Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Northbay CopWatch

Know your local domestic security agencies.
This archive contains information about security agencies operating in the San Pablo Bay Area  engaging in human rights abuse, surveillance and harassment against people of lower-income, members of captive nations, and against individuals based on their political or religious beliefs. This list is woefully incomplete.
Note: All [links] go to a page on the Northbay Copwatch archive, and do not connect to the websites of the agency described.

Municipal and County security agencies:

By Government Code Section 3307, Peace Officers cannot be required to take polygraph examinations, a privilege that does not exist for State or Federal employees of the FBI, CIA, or many other public-sector security agencies.

Solano County -
* Solano County Sheriff's Department
* Vallejo Police Department
* Vacaville Police Department
* Dixon Police Department
* Fairfield Police Department
* Benicia Police Department
* Suisun Police Department

Napa County -
* Napa County Sheriff's Department
* Napa City Police Department
* American Canyon Police Department
* Calistoga Police Department
* St. Helena Police Department
* Yountville Police Department

Contra Costa County -
* Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department

* Richmond Police Department
* Concord Police Department
* Walnut Creek Police Department
* Martinez Police Department
* Alamo Police Department

Sonoma County -
* Sonoma County Sheriffs
* Sonoma City
Police Department
* Rohnert Park
Police Department
* Sebastopol
Police Department
* Santa Rosa
Police Department
* Petaluma
Police Department
Also see:
* "Police Brutality is on the Rise: 17 local case histories" (Sonoma County), published 2000 [link]

California State security agencies:
* California Highway Patrol (CHP)
* California State Military Department [link]
* California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Federal security agencies:
* Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [link], an agency which is used against domestic dissent.
* Suspicious Activity Reporting program [link]
* Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) [link]
* Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [link]
* United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police
* Air Force Security Forces, an agency which monitors peace activists.
National Security Agency (NSA) [link]
* DHS Office for State and Local Law Enforcement [link]
* National Fusion Center Coordination Group
* DHS Citizen Corps Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) & USAonWatch

* How We Got From 9/11 to Massive NSA Spying on Americans: A Timeline, 2001 to 2013 [link]

Other domestic security operatives:
* Grand Jury investigations [link]

Transnational security agencies:
* Five Eyes (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) [link]
* Israel [link]: Beginning 2003, Israeli police forces and associated Israeli funded agencies have organized law enforcement trainings with Federal, municipal and state security agencies, with live trainings in Israel, by Israeli police and counter-terrorism units. These trainings are to normalize the use of "counter-terrorism" tactics against all suspects, especially against political protesters!!
For example, Los Angeles Police Officers attack human-rights activist who shows solidarity with the People of Palestine (2014-07-08) [link]

Private sector security agencies: 
* Union Pacific Police Department [link]
* Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
* Law Enforcement intelligence Unit (LEIU)
* International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
* National Sheriff's Association
* Private Patrols used to supplement Police presence
* Police SWAT teams, overseen by Law Enforcement Councils (LEC), are incorporating as private entities with no public oversight [link]
* TrapWire [link]
* Media journalists providing information to police about political activities [link]
* "Anarchists", funded by security agencies both public and private... [link]
Beware, also, of private professional clandestine agents, who, as individuals for hire, infiltrate and disrupt democratic campaigns for dignity and human rights, oftentimes sharing their privately collected intelligence to public sector security agencies, including municipal police departments.

Security agencies conduct operations against political opposition:
Domestic security agencies are targeting non-violent advocates for peace, justice, and freedom in the San Pablo bay area and neighboring regions, under the definition of what constitutes terrorism, not because of any violent actions, but to stifle dissent. Although there is no universal definition of terrorism, Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

* Security agencies fabricate incidents to justify their actions against advocates for Peace, Justice and Freedom [link]
* Disruption of human-rights gathering at Port of Oakland (2014-08-01) [link]
* United Farm Workers (UFW) union email service hit by systemwide stoppage (2014-07-25) [link]
* Recent visits with political activists by FBI in San Francisco, New York city, Chicago (2014-07-02) [link]
* "Surveillance of American Muslims Underscores Lack of Safeguards" [link]
* Security agency intimidation tactics [link]
* Solidarity with Cyndi Mitchell, advocate of Justice for her brother Mario Romero [link], under threat by Vallejo PD and their allies (updated February, 2014).
* Northbay MDS: Disruptions and other strange things (work in progress) [link]
* Oakland Police provide political affiliation information to private business for purpose of intimidating targeted dissidents (reported October, 2013) [link].
* On October 29, 2013, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz police filmed union members striking.
* Oakland Police use military methods to terrorize and torture anti-war protesters, April 7th, 2003.
* Our neighbor, an anti-racist, white-American, named Linda L R Roberts of Sacramento, writes Nov. 9th, 2013: "So, neighbors were told to do a citizens arrest on the large group of thugs on 10th Avenue near me. Today at the anti police brutality demo, there were 7 cops sitting around for about an hour." David A. of Sacramento adds: "+ 2 snipers on the 2nd floor parking garage and the cop with subdued patch on orange motorcycle. What a waste of all that money and resources, so they can harass people who are grieving."

* “Banners will keep me away” letter from Miriam Schidfman, Alameda to the editor of “San Francisco Chronicle”, January 20th, 2014 [sfgate.com/opinion/letterstoeditor/article/Letters-to-the-editor-Jan-20-5158062.php]: Banners hung in San Francisco streets with an antiabortion (and incorrect) message (City Insider Jan. 15) lead me to believe that the city officially agrees with the message. These, plus the fact that police were photographing pro-choice protesters on the sidelines (myself included) along the Embarcadero during one of the antiabortion marches, are the reasons I will not be visiting San Francisco so long as those banners are up.   
* “War on Terror Witchhun: Protest FBI Raids on Leftists, Union Activists!", 2010-10-08 from "Worker's Vanguard" [ICL-FI.org/english/wv/966/raids.html]: The June Supreme Court ruling expanded what constitutes “material support” to include the exercise of the rights of speech and association, which are supposedly protected by the First Amendment. The ruling was in response to a case brought by the Humanitarian Law Project and other groups and individuals who wanted to advise the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on how to appeal to the United Nations for peaceful resolution of their struggles. The LTTE and PKK had long been targets of the wars waged by the U.S.-supported Sri Lankan and Turkish governments against the oppressed Tamil and Kurdish national minorities. The Court’s decision essentially criminalized any activity that is considered as giving legitimacy to “terrorists.” This could include anything from donating money to Muslim charities to interviewing a guerrilla fighter for the press. The secular nationalist LTTE and PKK had made it onto the State Department hit list because they fought a desperate struggle against regimes allied with the U.S. In ruling against the Humanitarian Law Project, the Supreme Court declared outright: “Providing foreign terrorist groups with material support in any form also furthers terrorism by straining the United States’ relationships with its allies.” A mere three months later, the Feds launched their attack against leftist activists.

Police State Fascism
* More Police In Schools Leads to More Students Under Arrest [link]
* "Fees, Fines, and Debt: How Governments and Companies are Jailing Poor People to Make a Buck" [link]
* War against Dissent by private clandestine services [link]
Reform addressing human and civil-rights abuses by Clandestine Agencies is a facade [link]

Police State Technology
* Automated License Plate Readers [link]
* Saturation coverage of surveillance drones [link]
* Stingray device [link]
* Organized Stalking and Electronic Harassment: [link]
* Online Slander campaign [link]
* Security agencies routinely infiltrate social media to monitor and direct online discourse, engage in smear campaigns against targeted victims [link]
* Google is an extension of Military and Clandestine agencies [link]
* Indications that Facebook monitors and interferes with dissidents [link]
* "Meet the Data Brokers Who Help Corporations Sell Your Digital Life" [link]
* Pattern of cyber-attacks against "leftist" populist news journals [link]
* US Military study social media trends for use against democracy campaigns [link]
* Facebook.com manipulates targeted user pages to influence long-term moods [link]
* Federally Mandated Internet Snooping [link]

Organized cover-ups of the "Thin Blue Line"
* The case of Vallejo Police Officer Jim Capoot [link]
* A blatant example of the methods for covering up systematic terror by security agencies, read the story behind the campaign for Justice for Aloni, innocent victim of police torture (Los Angeles, 2013-03) [link]. This story is amazing! The California Highway Patrol, District Attorneys, even nurses continue to try to justify the actions of Officer Jose A. Ramirez, B# 17598. This abuse of power is a huge mistake that creates a bigger gap of mistrust between law enforcement and the community. The criminal "injustice" system in place sends a clear message to people who suffer police violence: THE STATE PROTECTS OFFICERS.
* Also see the "Thin Red Line" of the firefighters [link]

Know Your Rights!
* "Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters" [link]
* "10 Ways to Outfox Cops That Are Abusing Their Powers to Trick You" article [link]
* "10 Rules for Dealing with Police" video information [link]
* Advice from "Stop Mass Incarceration Network" [link]
* Advice from "Flex Your Rights" [link]
* You Have the Right to Remain Silent: NLG Guide to Law Enforcement Encounters [link]
* The "Right to Remain Silent" [link] is admissible only after you are read your "Miranda Rights" during an arrest, and your silence can be used against you in a court of law.
* National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) National Hotline for activists contacted by the FBI: 888-654-3265 
* Tips for Activists dealing with Police disruption [link]
* The Bay Area Committee to Resist Political Repression (BACRPR) [grandjuryresistance.org]
* "Protect Yourself from FBI Manipulation" (w/ attorney Harvey Silverglate) [link]
* Social Media Security: How to turn off commercial spying on your Facebook account [link]

Start a community watch network!
* Copwatch listings [link]
* Copwatch newswires [link]
* "Police the Police" [www.facebook.com/PoliceThePoliceCP]

"Community Control of the Police!"
* REPLACE the Police, defeat Fascism and it's occupational army!! [link]
* Alternatives to Police [link]
(graphic art by Emory Douglass, of the Black Panther Party, April 4th, 1971)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Disruption of human-rights gathering at Port of Oakland

Transnational security agencies: Israel [link]
The following message, produced in its entirety, shows how a gathering against war and for human rights is disrupted by rumor mongering and by "disaffected" participants. Notice how the disruption could also be used to disrupt an upcoming labor union campaign...

"NOT CANCELLED: Saturday 5am Picket of Israeli Ships at Port of Oakland STILL MOVING FORWARD!"

2014-08-01 from an organizer:
There's a lot of confusion about Saturday's picket of two Israeli ships at the Port of Oakland. The action has NOT been cancelled! Many of us still plan to meet at the West Oakland BART station at 5am, to go to the port and blockade the gates to Berth 57.
Some people decided to pull out of the action and declared it 'cancelled', based on a whole lot of misinformation, including that the ILWU (the longshore union), and the local Arab communities had not been contacted, neither of which is true.
Many of us feel it is irresponsible to cancel an action after thousands of flyers have been distributed, and alerts have been blasted by email and social media, and extensive efforts and resources have already gone into mobilizing for it. The situation that prompted the call for this action has not changed: Gaza remains under attack by the Israeli government, and Israeli ships are expected in the Port of Oakland on Saturday.
The people who have pulled out of the action say they plan to do this action on August 16 instead, after more 'outreach', even though we have recently seen some of the largest protests in solidarity with the people of Gaza most of us have ever seen, and the momentum for this action had been building massively and organically over just a few short days.
By August 16 many more people will have died, and what will be left of Gaza? The time to act is NOW!
And by August 16 the ILWU contract negotiations may also have escalated into their own battle, in which case it would be the worst possible time for the community to put up a picket line for Gaza. Right now longshore workers are working without a contract, potentially giving individual workers more autonomy to decide whether they will honor a community picket line. We still need to mobilize a large crowd in case they do defer to an arbitrator to rule whether our picket line invokes the health and safety clause in their expired contract (as they did in L.A. during the truckers strike recently).
While the concern from those who have declared the action 'cancelled' and 'postponed' is said to be about the Arab and longshore communities, the actual current realities of either community don't seem to be fully considered - or perhaps understood, and the political turf war of some local groups demanding they be in charge is taking selfish precedent.
There also appears to be some confusion about the expected role of the union in this action, and people are conflating the 1984 boycott of South African cargo - an action by longshore workers themselves (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzPSaua4ovo), with the 2010 blockade of an Israeli ship - an action by the community, requesting that longshore workers honor our picket line (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZch1ydvXvc). While it would certainly be ideal for the ILWU to refuse to handle Israeli ships, it is not a realistic expectation under the current circumstances. It is up to us to stop these ships ourselves!
Please do not let the 'decisions' of a few who deem themselves 'leaders' derail this important event! Join us on Saturday morning in taking direct action against Israel's murderous assault on the people of Gaza!
Saturday, August 2, 2014
5AM - Gather at West Oakland BART
March and/or carpool to the port at 5:10AM
(BART will not be running yet - please offer rides if you're able - there is parking at BART, but not at the port)
Blockade Berth 57 at the Port of Oakland
(map of the port: http://www.portofoakland.com/pdf/maritime/mari_map.pdf)

Friday, July 25, 2014

United Farm Workers (UFW) union email service hit by systemwide stoppage

“Oops...System crashed, but OK now: Speak out to protect farmworkers from pesticides” message sent 2014-07-25 from “United Farm Workers (UFW)” [ufw@) ufw.org]: Sorry for the re-send. The company that supplies our listserve had a systemwide failure and that caused a crash. Everything is up and working now, so please give us another chance and click to take action.
[Original message]
Speak Out to Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides by Aug. 18
On Feb. 20, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standard, which protects workers who are exposed to pesticides. Some of the proposed changes will be beneficial to workers, and some will not. The public comment period, which ends on Aug. 18, gives you the opportunity to tell the EPA that farmworkers deserve these protections. Support farmworkers by leaving your comment now.
We depend on the nation’s farmworkers to provide us with our food and nutrition. Exposure to pesticides is a daily reality for the 2.5 million farmworkers who toil in our fields, orchards, and greenhouses in the U.S. Without basic protections, farmworkers are at risk for both acute illness and long-term health conditions associated with these exposures. Moreover, their families endure pesticide exposure when chemicals are brought home on workers’ clothes and belongings.
Because of an exemption in federal law, farmworkers are not safeguarded by OSHA from pesticide exposure. Instead, it is the responsibility of the EPA to protect farmworkers against the effects of pesticide exposure on the health of farmworkers and their families. Under the WPS — even with the proposed updates — farmworkers’ protections are inferior to the protections of workers in other industries.
Tell the EPA to take action now and quit pandering to corporate agribusiness. It has the authority and responsibility to protect farmworkers.

Did you know? Pesticide exposure causes farmworkers to suffer more chemical-related injuries and illnesses than any other workforce in the nation.
EPA Comment deadline is August 18th
Sign now! [http://action.ufw.org/takepartepa]

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Justice for Frank Alvarado! (d.2014-07-10, Salinas)

"Frank Alvarado Speaking on Prison Expansion, Two Months Before He Was Killed by Salinas Police"
posted 2014-07-11 by Alex Darocy [www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbBZ27bep0U]:

Frank Alvarado was killed by Salinas Police on July 10 and very little information has been released by authorities about the circumstances of his death. This footage of Frank Speaking on prison reform is from May 14, 2014 in Santa Cruz.
Residents and representatives of community organizations in Santa Cruz rallied outside of the court house at that time to voice their strong opposition to the Governor's May revise budget, which called for an increase in spending for jail and prison expansion.
Frank spoke strongly about the importance of budgeting state money for social programs instead of prison expansion, and he shared his personal experience of incarceration, describing his release from prison in July of 2013.
Frank spoke about having multiple counts/strikes on his record.
He shared his strong feeling of love for his son, who he said was voted police cadet of the year in 2013 at a police department in California.
"He is my champ. He is my number one little guy, and he is the smartest individual I could have ever made," he said.
He described how prison destroyed their relationship. In an interview that day, Frank said that he was very proud of his son for becoming a police officer, but that they were still estranged.
Frank was extremely remorseful about committing the acts that brought him to prison. He said he shot people, and that he did 11 years for attempted homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. After getting out of prison he said he relished the idea of helping people, however, and he described the joy it gave him.
"I walked in Santa Cruz," he said, "and I picked a flower off a plant and I gave it to somebody, and I put a smile on their face."
He spoke about having a grandparent with prostate cancer and telling the close relative not to worry because he would be there for him, and that it would be his turn to change diapers if necessary.
Frank was well known to activists with Sin Barras, a Santa Cruz prison abolition group that was one of the organizers of the May 14 rally at which Frank spoke. Members of Sin Barras have described their deep affection for him, as well as deep sadness and anger over his killing.
According to the authorities, Frank was killed at around 5am on July 10 at Fairview Avenue and Beverley Drive in Salinas. The SPD hasn't released any details beyond those, and they referred the news media and the public to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office, which will be handling the investigation.
The killing of Frank Alvarado is preceded by three other killings in 2014 by officers with the Salinas Police Department.
On March 20, Angel Ruiz was shot and killed by officers with the SPD outside of a Wing Stop restaurant. On May 9, Osman Hernandez, who was carrying a lettuce knife, was killed by the SPD outside of the Mi Pueblo Market at the corner of Alisal and Sanborn. Carlos Mejia was carrying a pair of garden shears when he was killed by SPD officers outside of a bakery at the corner of Del Monte and Sanborn on May 20.
All of the killings have taken place in East Salinas.
To read more about the May 14 prison expansion rally in Santa Cruz, see:
"Increases in Prison and Jail Spending in Governor's Revised Budget Opposed in Santa Cruz" [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/15/18755833.php]

Friday, July 11, 2014

Suspicious Activity Reporting program

"An FBI Counterterrorism Agent Tracked Me Down Because I Took a Picture of This"
2014-07-11 by James Prigoff [https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/fbi-counterterrorism-agent-tracked-me-down-because-i-took-picture]:
This is a statement from one of the plaintiffs speaking at Thursday's press conference announcing the ACLU's lawsuit challenging the government's controversial Suspicious Activity Reporting program.

Good morning. My name is James Prigoff. I am 86 years old and a retired senior corporate executive, having been president of a Levi Strauss division and previously the senior vice president of the Sara Lee Corporation in Chicago. I am also a professional photographer – in fact, I have been a photographer for most of my life. My specialty is photographing murals, graffiti art, and other community public art. I am the co-author of three books utilizing my photographs, one of which, Spraycan Art, has sold over 200,000 copies. My photographs appear in countless other publications and my photography has been exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington and in many other galleries. I have lectured on photography and public art in museums, universities, and venues worldwide.
I have never had an experience like I had when attempting to photograph the "Rainbow Swash" outside Boston in 2004. Let me explain.
The Rainbow Swash is an iconic piece of public art near Boston painted on the circumference of a 140-foot high liquefied natural gas storage tank in 1971 and repainted in 1992 at an adjacent site. It is actually one of the largest copyrighted pieces of art in the world. The original artist was Korita Kent.
I went to Dorchester, Mass., to photograph it, but before I could take a picture, I was confronted by two security guards who came through their gate and told me I could not because the tank was on private property. I pointed out that I, being well outside the fenced area, was not on private property – but they insisted I leave. If one goes to Wikipedia there are number of excellent close-up shots for the entire world to see.
A few months later, I found a business card on the front door of my home in Sacramento from Agent A. Ayaz of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, asking me to call him. One of my neighbors, an elderly woman, told me that two men wearing suits had come to her door to ask her about me, her neighbor.
When I called Agent Ayaz, he asked if I had been in Boston recently. At that moment I realized that the security guards at the Rainbow Swash site must have taken down the rental car license plate number and reported me to a law enforcement agency. I never gave the guards any information about myself, so I must have been traced across country via my rental car record.
So, consider this: A professional photographer taking a photo of a well-known Boston landmark is now considered to be engaged in suspicious terrorist activity?
I lived through the McCarthy era, so I know how false accusations, surveillance, and keeping files on innocent people can destroy their careers and lives. I am deeply troubled that the SAR program may be recreating that same climate of false accusation and fear today.
Photography is an important part of my life, and I plan to keep photographing public art and public places that contain WPA murals and other architectural sites – as I have been doing for 69 years. Why have my artistic pursuits landed me in a national database potentially linking me to "terrorist" activities? There is no reason for it. This program must be stopped.


Justice for Andy Lopez Cruz! (d. 2013-10-22; Santa Rosa) [link]

Justice for Andy Lopez – Jailhouse 4 Gelhaus!
Justice Protestors to March Behind Lopez Coffin through Downtown Santa Rosa Streets To Federal Bldg. to Demand DOJ Investigation, Families of 5 Victims of Police Related Deaths to speak – Half Moon Bay, Santa Rosa, Dublin, San Francisco.
Rally Saturday 1 p.m. Old Courthouse Sq. downtown Santa Rosa.
Justice protestors in Santa Rosa will again take to the streets tomorrow in mass numbers to protest DA Ravitch’s whitewash and full exoneration of Deputy Gelhaus - who shot and killed 13-year old Andy Lopez on October 22, 2013 asAndy walked on a public thoroughfare with a toy airsoft gun. Within 10 seconds of pulling up on Andy, 7 of Deputy Gelhaus’ bullets riddled Andy’s body snatching his young life.
Residents of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County are furious and deeply outraged at the continuing pattern and practice of police misconduct that is blessed and green lighted by the district attorney’s office. In 2000 the Department of Justice Commission on Civil Rights issued an official report blasting the Sonoma County Sheriffs Department and the Santa Rosa police for a pattern of excessive force and prolonged misconduct, including an inordinate number of civilian deaths.
Sine that 2000 Report – 64 more Sonoma County residents have died in police-related incidents. “This is an evil epidemic that continues unabated and a never ending threat to live at the hands of  law enforcement and the district attorney’s office. Since the murder of Andy on Oct. 22nd, we’ve experienced 5 additional deaths in police related incidents – almost 1 per month! Jill Ravitch’s whitewash of Gelhaus’ responsibility for killing Andy flashed a green light for law enforcement that she has their back. All a cop has to say to justify a killing is that he or she was afraid for their lives no matter how young the victims. That’s bullshit and condones murder of innocent civilians.”
The rally at Old Courthouse Square will include speakers who are surviving family members of other area victims of police violence, such as the shooting of Alejandro Nieto in San Francisco, Oscar Grant’s family from Oakland, Oscar Herrera the father of Oscar Herrera gunned down in the families home on May 5th when his mother was shot as well, family members of murdered 18-year old Yanira Serrano killed June 3d in Half Moon Bay and family members of DeVillena Estella Allan - a US Marine killed by Palm Springs police.
Following the rally, Justice protestors will take their anger into the streets of downtown Santa Rosa to let all the wine-county tourists and downtown shoppers know that Sonoma County streets are no longer safe for civilians. The marchwill wind its way behind a coffin symbolizing the 64 Sonoma County deaths since 2000. At the Federal Building at 777 Sonoma Ave. Protesters plan to leave behind the image of the 64 Sonoma County residents who have died since 2000. Look down to see their images on Saturday. Their deaths will not be forgotten.

Sonoma County D.A. Report Appendix E

Appendix E (of A through E) from the Sonoma County D.A. Report on Andy Lopez Shooting.
Links to all sections of the complete report at [link].