Tuesday, Boston facial recognition ban hearing

The police repression and violence against Black Lives Matter protesters and innocent bystanders over the last two weeks is abhorrent. The people have a fundamental right to express their outrage at and opposition to the police killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others. The right of people to express their First Amendment right to free speech is not limited by time or place.

Pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets are not the only tools police use to oppress us. Increasingly, they use surveillance cameras and facial recognition software to target people, especially people of color. This Tuesday in Boston we have a chance to put a stop to it!

On June 9th at 3pm, Boston City Council’s Committee on Government Operations will discuss a proposed ordinance to ban face surveillance in Boston and the public can comment. The hearing will be by Zoom meeting and the public may watch this meeting via live stream at boston.gov/city-council-tv. The ACLU put together a toolkit for activists that includes model testimony. There are also public education resources available at https://aclum.org/presspause.

Please join us Tuesday and help out in the following ways:

  1. Testifying during the hearing and/or submitting written testimony. Should you wish to testify via video conference, you must email christine.odonnell@boston.gov no later than the end of business Monday. Please email Matt Allen at mallen@aclum.org if you’re interested and need support. You can send your testimony to Matt as well;
  2. Signing and sharing the ACLU’s petition in support of the campaign: https://action.aclu.org/petition/ban-face-surveillance-boston;
  3. Encouraging your friends and family in Boston to testify in support of this legislation.

Written comments may be sent to the Committee or staff email (below) and will be made a part of the record and available to all Councilors.

Email:  ccc.go@boston.gov/christine.odonnell@boston.gov Attn:  Christine O’Donnell, Docket #0683 

Fax Number:  617-635-4203 Attn:  Christine O’Donnell, Docket #0683 

Mail Address:  Docket #0683, City Council, City Hall, 5th Floor, Boston MA  02201

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