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TWAT attack on the DAC
In a bizarre and unexplainable turn of events early Wednesday morning, geysers of pink paint accompanied by hushed giggles erupted at two separate locations in Oakland. Tragically, three traffic cameras were rendered inoperational by the petrochemical gunk.
When we see the site of the new Domain Awareness Center - a public-sponsored, privately run entity that aims to integrate all surveillance footage in Oakland - we see the machinery of gentrification. Gentrification is not an accident that happens because single moms, queers, and punks rent where they can afford. It is a deliberate process engineered by business interests and city policies. DAC and the gentrification process are both based on control of public space that threatens to destroy the beautiful, vital, and often messy Oakland that we know and love. The first targets and the other squeezes out people of color, the poor, the marginalized, and the subversive.
We applaud all the organizing that has taken place against the DAC. The short and powerful speeches of Muslims, career activists, people of color, teachers, and just plain fed-up old people to city council were an inspiration to all who attended.
Unfortunately, we didn't win in any sense at the city council meeting on March 4th. Funding has been approved for the spycenter. Although there was some posturing that the center will only affect the port, once the DAC is built and funded it can be used for data from pretty much anywhere, and Quan has indicated that she will seek to add more systems to the DAC “one at a time” in the future.
Honestly, victory wasn't even theoretically on the table, as “Phase One” of the DAC has already been approved, and phase one includes the integration of city traffic cameras.
There is now no legal avenue to even pretend to fight the capture, aggregation, and analysis of our images and personal information.
Is all lost? Are the wingnuts right? Should we start saving up for some land in Idaho and build underground tunnels or else submit to the encroaching fascist state?
Well, my dears, We believe that there is still hope yet. The government of our fair city and it's police department have proven themselves to be rather inept, no matter what toys they are given by the feds.
There are only forty or so of these traffic cameras. The city of Oakland has a limited budget allocated for this project. We can nullify the DAC.
We invite you to join us on a grand adventure. Get together with one, two, or three of your closest friends. Not the ones who posture and brag. Not the ones you necessarily peg as the most “revolutionary” or the most “experienced.” Certainly not the ones who like to vomit up books and beat you over the head with them.
Those who listen, who you laugh with, the person to whom you can show up at midnight bawling and count on to make you some tea. Starting now, get together and scheme with those solid, thoughtful friends. Make crazy drunken plans. Scout out your targets. Decide your means. Do a dry run. Then, starting the 1st, we'll make the whole month of April a time of tomfoolery. We will make the DAC irrelevant.
Stay calm, be quick, and don't get caught,
Technophobic Women's Action Team