On October 20 at around 1pm, the Boston City Council unanimously approved a surveillance oversight ordinance.
Boston’s ordinance is the result of four years of work, beginning in November 2017 with representatives from Digital Fourth, Families for Justice as Healing, the Muslim Justice League, Jewish Voices for Peace and the ACLU of Massachusetts, and continuing with support from the Student Immigrant Movement and Unafraid Educators. The ordinance was first proposed for consideration by Michelle Wu in 2019, received significant support from Ayanna Pressley, Ricardo Arroyo, Andrea Campbell, Kim Janey and Lydia Edwards, and then went through considerable revisions to address the important topic of information sharing on BPS students with BPD and through them to ICE.
This is a big deal. Police departments across New England look to Boston PD. It will now be the job of local surveillance activists on the ground, to discover as much as we can about how surveillance technologies are used at Boston PD, and to organize to block approvals of intrusive technologies, just as we have been doing in Somerville and Cambridge.
To join our existing campaigns for ordinances in Watertown and Arlington, or to help us launch one in Newton, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you think this is a good example of work worth doing, please consider donating to Restore The Fourth at www.restorethe4th.com/donate-now.