AM-12:45AM
WHERE: Encinitas City Hall
505 S. Vulcan Avenue, Encinitas, CA 92024
WHO/WHAT: Open mic for grassroots activists and concerned San Diego county residents voicing their disdain for the police state, as well as featured speakers: Cindy Sheehan, nationally recognized peace & social justice activist; Nick Bernabe, independent journalist & March Against Monsanto activist; and Alex Fidel, 22-year-old independent journalist. Event coalition partners include Free Encinitas and People Against the NDAA.
VISUALS: A civilian “flash mob” press conference to “occupy” city hall, asking to bring power back to the people. Local residents from around North County will make a spectacle with a mass gathering of people, united from across the political spectrum, near the entrance of city hall without blocking city employees from getting to work. They will then enter city hall in an orderly manner and form single file lines outside council members’ offices to lobby them to strictly outlaw enforcement of the PATRIOT Act and NDAA and levy criminal charges against any officer or civilian that attempts to enforce those unconstitutional measures.
BACKGROUND: The US Department of Homeland Security allocates grant funds that they give to state DHS branches, which in turn give it to city councils, who must present it as an agenda item to vote on. The grants help to militarize police forces, and strings attached to that money require compliance with laws like the PATRIOT Act that many Americans are claiming to be anything but patriotic. “Encinitas Fire Dept. took $300K in grant money from DHS to be compliant with the PATRIOT Act. Tell me, what does NSA spying that have to do with fire safety?” says speaker Alex Fidel, a journalist who investigated the city of Encinitas’ succumbing to the police state. 56 percent of Americans say local police departments using drones, military weapons, and armored vehicles goes too far and is not necessary for law enforcement purposes, according to the latest Reason-Rupe poll. These new toys have mainly been used against peaceful popular protests, like the Occupy G20 rallies. There were many instances of undercover police agents blowing up cars & instigating violence, when the protestors were completely peaceful, in order to justify riot squads, LRAD sonic riot control weaponry, and more. There was the infamous “pepper spray” riot police officer at UC Davis Occupy. At Occupy Oakland, Iraq War Veteran & Occupy protestor Scott Olsen served two tours unharmed, yet was shot in the head by a “less lethal” bean bag round and suffered a near fatal skull fracture & brain injury. American citizens were alarmed at the massive police state response to the Boston Bombing, kicking people out of their homes without due process, agreeing with Benjamin Franklin that sacrificing liberty actually makes us less safe, and that the police were a bigger threat than an unarmed fleeing terrorist. Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and the San Diego sheriff have all been getting new toys, from armored vehicles to drones. Sheriff Bill Gore knowingly lied to San Diego residents when he said he didn’t have a drone. Encinitas had a similar police state showing in February 2013, when a troubled youth allegedly shot police officers non-fatally and ran away from the scene out of fear. SWATs are only meant for volatile situations, and volatile would have been that individual killing the officers while they were down. Instead of deploying the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), they tested out their new toys for a big show, and kicked people out of their homes without due process. They eventually found the suspect in an apparent suicide, but what does a small army do to someone who has psychological troubles & suicidal tendencies? Certainly not the same effect as PERT would have, who are specifically trained to handle these situations with the goal of bringing out someone alive and avoiding suicidal risk. Anything that is ruled a suicide does not require investigation into police tactics. Unlike many instances of egregious police responses, the Encinitas incident was swept under the rug, even by independent media outlets that are quick to report on these incidents. North county residents will stand for justice & transparency, not just for the victims of police state Encinitas, but for an issue that reaches every municipality in America. They will then enter the doors of city hall and demand to speak to their representatives, to urge them to place on the agenda an item about removing compliance with the PATRIOT Act, as well as passing model legislation against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, that have been already passed in Albany, NY, as well as Clark County, NV. This will transcend San Diego, California, and even America, as we see popular protests all around the world be met with military fascism to keep them subservient to their dictators. This is not a rally against police, it is simply encouraging police to side with the people and become true peace officers once again. This is a positive change rally, illuminating the corrupt politicians in city hall from both parties, encouraging Americans to vote out all incumbents in the upcoming elections, that a truly wasted vote is one for the two party system which makes all these problems possible. This is truly a stand against totalitarianism, a stand for world peace, and a stand for causing change on the local level instead of waiting on federal change on this issue.
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Alex Fidel is the Founder of Free Encinitas