Veterans and G.I. Rights Groups Condemn Use of National Guard in George Floyd Protests as Some G.I’s Refuse to Go

by on June 5, 2020 · 0 comments

in Civil Rights, Military, San Diego

The people who do G.I. hot-line counseling across the country, veterans’ groups and G.I. rights organizations are condemning the use of the National Guard in the George Floyd protests occurring nationwide. Meanwhile, some G.I.s are telling these counselors they will refuse to comply with orders directing them to go to the cities where protests are happening.

Here is the statement by the the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild:

Statement opposing use of National Guard against anti-racist protests

The Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild strongly condemns the use of National Guard and active duty troops to police anti-racist protesters.  The use of the military as a domestic police force is contrary to the United States Constitution which places the military under civilian control – not the other way around.  Military policing of civilian demonstrators who are protesting to urge their government to abolish racist police policies and tactics is a direct threat to First Amendment rights of speech and assembly,

The Task Force shares the concerns of organizations such as Veterans for Peace, Courage to Resist, and others, that National Guard members may be given illegal orders or face real conflicts with their moral, political or religious beliefs about deployment to violate the rights of protesters.

We are also concerned that Guard members are given almost no information about options available to them under military regulations to avoid or return early from deployment.  We are troubled about the lack of effective legal alternatives for Guard members dealing with possible illegal orders and believe it is essential that members of the military are fully informed about their rights and responsibilities under the law.

The Military Law Task Force urges anyone who is activated or deployed or might be facing a future deployment to call us for referral to a civilian attorney or counselor to discuss your options. Many of our member lawyers will be willing to do an initial pro-bono (free) consultation.  If additional legal defense assistance is needed, anti-war and peace organizations stand ready to help raise needed funds.

For more information and resources, please visit:

Military Law Task Force  nlgmltf.org (619-463-2369)
GI Rights Hotline    girightshotline.org (1-877-447-4487)
Courage to Resist couragetoresist.org
About Face/Veterans Against the War  aboutfaceveterans.org
Veterans for Peace  veteransforpeace.org
Center on Conscience and War  centeronconscience.org

As Trump Threatens to Send Military Into Cities, Some GIs Refuse to Comply

By Candice Bernd / Truthout / June 3, 2020

Some National Guard and active-duty GIs are refusing to deploy to U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

For the balance of this well-researched article, please go here.

 

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