May 14, 2015

ACTION ALERT: Urge Congress to pass H.R. 1232!

Over the past two weeks, the world has once again seen the true face of state-sponsored violence in the U.S. The April murder of Freddie Gray - a 25-year-old black man in Baltimore, Maryland - while in police custody, has renewed resistance movements throughout the country and has yet again unmasked the historic and systematic racist police violence against Black communities. The increased militarization of local police in the US has turned communities into war zones, and civilians resisting police repression into "enemy forces".

As a grassroots movement committed to justice and accountability, we must resist the "Drug War" and other excuses to clamp down on dissent in the U.S., too. We ask that you join us in pushing back against the militarization of U.S. law enforcement. Earlier this year, Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) reintroduced a bipartisan bill to demilitarize police. HR 1232 - the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act - is one step towards resisting the further militarization of police forces - who are using the equipment to stifle fundamental freedoms, especially in traditionally marginzalized communities.

HR 1232 would end the transfer of military-grade equipment to local police, end the provision that forces police to use militarized equipment within one year, and push for transparency and accountability by requiring local police to account for all equipment they receive. This bill would also require that the Department of Defense make public information on all weapons transfers to the police through the creation and maintennance of a website.

You can take a stand by ordering a pack of Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act advocacy postcards. Educate your community about the militarization of local police forces throughout the country and the negative impact it has on civil and political rights of civilians, especially black and brown communities. HR 1232 is an advocacy tool that pushes for putting an end to using militarized solutions to social problems. Our communities do not need military-grade equipment in the hands of police forces - paid for by our tax dollars! We are not the internal enemy and police must not treat communities as such. The bipartisan Bill, which already has 45 cosponsors, is also supported by organizations like the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

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