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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First Opposes Deploying U.S. Military in American Communities
June 01, 2020

Human Rights First Opposes Deploying U.S. Military in American Communities

WASHINGTON - When the President of the United States says, “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve” a domestic issue, it threatens to cross a bright line that has helped define America as a democracy for more than 200 years.  

When today, President Donald Trump told governors, “You have to dominate.  If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time - they’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks,” he was speaking the language of autocracy, not like the leader of a pluralistic and federal democracy.  

These statements not only inflame tensions in an already fragile situation, but they are also dangerous and suggest a frightening turn toward despotism.  

“The American military is the most powerful fighting force the world has ever seen, but it must not be used as a tool for social control in American communities,” said Michael Breen, President and CEO of Human Rights First and a former Army officer who led soldiers in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The states have adequate first responders and emergency service providers, including the National Guard, to manage the issues at hand.”    

As a human rights organization that has challenged governments in other countries that have called on their militaries to intimidate and suppress their citizens, Human Rights First steadfastly opposes the decision by President Trump to deploy the American military here in the United States.