Minnesota National Guard: Stand Down For Black Lives

| Resist!

Above photo: Five dozen African American troops staged a sit-in at the intersection of 65th Street and Central Avenue at Fort Hood. They were protesting the deployment to Chicago for riot-control duty at the Democratic National Convention, which was planned for the following morning. From left, Pfc. Ernest Bess, Atty. Michael Kennedy, Pfc. Guy Smith, Sp/4 Albert Henry, Pvt. Ernest Frederick, Sgt. Robert Rucker, Sp/4 Tollie Royal. October 1968 at Fort Hood, Texas. Source: Ellen Catalinotto.

An Open Letter from Veterans to Recently Activated Minnesota Troops.

Attention Members of the Minnesota National Guard,

We write you as fellow veterans and service members with full knowledge of what’s at stake as many of you are being asked to mobilize against civilians in your own country. As your neighbors fill the streets demanding the justice this country promised them, your command is undoubtedly telling you that you’re being activated in service to your community. And yet, it is your community members who fill the streets, while your Commander in Chief tweets about using you to murder people over something as insignificant as property damage.

A moral choice lies before you. As veterans who have faced similar tests of conscience, only to realize too late that we chose wrong, we cannot stress enough the impact this decision will have on the rest of your life. We all took an oath to defend the country from enemies foreign and domestic. Are Black Minnesotans the enemy of this country? Today you have to decide whether you are loyal to the values you swore to uphold or to the commanders who would order you to turn on your neighbors for demanding justice. You cannot be loyal to both.

We know that it is your intention to be of service and prevent more harm, but we urge you to remember the deadly legacy of the National Guard enacting violence against protesters- Watts in 1965, Kent State in 1970, Los Angeles in 1992, and many other examples in recent history.

The military is designed to be lethal, not to de-escalate.

We urge you to have the courage to do the right thing. Refuse activation orders. No amount of property is worth a single human life. Are you really prepared to carry out the violence President Trump threatened against fellow Minnesotans? We ask that you stand up for Black lives by standing down. We know the consequences you may face for disobeying orders. Many of us have faced them ourselves. And many of us live with the consequences of following orders we shouldn’t have, and can tell you that the cost of moral injury is far greater.

There is a long legacy of troops choosing what’s right over what’s ordered. You are not alone in your convictions. To discuss your rights and the options available to you, contact the GI Rights Hotline at 1–877–447–4487. You can also connect with veterans ready to support you as peers and stand with you in your decision by emailing support@aboutfaceveterans.com.

Very respectfully,

About Face: Veterans Against the War and the undersigned

Veterans click here to add your name to this letter

  • tttbnr

    Good luck. The subjects who volunteer to serve in the National Guard will respond to machinic stimulus to oppress anyone their commanders identify as enemies. No morals, ethics, rationalizations will be able to penetrate these automatic responses to authority.

  • Seems that way but is not how revolutions go, they are rather unpredictable at first start when alliances are still forming. If you read how this coming revolution goes in Greer’s 2015 book about it: “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”, you’ll read how various alliances were not as expected, or as you write. In fact, since fed agencies are ordered to kill their neighbors / family / friends by Washington in domestic violence against fellow Americans, that is incentive enough to bail on the fed and go local defense of your bloodlines at home. Members of ICE / HS / FBI / FEMA etc. all are liable to leave their commands and go rogue by supporting We the People, at least those with courage will do just that.

  • didactic1

    The people looting are junior capitalists. They are not in streets to demand quality public services. No one born after 1980 gives a damn about your irrelevant history lesson. If the Guard were used to suppress political protest, that is worth talking about. Looting drugs from Target Pharmacy to set up mini Pharma is another. Guard members might consider training armed peoples militias however, not for looting, but to liquidate gangs and replace the cops for patrol work. Gun control is great for bourgeois professionals.

  • didactic1

    When your area floods, call Antifa.

  • tttbnr

    I have seen interviews with Ohio State National Guardsmen who participated in the killings at Kent St. They were not ready to join the anti-war effort. Americans have been killing Afghans and Iraqis for almost 20 years. The soldiers who performed this killing are not yet ready to overcome their subjectivization to American ethnic nationalism.

  • tttbnr

    Call Antifa to free Auschwitz and the Bastille. National Guardsman would obediently fill America’s gulags with the people protesting the Nazi kneel on their brothers.

  • didactic1

    Aushwitz? Treblinka? Belzec? Antifa would be made to ride each other to exhaustion, tossed naked into barrels and set on fire. And that’s what the Ukrainian guards would have done to them…As for the SS, why dont you guess you POS.

  • tttbnr

    I won’t call ethnic nationalists like yourself if flooding of fascists occurs.

  • deanosor

    Thank you for saying what needs to be said. Resist immoral orders.

  • deanosor

    Mutual aid groups worked better than the government during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

  • deanosor

    I watched videos and even live–streaming of the events in Minneapolis, and a lot of your alleged “junior capitalists” were interviewed. They seemed filled with righteous anger against a killing system, and yes that system includes the Target store, etc. where goods were liberated. How dare you divide people up by age. If anything i would say today’s are better that we were, if you even were an activist in the 60’s.
    You were probably a Nixon supporting asshole back then. Fuck the police and fuck your racist vigilante schemes.

  • didactic1

    Angry jr capialists. Send them to N Minnesta in Boundary Waters Park.

  • didactic1

    I dare. 💀

  • floyd gardner

    Keep Hope Alive, a Veteran for Peace