Veterans Peace Teams to
stand with Occupy Movement
People of color, including Native Americans,
African-Americans, Latinos, and working class communities in America have long
been on the receiving end of police brutality.
Now with the recent police violence directed toward the
Occupy movement, the country at large is waking up to the unpleasant reality
that the violence of the system can and will target anyone who stands up for
justice and opposes the exploitation of the 99 percent by the 1 percent.
Veterans For Peace mission statement states that we
pledge to work for peaceful conflict resolution and the elimination of war
the ultimate violence. As veterans of conscience, we are
compelled to take a stand against police violence toward the national Occupy
Veterans For Peace will establish Veterans Peace Teams to be made available as
we can, to those Occupy sites where the local general assemblies feel our
participation would be helpful. We propose that these nonviolent Veterans Peace
Teams act as a buffer between Occupy protesters and police violence and ask any
and all military/law enforcement veterans to join us in this endeavor.
As veterans, we stand with the Occupy movement as members of the 99 percent and
oppose any and all use of force by police against peaceful protesters exercising
their right to peaceably assemble to seek redress of grievances as guaranteed by
the First Amendment.
We also stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tahrir Square and
worldwide, standing up courageously, leading and often dying in the struggle for
equality and justice as they are exposed to massive state-run police and
military violence. We recognize that our common enemy is the wealthy power
elite, those who control, ravage and exploit.
This abuse of unarmed civilians exercising their constitutional First Amendment
rights must cease.
As veterans and as citizens, we implore individual officers, police agencies,
elected officials and government agencies to use restraint, negotiation and
common sense when dealing with peaceful protesters. We will continue our efforts
to convince law enforcement to avoid excessive force, brutality and injury to
all involved. We also oppose the
increased militarization of police agencies.
We seek to prevent deaths and additional injuries in domestic protests of
governmental policies. We realize that those employed in law enforcement are
part of the 99 percent, and we call upon all police personnel not to be a
domestic front line force for the 1 percent
but to honor and perform their duty to serve and
protect the people.
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