Today, after 18 months of ferocious uphill organizing the
Labor/Community Strategy Center reached an agreement with the Los
Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles School Police
Department. They agreed:
To return all military grade weapons to the Department of Defense
“Excess Military Equipment Program” AKA the 1033 Program that is arming
police departments all over the U.S. In particular, they returned 1
Tank, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, 3 grenade
launchers (“37 mm less less-lethal launch platforms” and 61 M-16 rifles.
To withdraw completely from the 1033 Program.
To provide a complete inventory to the Strategy Center and the public
of every weapon they received under the program, when it was received,
the serial numbers, and when and where it was returned.
To apologize for the policy that brought the weapons to Los Angeles in the first place.
The Strategy Center is the first group in the U.S. that we know of to
win such demands. The LAUSD and the LASPD are the first government
agencies that we know of—a police force of 500 officers and staff— to
return all the weapons, withdraw from the program altogether, give a
complete inventory of every weapon received and returned, and to issue a
public apology to a civil rights organization and the Black and Latino
students and communities whose lives were threatened by the program. The
precedent can be explosive. We have shown that even if by one bullet
alone—let alone a tank, 3 grenade launchers, and 61 M-16s—we can reduce
the police arsenal of weapons just as they try to increase them and can
win the ideological war against the growing police state.