Press Pause on Surveillance
TRC sees facial recognition technology as a form of systemic violence, attacking democracy and personal privacy in public spaces. The technology has been weaponized against our most vulnerable in a number of ways; it enables ICE to identify, track, and hunt undocumented people. People of color, trans people, women, and children are more likely to be misidentified, resulting in people being wrongfully accused and convicted of crimes they did not commit.
We’re organizing alongside local communities to get moratoriums on facial surveillance technology passed throughout the region. With an educated, organized, and engaged community, city council members will feel the urgency in passing this moratorium in their towns and cities. We know that just a little bit of public support goes a long way when creating systemic change. Over the course of a couple months, a city can rally behind a moratorium, urge city councilors to vote in favor of it, and have it passed, making our communities safer for everyone. With public pressure and support from some city councilors, we had a victory in Springfield, Northampton, and recently Easthampton, which just unanimously passed a moratorium this July!
Over the next year, our goal is to continue to engage residents in at least five more towns and cities across Western Massachusetts to advocate for a moratorium in their communities.
We have partnered with community leaders, elected officials, the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley Project for both our Safe City campaign and our “Press Pause on Facial Recognition” project. Through working with community partners, we are able to learn from more community members about how militarism influences their everyday life. Through open meetings and educational events, we are able to better cater our solutions to address the community’s concerns.