For Immediate Release
Veterans For Peace Demands Justice for Michael Brown, Jr.
Will Participate in Saturday Rallies in St. Louis and Around the U.S.
ST. LOUIS, Missouri - Veterans For Peace has joined with a coalition of St. Louis community organizations calling for nationwide solidarity actions in support of Justice for Mike Brown and the end of police and extrajudicial killings everywhere. The national office of Veterans For Peace, located in St. Louis, has issued the following statement:
“Veterans For Peace offers its deep condolences to the family of Michael Brown Jr. and stands in solidarity with the family, the people of Ferguson and the Greater Saint Louis Region. We call for a complete, swift and transparent investigation. And we demand justice for Michael Brown Jr. and his family.
Veterans For Peace deplores all forms of violence. We call on the people of the region to continue to channel their anger towards building power, solidarity and creating change nonviolently. However, as we ask people to redirect their energies towards positive change, we reserve special outrage for state violence. We applaud the decision to give control of security operations to the MO State Highway Patrol in an effort to de-escalate police violence in Ferguson. It appears this change is working and we call on the responsible authorities to recognize that de-escalation is an ongoing process.
We are military veterans who once served the state as agents of violence, given the tools and authority to take the lives of the “enemy” and excused for taking the lives of innocent people in the name and interests of the state. We are able to recognize abuse of power and use of excessive force.
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What is happening in Ferguson, MO today is the outcome of a national mindset that violence will solve any problem. Thirteen years of war has militarized our whole society. We see equipment designed for the battlefield used in our nation’s streets against our citizens. We see police in uniforms and using weapons indistinguishable from the military.”
Members of Veterans For Peace are arriving in St. Louis from around the country to participate in a Saturday rally, 1 pm Central time at the Canfield Apartment buildings, where Mike Brown was murdered by a Ferguson Police officer last Saturday.
“We are also asking our members around the country to gather at places in their communities where police and extrajudicial killings have occurred,” said Michael McPhearson, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace. “We will memorialize lives that have been lost and demand justice by ending systemic violence upon communities of color.”
“This entire situation is so sad and so outrageous,” said Gerry Condon, Vice President of Veterans For Peace. “The longtime racism endemic in police departments around the country has now been compounded by the militarization of the police.
“The St. Louis County Police Department confronted nonviolent protesters with Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles designed for use against insurgent forces in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Gerry Condon continued. “Are these wars now coming home to our own communities?”
To see the entire Veterans For Peace statement, go here.
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Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.