Fusion Center Funding Victory
Our Minnesota chapter recently had a major victory, getting increased fusion center funding removed the Minnesota House Public Safety and Senate Judiciary omnibus budget bills. This blocked the Minnesota State Governor Tim Walz’s plan to appropriate more money to fusion centers in Minnesota in order to expand their operations.
Governor Walz attempted to justify this 2.27 million dollar budget increase as a way to combat “domestic terrorism” along the lines of what we saw January 6th at the Capitol. But this is a lie more than a decade old. Fusion centers are ineffective at preventing terrorism, often with terrorism reporting described as “outdated, duplicative, and uninformative” and “nothing of value.
Proponents of the increased fusion center funding claim that it would be used to combat white supremacist terrorism; but the continual focus of fusion centers across the nation is the drug war, protest surveillance, and targeting of Muslims, undocumented immigrants, and Black people. More surveillance does not make us safe, and we especially reject the notion that it will ensure the safety of our BIPOC neighbors.
Upon hearing of Governor Walz’s plan, activists in the Minnesota Restore the Fourth chapter mobilized “an email and petition campaign, testified at relevant committee hearings, hosted an event highlighting the issues with fusion centers, and began a public education campaign on social media.” This campaign was successful, and fusion center funding has been removed from local budget discussions for now.
As an organization dedicated to ending unconstitutional mass government surveillance, Restore the Fourth views fusion centers as a direct and dangerous threat to your fourth amendment rights. You can read more about the dangers of fusion centers here.