Tarak Kauff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans Peace Team Statement of Purpose
People of color, immigrants, and working-class communities in the United States of America have long been on the receiving end of police brutality.
The violence of the system, however, can and will target anyone who stands up for justice and opposes the exploitation of the 99 percent by the 1 percent.
The Veterans For Peace Statement of Purpose states that we pledge to work for 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 movement and others seeking a more just system. <Read full statement>
Excessive use of force by police toward those in the Occupy movement has led to arbitrary arrests, a fractured skull for one veteran and a ruptured spleen for another, near-asphyxiation and trampling of peaceful protesters and pepper-spraying of students sitting peacefully on a sidewalk obstructing nothing at all, among many abuses and injuries. This abuse of unarmed civilians exercising their constitutional First Amendment rights must cease.
As veterans and as non-veteran citizens standing in solidarity with us, 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.