From Portside <[email protected]>
Subject Veterans Call on the Minnesota National Guard to Stand Down
Date June 2, 2020 12:05 AM
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[We are appalled to see military weapons, vehicles and equipment
once again deployed in U.S. cities to control community members who
are reacting to a long history of state-sanctioned violence. ]
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VETERANS CALL ON THE MINNESOTA NATIONAL GUARD TO STAND DOWN  
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Veterans for Peace
May 30, 2020
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_ We are appalled to see military weapons, vehicles and equipment
once again deployed in U.S. cities to control community members who
are reacting to a long history of state-sanctioned violence. _

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Veterans For Peace calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Minnesota
National Guard. We are appalled to see military weapons, vehicles and
equipment once again deployed in U.S. cities to control community
members who are reacting to a long history of state-sanctioned
violence. When an already embattled community is subjected to
militarized intimidation, by design, their environment becomes a war
zone. We call on all those who are serving with the National Guard to
refuse to serve violent and racist interests.

Veterans For Peace denounces the ongoing instances of police violence
against Black bodies and people of color, this time resulting in the
killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We also stand in
opposition to the State of Minnesota’s and the Minneapolis police
force’s militarized response to the right to protest.

Learning nothing from the now seemingly endless examples of
ineffective attempts to silence protests with militarized
violence—from Ferguson to Baltimore to New Orleans to Standing
Rock—political figures continue to call on more military to quell
the powerful resistance seen from the people in Minneapolis who demand
justice. We continue to see the escalation of threats of violence from
those in power--from Trump’s tweets threatening to shoot protestors
to the governor’s decision to send in the national guard.

As Veterans For Peace, we know that increased militarization in our
communities will never bring peace. We know that peace is only
achieved with a strong commitment to justice. As veterans who served
in various wars, we know there is a connection between increasing
racist violence in the United States and the massive indiscriminate
killing of hundreds of thousands of people in other lands. Growing
racism against black, brown and Muslim people in the United States is
a reflection of the racism that justifies killing non-white people
abroad. The U.S. military deliberately uses racism to motivate young
men and women to kill.

As veterans, we know what it’s like to be called to a “duty”
that goes against our conscience. We urge all current National Guard
members to lay down their weapons and refuse to fight against their
neighbors and fellow community members. WE URGE YOU ALL TO BE FULLY
INFORMED AS YOU MAKE PROFOUND CHOICES WITH POSSIBLY SERIOUS
CONSEQUENCES. WE URGE ANY TROOPS FACING POSSIBLE DEPLOYMENT TO
MINNEAPOLIS OR ALREADY THERE TO CONTACT THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD
MILITARY LAW TASK FORCE AT (619) 463-2369 AND/OR
[email protected] FOR REFERRAL TO A CIVILIAN ATTORNEY TO
DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS.

Our nation’s consistent option for militarization and the use of
deadly force when it is not needed—at home and abroad—is exactly
why we find ourselves in this situation. It makes no sense to think
more violence and trauma heaped upon the Minneapolis community will
quell the unrest. The Governor has moved beyond using a militarized
police force to using the military. He is relying on intimidation and
fear to end this. The only thing that will quiet this storm is
justice.

Ways to take action:

DONATE TO ORGANIZATIONS ON THE GROUND:

* Minnesota Freedom Fund
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* Black Visions Collective
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* Reclaim the Block
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SIGN THIS OPEN LETTER

* Letter to Veterans to Recently Activated Minnesota Troops
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from About Face: Veterans Against the War
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