National Guard Troops Refuse Trump’s Race War
(June 4, 2020) — Courage to Resist is currently assisting members of the National Guard who resisted Trump’s orders to violently attack people on the streets of Washington DC peacefully and lawfully protesting racial injustice.
Now that Trump is threatening to use the 1807 Insurrection Act to send active-duty troops in cities across the US, it’s time for every member of the military to search their conscience. We want to make sure we’re there to support the brave men and women who continue to refuse these illegal orders.
One Guardsmen who is resisting Trump’s orders originally hoped to join medical missions assisting in natural disasters. Addressing the current situation he says, “I can’t do it. Even looking at my uniform is making me feel sick that I’m associated with this, especially after [the National Guard unit] shot that man who owned that barbecue shop [in Louisville, Kentucky]. I live in Pennsylvania. I live with the history of Kent State. I’m not being a part of that.”
Another shared, “I feel that I cannot be complicit in any way when I’ve seen so many examples of soldiers and police acting in bad faith … No aspect of my training has touched on this subject … We have not had any training or conversation relating to de-escalation tactics.”
“Using the military to put down protests and supplement the botched efforts of the police to control these protests, particularly through unlawful uses of force, will only further inflame the protests,” shared a National Guard noncommissioned officer with the Military Times.
OUR MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD AND US MILITARY FORCES:
Tens of thousands of National Guard members have already been mobilized in at least 29 states.
If you know you didn’t join the National Guard to attack Americans who are using their freedom of speech and right to assemble to protest systemic racism and police violence, then now is your time to resist and stand with the people. For some troops, that means publicly raising your voice. For others, it’ll mean not showing up to beat down and shoot protesters. There are many paths of nonviolent resistance.
Commander in Chief President Trump is failing to uphold the US Constitution by embracing white supremacists and legacy of the Confederacy. Most recently, he’s even called for anti-facism — the defining motivation for the war against Nazi Germany — to be outlawed. This week he ordered the violent assault on peaceful protesters in front of the White House for a photo op. But, we want you to know that you don’t need to be complicit in next week’s brutality.
Since 2005, Courage to Resist has worked closely with members of the military who have refused to fight in unjust wars of empire abroad. Along with our allies, including Veterans For Peace, About Face: Veterans Against the War (formerly IVAW), the GI Rights Hotline, and others, we’ve successfully defended hundreds of objectors, including Army Lt. Ehren Watada and PFC Chelsea Manning.
Now, we’re providing legal assistance and logistical aid to military members (including officers and enlisted members) who are refusing to fight people living in the United States engaged in First Amendment activities. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about how we can help your situation.
Members of the National Guard: To learn about your options for resisting orders to attack protesters on US soil, contact Courage to Resist!
OUR MESSAGE TO THOSE THAT SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT
Be prepared to support public objectors in the days to come, and help us fund legal defense efforts and expenses today. For resisters who choose to resist publicly, we will help them tell their stories as a powerful statement to others, and advocate for their defense as best we can.
Others may resist in quieter yet still effective ways, and for those we will provide confidential counseling and connections with resources. Please contribute today so that we will be prepared to help all who resist the current illegal orders, as well as all of our nation’s imperial wars and interventions.
Donate today to the National Guard and Military Objectors Defense Fund hosted by Courage to Resist
As Trump Threatens to Send Military Into Cities, Some GIs Refuse to Comply
(June 3, 2020) — Some National Guard and active-duty GIs are refusing to deploy to US cities rising up against police-perpetrated killings, saying no to complicity in the repression of the American populace and that they have not been properly trained in riot response or de-escalation tactics on domestic soil.
Veterans and GI rights organizations told Truthout that dozens of GIs are reaching out to assess their options as President Trump orders military and federal police onto the streets of Washington, D.C., and threatens to use the 1807 Insurrection Act to send active-duty military into cities across the US if governors cannot repress dissent in their states.
The National Guard has already mobilized 20,000 members in at least 29 states, and some governors, including Minnesota’s Tim Walz, have already declined Trump’s offer to send in military police. Trump has the authority, however, to deploy the military to states under the Insurrection Act, which would represent a dramatic escalation of Trump’s executive authority and likely spark pushback from state and local officials.
“I cannot be complicit in any way when I’ve seen so many examples of soldiers and police acting in bad faith.”
While the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibits the domestic use of military for law enforcement purposes without specific congressional authorization, the Insurrection Act gives the president authorization to do so under certain circumstances, according to legal experts. The Insurrection Act has been invoked dozens of times in the country’s history, most recently during the 1992 uprising over the Los Angeles police officers’ beating of Rodney King.
But it’s not the legality of the president’s and governors’ deployment orders that is weighing on Guardspersons and active-duty soldiers; it’s the potential moral injury of brutalizing their own communities.
“I can’t do it. Even looking at my uniform is making me feel sick that I’m associated with this.”
One activated National Guard member who is currently in the process of refusing orders told Truthout that the events of the last few days have shattered his belief that there can be such a thing as a justified use of force. “Most of all, I feel that I cannot be complicit in any way when I’ve seen so many examples of soldiers and police acting in bad faith,” he said via an encrypted text message.
The Guardsman, who is consulting a lawyer, spoke to Truthout on the condition of anonymity to protect against further retaliation for his defection and for speaking to the press. He is relatively new to his unit, having recently graduated training, and says he enlisted in part due to his financial situation.
His unit, he says, has not received any relevant riot response or de-escalation training amid the rapid pace of the unit’s deployment operations. “I learned basic soldiering and rifle skills in Basic Combat Training, and my trainee Military Occupational Specialty is not related to policing or riot response in any way,” he said. “No aspect of my training has touched on this subject. I am told that my unit has conducted riot response periodically in the past. We have not had any training or conversation relating to de-escalation tactics.”
Another Guardsman, a medic in an infantry line company in Pennsylvania who has not yet received orders to deploy, says he plans on refusing if it comes to that and is also currently consulting a lawyer regarding his options.
“I can’t do it. Even looking at my uniform is making me feel sick that I’m associated with this, especially after [the National Guard unit] shot that man who owned that barbecue shop [in Louisville, Kentucky],” he said. “I live in Pennsylvania. I live with the history of Kent State. I’m not being a part of that.”
Read the complete story online at TruthOut.
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