#StopCVE

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Reasons to Oppose CVE

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counter-terrorism program that profiles Muslim, Black and Brown youth as inherently suspect and prone to radicalization. Disguised as a "community-led public health" alternative to heavy handed law enforcement initiatives, CVE endangers impacted communities in the very places they turn to for safety and healing: community spaces, mental health services and schools. CVE relies on community policing to locate individuals on the "path to radicalization" using indicators that criminalize the outward expression of Muslim, Black and Brown identity, political thought and religious practice. 

Communities are organizing to resist CVE by all measures based on concerns that:

  • CVE is informed by a debunked theory without empirical evidence, which assumes there is a reliable way to identify "behavioral indicators" that can predict who may be on the path to radicalization.

  • CVE focuses on Muslim communities, and the false premise that Muslims are more prone to radicalization than other religious or ethnic groups, particularly when White supremacists commit far more acts of extremism.

  • CVE chills First Amendment protected activities (such as worship, activism, and expression of ideological beliefs) and further stigmatizes Muslim communities as inherently suspect with a dangerous intersection of mental health and law enforcement.

  • CVE is a counter-terrorism program with a national security agenda. With these strings attached, CVE threatens the safety of our communities, all the while framing itself as a program dedicated to "building community resilience" by providing social services. 

CVE: A Video Breakdown

CVE is the anti-Muslim US government program you've never heard of. Learn more here - http://www.stopcve.com/ --- This video was produced by the Nikkei Democracy Project in partnership with Vigilant Love. Director: Sean Miura Producer: Tadashi Nakamura Writers: Sahar Pirzada & traci ishigo Editors: Sean Miura & Tadashi Nakamura Camera: Akira Boch

CVE in Los Angeles: An Overview

In 2014, Los Angeles became one of the first pilot cities for CVE. Since then, LA has been a pioneer in creating an "LA CVE Framework" amongst DHS, the FBI, US Attorneys Office, LAPD, L.A. County Sheriff, Mental Health and Social Services and hand- picked Muslim community groups. Civil Rights groups were never consulted.

In 2015, the DHS Appropriations Act enabled the allocation of $10 million to expanding CVE efforts nationwide. Through this funding or separate DHS resources, the Los Angeles Mayor's Office began to launch local CVE efforts without transparency to community groups, limiting opportunities to resist.

Through such resources, Los Angeles Muslim communities are now threatened with emerging programs such as LAPD's Recognizing Extremist Network Early Warnings ("RENEW") program with the intent to identify "early warnings of potential violent behavior" that involves "law enforcement tracking" and "mental health and wrap around services".

In Jan 2017, civil rights groups began to place public and private pressure on groups who were awarded CVE funding, including the LA Mayor's office, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School. Since then, Bayan publicly declined funds, MPAC's grant was rescinded, and the Mayor's office, although it has now returned the funding, still supports the CVE theoretical framework.

CVE in Los Angeles: A Timeline

 

For an in-depth timeline of events regarding CVE in Los Angeles, visit this amazing page! 

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Our Victory Message: We Organize, We Win

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Organizing Tools Used in Los Angeles

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Community Engagement

Vigilant Love conducted a series of events to provide a space for community engagement around CVE. These events included: 

- Film Screenings

- Listening Sessions

- Creative Organizing Workshops

- Community Gatherings including the annual Bridging Communities Iftar

A Petition

MPower Change along with a coalition of organizations in Los Angeles drafted and circulated an anti-CVE petition resulting in over 1500 signatures. This petition was presented to LA City Council. 

A Lawsuit

A coalition of organizations in Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles for failing to respond to a Public Records Act Request regarding CVE. 

Organizational Sign On Letter

The Council on American Islamic Relations - Los Angeles in partnership with a coalition of organizations circulated an organizational sign on letter with a response of over 60+ orgs signing on. This letter was presented to LA City Council. 

UTLA Anti-CVE Letter

The United Teachers of Los Angeles representing 33,000 teachers in Los Angeles in coalition with Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, Palestinian Youth Movement, Black Students Union and Immigrant Youth Coalition released a letter firmly opposing CVE. 

Public Opposition

Community members flooded city hall for months whenever the Mayor's CVE Grant was on the LA City Council agenda. Speakers were organized to represent a diversity of communities, professional disciplines and organizations. 

For more information about national CVE efforts, visit http://www.stopcve.com/. To get more involved in local #StopCVE efforts in Los Angeles, email us at info@vigilantlove.org and follow us on facebook