Cancel the 2016 New York Tactical Officers Association Conference
This petition had 1,928 supporters
Grassroots and community-based groups from across New York state urge you to take steps to end the militarization of our communities and the promotion of Islamophobia by cancelling the 2016 New York Tactical Officers Association Conference.
Over the past several years regular, militarized attacks on Ferguson and Baltimore’s Black communities have gained increased attention--but they are not new and they are not stopping. Police repression continues to grow across the U.S. and globally through coordinated efforts to militarize policing tactics and weapons. As our communities increasingly lack basic infrastructure, local police departments are now directly funded and trained by the Department of Homeland Security and many receive military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense. Now in its 10th year, The New York Tactical Officers Association Conference (NYTOAC) is a two day training conference taking place this April 26th to 28th with participating agencies from across NY state and the country, from Buffalo to Brooklyn, Colorado to Ohio and beyond. NYTOAC plays on a growing culture of fear and hate by featuring as its keynote speaker Ryan Mauro with Clarion Project, which defends the profiling and surveillance of Muslim-Americans, absurdly attempts to link advocacy groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with terrorist activity, and has provided the NYPD with its notoriously Islamophobic “training” film The Third Jihad which drew such outrage in 2012.
NYTOAC's weapons expo features over 150 industry vendors showcasing their latest weapons technologies and products. The international vendors for the 2016 conference range from weapons giant Northrop Grumman to teargas heavies Safariland and Combined Systems, Inc. Companies from around the world use the conference to hawk the kind of military-grade equipment that shocked much of the country when it was used in Ferguson, Missouri. While this equipment is often sold to the public as a tool for high-stakes situations such as active shooters, we know that during the 100+ SWAT deployments a day across the U.S. it is used for drug raids, to issue search warrants, and against peaceful protesters.
As part of the growing movement against militarization in cities everywhere, activists across New York state are continuing our fight by calling on decision-makers to reject NYTOAC for good! Sign the petition to join our coalition of anti-militarist and community organizations, in demanding that NYTOA end its training of SWAT teams from around the country.
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