Bearcat Rejected by Berkeley, Albany CA
It was in the cards that Uncle Sam would be delivering a Ballistic Engineered Armoured Response Counter Attack Truck for dual use to the communities of Berkeley and Albany, California. The respective city committees had earlier in the year approved the measure at the behest of the police. But since Berkeley Copwatch released the details in May, city officials have distanced themselves from the expensive war machine, and on July 4th, the news broke that the cities would be rejecting the Bearcat, with Berkeley mayor Tom Bates and Albany mayor Farid Javandel signing cancellation statements.
The news is a major victory against police militarization in those communities, and comes months after Keene city officials’ controversial decision to accept a free Bearcat. The UC Berkeley Bearcat was to have been purchased under the (Orwellian) Urban Area Security Initiative. The UASI is a Department of Homeland Security program that has its own creepy blog and funnels money from federal tax dollars to fund the domestic military industrial complex. Keene is certainly not the high density urban environment Berkeley is, and it is encouraging that such a metropolis was able to resist the introduction of offensive weaponry into their neighborhoods.
The news has been covered by the Daily Californian, Berkeleyside, and CBS San Francisco.