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Concord committee discussing military research partnership

Thursday, January 17, 2019
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Rogue One
Location Details:
Concord Senior Center
2727 Parkside Circle

Concord's campus visioning committee is contemplating military industrial partnerships for research and development labs. The public has the ability to speak at the next meeting against such a proposal.

January 17, 2019, 6:00PM – 9:00 PM
Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle (Concord)

The city of Concord has a committee to plan out a university that will be built near North Concord BART. The committee's mission statement has 3 goals:
1) Review, evaluate and discuss information and concepts for developing a higher education campus at the former Naval Weapons Station.
2) Assess the feasibility of a range of campus development options, opportunities and strategies. 3)Develop recommendations for the future campus district for consideration by the Concord City Council.

The committee is set to meet for 8 sessions, of which 3 have already taken place. During this time, they are to explore possible fields of study and research the future campus will be home to. In the third meeting, they set a priority list titled 'Focus on Innovative Fields and Growth Industries'. This 'Focus' list includes cyber-security and drone technology. The list also includes considering government partners such as Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), and
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), and "other federal partners within the military industrial complex".

When the campus concept was first announced, and later when the committee was first formed, nobody in the public was told that the committee would have the authority to consider partnering with military interests. People were led to envision a normal, small, quiet college campus. People were led to envision students taking basic college science, learning a new language, reading poetry in the library... typical mundane college stuff. After the committee was formed, they took it upon themselves to steer conversations towards military industrial research and partnerships with corporations and government agencies.

The committee is looking into entering a cybersecurity program joining the work of the program at CSUB. The program at Cal State University of Bakersfield is sponsored by military contractors Raytheon and Booz-Allen-Hamilton. Edward Snowden was a BAH whistle-blower, who revealed how BAH was spying on American citizens via a surveillance apparatus called PRISM, violating privacy rights. Prior to the Snowden leaks, Anonymous (AntiSec) and Barrrett Brown revealed BAH's ties to what was called Operation Metal Gear - a persona management program to manipulate social media through fake online personas used to spread disinformation and propaganda. As a field, cybersecurity is often linked to the field of cyberwar.

A drone lab in Concord could potentially have researchers developing drones not only for policing agencies, but also for warfare. The Concord campus committee wants to look into other possible development projects for the military asides from drones. Money, resources, and facilities that would be prioritized for military projects. One of the campus committee members is from the Council for a Strong America. CSA has a program called 'Mission Readiness', which promotes militarism in education.

The next campus committee meeting will be Thursday January 17th from 6PM till 9PM. These committee meeting are monthly, with the final being in May. Final recommendations will be taken to city council for discussion and eventual vote into policy. Members of the public can speak during these meetings, and share opinions on the work the committee is doing. The meetings are at the Concord senior center at 2727 Parkside Circle.
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jan 14, 2019 1:37PM
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