ECP News

Surveillance and Your Privacy- Policy Please?

An example of how facial recognition software can be used

There is a growing trend in the United States  towards using surveillance technology to cast a broad net over a community to protect public safety rather than developing methods that are more precise.  As a result, we are all subject to the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies regardless of whether or not our activities are against the law. The potential for abuse with this data is undeniable.  A rigorous ordinance can balance the tension between public safety, privacy, and civil liberties. In fact, El Cerrito’s recent process for a body camera policy provides an example of how use policies can be developed prior to implementation and with ample public input. 

We believe El Cerrito should implement a surveillance technology ordinance before obtaining these technologies so that privacy concerns and potential degradation of our civil liberties can be addressed from day one. Right now we know ICE is actively using these technologies to pursue undocumented immigrants. However, the facial recognition technology they are using is against drivers licenses which means most of our information is exposed to this. (1) San Francisco has just passed a ban on all facial recognition technology and other cities are following. (2)

There are many current types of surveillance technologies such as license plate readers, cameras, drones, cell site simulators, and new technologies are being developed every day. Many community members want to develop a policy that allows for public input before any such technologies are adapted by the city. Such a process was used for the body cameras the police wear and it was a great example of a balance between civil liberties and needs of the police. What do you think?

We would like an El Cerrito Ordinance on the use of surveillance technology that includes the following:

  1. Each new surveillance technology shall have a developed policy that is approved by the City Council. This policy shall include a detailed description of what the technology is, how it will be utilized, how, when, why, and with whom data will be shared, and what the data storage policy will be. 
  1. Any surveillance technology used by law enforcement shall be held to a high standard of public accountability.  An annual report of how data is being collected and used shall be shared with the community. This report shall include what equipment was used, how it was used, and how effective it was in preventing or solving a crime. 
  1. Any surveillance data collected shall have stated requirements for how long data can be stored, and how it will be stored.  
  1. El Cerrito Police Department will develop strict guidelines for how information is shared will other law enforcement/government agencies. Information will never be shared with ICE.
  1. No contract for surveillance technology shall be entered into with any agency that shares their data with ICE (such as Vigilant). 
  1. A process shall be established to enable citizens to know if their data has been collected. 

We believe there can be a balance between the use of technology for crime protection and protection of civil liberties. Join us if you would like to see a reasonable policy that protects our privacy.

Links to Articles:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/07/07/fbi-ice-find-state-drivers-license-photos-are-gold-mine-facial-recognition-searches/?utm_term=.4df8b56d0acc

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/us/facial-recognition-ban-san-francisco.html


Action Alert: Pack the Court!

The East Bay Sanctuary Covenant are the lead plaintiff suing the Trump Administration regarding the Third County Transit Ban. There will be a hearing on their REQUEST FOR A TRO (TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER) ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, AT 9:30AM. The hearing will be at the Northern District courthouse in San Francisco, 450 Golden Gate Ave. Judge Tigar’s courtroom is on the 19th floor. They are asking supporters to show up. There are also some other action steps at the bottom of the info below. For more information https://ebsc.nationbuilder.com/?utm_campaign=ebsc_v_barr&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ebsc 

Facts about the Third Country Ban Lawsuit

According to Michael Smith, EBSC’s Director of Refugee Rights, “Trump’s policy is illegal and usurps the power of Congress to make laws. Seeking asylum is clearly protected under U.S. and international asylum law. EBSC’s asylum clients are fleeing horrific violence in their home countries. EBSC has one of the largest affirmative asylum programs in the U.S. and has successfully helped almost 4,000 people to obtain asylum.

Over 97% of EBSC’s asylum cases are approved, showing that these claims are meritorious. These are people fleeing persecution and seeking safety under the law. Contrary to what the administration is claiming, this population is not safe in Guatemala or Mexico, where they are vulnerable to their persecutors and other forms of oppression. Many of EBSC’s clients, including LGBTQ people and survivors of gender-based violence, are fleeing persecution in Mexico. Asylum seekers crossing the U.S. southern border are not only from Central America. They may be from Russia, Africa, and Asia; some have traveled through South America, the jungles of Panama and Central America, with the hopes of reaching safety. Nearly all of EBSC clients are victims of atrocious forms of persecution – 80% have been raped or sexually abused, including male and female children. Going forward, 80% of EBSC clients would be unable to apply for asylum.

The ramifications of the Trump administration’s actions will be long-reaching for people who are genuinely deserving of asylum protection. EBSC’s 37-year old asylum program reaching the most traumatized populations would be terminated. Act Now! Write your congressional representatives! Join EBSC’s social media networks. Share accurate news and articles so more people are informed of the detrimental impact of these attacks on asylum law. Support EBSC by volunteering or donating – your support matters!

Cookies Not Cages Launches this Weekend!

El Cerrito Progressives is working to help support East Bay Sanctuary Covenant to raise money for their work with unaccompanied minors. * Since 2014, EBSC has provided legal assistance to more than 600 unaccompanied children fleeing gang violence, human trafficking, and domestic abuse in their home countries. 

With EBSC help, these youth are often able to obtain asylum, reunify with their family members, and finally, feel safe. 

In 2018, more than 50,000 unaccompanied children were stopped at the border; in January 2019, apprehensions of minors traveling alone had increased by 40%.

 There are currently not enough lawyers to meet the needs of the growing numbers of unaccompanied children seeking legal services.  We are helping raise money so that EBSC can hire additional staff to assist with the legal cases of these minors. 

El Cerrito Progressives has a goal of raising at least $10,000 for EBSC through this gofundme and our community bakes sales Cookies Not Cages. 

We have all seen the pictures of these poor children being detained. Help us support them in being reunited with their families and obtaining sanctuary in the United States. 

Bake Sales are occurring this Saturday the 20th at EC Plaza near the Traders Joes and this Sunday at the Kensington Farmers Market. Sales will be active from 10-2pm. We have already raised over $2500 towards our 10k goal and this weekend we have a generous match of $500 for each sale!  We hope to see lots of our neighbors there. Enjoy delicious baked goods made by your neighbors and we usually have some vegan and gluten-free treats too!

If you want to donate and can’t attend the bake sales you can do so here https://www.gofundme.com/f/cookies-not-cages

*Unaccompanied minors are children under the age of 18 who come to the border without a parent. If they come with a grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle or other relative they are considered to be unaccompanied, separated from their relatives and placed in detention.

STOP COAL IN THE EAST BAY

Come support Richmond residents suffering from health problems aggravated by coal and petroleum coke dust! On Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 pm, No Coal in Richmond will hold a rally and press conference on City Hall steps at 5:30 pm before the 6:30 pm Richmond Planning Commission meeting.

WHAT: No Coal in Richmond rally & Richmond Planning Commission hearing
WHEN: Thursday, July 18: rally & press conference 5:30, Planning Commission 6:30
WHERE: Richmond City Hall steps, 450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond CA 94804

The Planning Commission meeting will consider the Richmond Coal Ordinance, which prohibits new coal operations on private land in the city, prevents existing facilities from expanding, and provides for a graduated phase-out of coal operations. It relies on the city’s police powers to regulate businesses in the interest of residents’ health and safety.

No Coal in Richmond is urging the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the ordinance with a phase-out period of three years. A three-year phase-out will safeguard terminal workers’ jobs and allow the terminal enough time to convert their operations to safer bulk commodities. The commission’s recommendation will go before the City Council in September.

If you are a Richmond resident and want to speak at the hearing, please contact action@sunflower-alliance.org and put “Planning Commission testimony” in the subject line. This is your chance to voice your experience, or that of family members, of suffering health problems such as asthma and COPD.

No Coal in Richmond has collected 1,600 signatures on a letter to the City Council urging them to act to end coal and petroleum coke handling and storage at the Levin-
Richmond Terminal. We already suffer from the areas’s highest levels of asthma and other health problems caused by bad air quality.

To read the ordinance and learn more about the health effects of coal and petroleum coke dust, please visit the No Coal in Richmond website: https://ncir.weebly.com/

Original Post: https://nocoalinoakland.info/event/rally-to-get-coal-out-of-richmond/

Film: FROM PARIS TO PITTSBURGH 9/21/2019

Despite the federal government’s inaction and attempts to deny the effects of its policies on the environment and society, people across the United State are taking action to combat climate change. Join us to watch this National Geographic film about inspired and inspiring people working to make a difference and talk with fellow human beings about ways we can make a difference locally.

Saturday, September 21 @ 7PM

Berkeley Zion Presbyterian Church, 545 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito

Free

Seats are limited–Reserve yours now https://www.eventbrite.com/e/film-from-paris-to-pittsburgh-tickets-65316386069

ICE Raids have Started in California

July 12, 2019 – Daily Mail

  • ICE raids are planned to start Sunday with 2,000 people expected to be arrested
  • Some Bay Area attorneys claim raids began in Contra Costa County last Sunday
  • Yesterday they demanded information from ICE federal offices in San Francisco 
  • Nancy Pelosi said agents must have a judicial warrant to enter immigrants home

ICE Raids – Know Your Rights

ACLU of Northern California – Updated: January, 2018

ICE raids in California 7-12-2019A

“What to do if ICE confronts you

  • Do NOT open your door. ICE can’t come into your home unless they have a signed search warrant or you let them in. If officers are at your door, ask them to pass the warrant under the door before you open it. An arrest warrant (or an administrative warrant of removal) is not enough to come inside you home. If ICE officers want to enter your home, they must have a valid judicial search warrant that says the officers have a right to enter or search that particular address or areas specified. If the agents don’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter.
  • Check out the warrant. Look at the top and at the signature line to see if it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. Only a court/judge warrant grants ICE permission to enter your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee does not.
  • Do NOT resist if ICE agents force their way in. Say “I do not consent to your entry,” but do not physically resist.
  • Tell them you want to speak to a lawyer. ICE can use anything you say against you in your immigration case, so claim your right to remain silent! Say, “I want to speak to a lawyer and choose to remain silent.”
  • Do NOT sign. Be careful what you sign. ICE might ask you to sign forms agreeing to be deported without first seeing a judge.
  • Afraid to go back? If you get arrested and there is a final order for your deportation, be sure to let agents know if you have a fear of returning to your home country.
  • Find an attorney. If you get detained, don’t give up hope! Get a trustworthy lawyer and explore all options to fight deportation.
  • Report raids or checkpoints. (see Rapid Response numbers)
  • Document. If it’s possible, take photos, videos, and notes on exactly what happened. Write down badge numbers. Note if ICE interferes with your right to take photos or video.

Northern California Local Rapid Response Hotlines

The following are hotline numbers for local rapid response networks. These numbers are meant for EMERGENCIES ONLY to report ICE activity and enforcement actions.

Alameda County (510) 241-4011
Central Valley (559) 206-0151
Stand Together Contra Costa (925) 900-5151
Humboldt County (707) 282-5226
Marin County (415) 991-4545
Monterey County (831) 643-5225
North Bay: Solano, Sonoma & Napa Counties (707) 800-4544
Sacramento & Yolo Counties (916) 245-6773
San Francisco City (415) 200-1548
Santa Clara County (408) 290-1144
Santa Cruz County (831) 239-4289
San Mateo County (203) 666-4472
Services, Immigration Rights and Education Network (SIREN) Rapid Response Text Platform
Community members: (201) 468-6088
Allies: (918) 609-4480

Find A Person in Detention

  • To find someone who has been detained, access ICE’s online detainee locator at https://locator.ice.gov or call the Northern California field office at (415) 844-5512.

Be Prepared

Make sure your family knows:

  • Your A number so they can find you if you get arrested;
  • The phone number of a trusted resource for immigration legal advice; and
  • Which friends and relatives can help with family obligations.”

Further information: KIND – Kids In Need Of Defense