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Denver SDS kicks off campaign to demilitarize campus police

By staff |
February 17, 2022
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Denver SDS rallies outside Tivoli Commons on Auraria Campus to demand the end
Denver SDS rallies outside Tivoli Commons on Auraria Campus to demand the end of ACPD’s participation in the Pentagon 1033 Program. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Denver, CO - On February 10, students gathered outside Tivoli Commons on Auraria Campus to demand the disarmament of Auraria Campus Police Department (ACPD) and the end to their involvement in the Pentagon 1033 Program. Denver Students for a Democratic Society began their “Defund, Disarm, Demilitarize” campaign, joining many student and community organizations around the country in the struggle against police injustice.

“The money being put into ACPD’s budget is being misused. We don’t need rifles or SWAT vehicles; we need tuition relief for students suffering from housing insecurity in a pandemic!” said SDS speaker Kyle Burroughs.

The mobilization was an effort to pressure the university administration to end ACPD's involvement in the Pentagon 1033 program. The Pentagon 1033 Program is facilitated by the Defense Logistics Agency, a combat support agency of the Department of Defense. The program has supplied military surplus to various local law enforcement agencies at an extreme discount, including those that operate on college campuses such as Auraria Campus PD. Law enforcement agencies often only pay for the maintenance and shipping of weapons and military equipment.

“ACPD’s membership in the 1033 Program is another part of the ongoing militarization of police. However, those who know the history of police as slave-catchers and union-busters should not be surprised,” said Katherine Draken of SDS.

The campus police began in the 1960s to counteract and suppress radical student movements. This practice is part and parcel with the ongoing occupying force that police represent within our communities, especially communities of color.

Denver SDS will continue organizing for the demilitarization of campus police until their goals are met by the Auraria Higher Education Committee and ACPD.

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