Veterans Tell Troops: Stand Down for Black Lives
As Trump threatens to invoke The Insurrection Act nationally and to ‘dominate’ protestors, hundreds of veterans across the country have called for military servicemembers to follow their values to defy orders and for Governors to refuse to utilize the military in their states.
WASHINGTON - Yesterday Donald Trump threatened to escalate violence on residents of this country. In a widely condemned press conference Trump said to ‘dominate’ protestors, activate US military servicemembers and deploy them to cities across the nation - quite possibly violating Posse Comitatus - a provision granted in the Constitution that bars Active Duty troops from operating in a policing role on American soil.
To allow the public to excercise their rights, over 300 veterans signed an open letter calling on military servicemembers to resist orders to mobilize to the recent protests sparked by the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd. The letter states that the military "is not designed for de-escalation, but is designed to be lethal." The veterans, who represent all branches of service residing all over the nation, reject the President's call to use the military as a response to the protests.
"It is asinine for a rich man hiding in a bunker to ask these troops, most of whom probably signed up to pay for access to college and healthcare, to take actions that will inevitably lead to more violence and haunt them for the rest of their lives." said Army veteran, Brittany DeBarros of About Face: Veterans Against the War.
The open letter has already resulted in members of the National Guard reaching out for help in resisting their orders. Resisters say they do not want to use violence against their own neighbors citing examples such as David McAtee who was killed while National Guard fired on protestors in Louisville, KY or the massacre of Kent State.
Other veterans and military connected communities are encouraged to sign onto the open letter and share it with their friends. It can be viewed here - interviews are available upon request. View quotes from those who signed on About Face social media.
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About Face: Veterans Against the War is a membership organization made up of Post 9/11 Veterans. Its mission is to mobilize the military community to organize against militarism at home and abroad. They were formerly iraq veterans against the war (IVAW)