Demands States to Dismantle Illegal Private Militias
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for president, called upon his supporters and all fair-minded Americans to protect the election from the intimidation of voters and the suppression of the mail-in ballot count that President Trump has encouraged his supporters to do with backing from white racist militias.
Hawkins demanded that the FBI and DHS increase monitoring and prosecuting violence by racist terrorist groups and that state law enforcement agencies enforce state laws against illegal private militias.
“The only way Trump can hold on to power is by suppressing the vote and stealing the election. Trump has been steadily well behind in the polls nationwide and in most of the 2016 battleground states since Biden became the Democrats’ presumptive nominee last March. Trump will be crushed by the popular vote and an Electoral College landslide if the people can vote and their vote is counted,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins urged his supporters who to become official poll watchers in order to document and object to cases of voter intimidation and the denial of voters’ right to vote due to voter roll purges, voter ID rejections, insufficient polling stations, defective voting equipment, or unreasonably long waiting lines to vote.
“The Hawkins/Walker campaign will use its legal standing in the election to protect the voting rights and the mail-in ballot count in the courts, as Green Party presidential tickets did in election integrity legal actions in Ohio in 2004 and in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2016. We want a fair election and a full count. We want Trump to go and we want the full Green vote counted as well. Whether the Green Party retains or gains ballot status going forward depends on our presidential vote in many states,” Hawkins said.
“We are prepared to mobilize people in demonstrations for a full vote count of mail-in ballots after the polls close on November 3, including a general strike if necessary,” Hawkins said. “We must defeat Trump’s authoritarian play to steal the election with racist vigilante violence and legal maneuvers before right-wing judges to suppress the counting of mail-in ballots. We have to vote and back the vote up with a mass nonviolent mobilization.” Nonviolence is one of the “four pillars” of Green politics, along with justice, ecology, and democracy.
Hawkins noted that federal data shows that white racists have been responsible for the majority and a growing proportion of domestic terrorist incidents since 1994. The number of such incidents has escalated in the last six years since Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign in 2015 with a racist rant against immigrants, Latinos, and Muslims.
Jews, Blacks, and Asians have also become victims of racist attacks encouraged by Trump’s repeated refusal to denounce right-wing racists whose ideology also vilifies Jews and Blacks. Trump has constantly scapegoated China for COVID-19, which has led to growing attacks on Asians. When asked in the first presidential debate, Trump failed again to clearly condemn white supremacist violence. Trump put Asians in the crosshairs again during the debate when he called COVID-19 the “China plague.”
Hawkins said that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security should devote more personnel and funding to monitoring and preventing violence by domestic white racist terrorists. He called on district attorneys and attorneys general to enforce laws against self-appointed private militias, which are outlawed in all 50 states.
“A progressive presidency would make countering white racist terrorism a priority. The mission would be similar to what the Union Army was supposed to do during Reconstruction to protect the civil and voting rights of Black people from attacks by the white supremacist terrorists of the Ku Klux Klan, the White League, the Knights of the White Camelia, and others,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said this federal action against white racist terrorism must extend to law enforcement agencies into which white racist movements have infiltrated and recruited members, from the Border Patrol to local police and sheriff’s departments. Pervasive police violence against peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations in recent months has been documented and condemned by human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Physicians for Human Rights.
Trump and many police and sheriff’s departments have openly welcomed militias carrying weapons and intimidating police brutality protesters and even state legislators. Armed right-wing demonstrators shut down a session of the Oregon legislature in opposition to climate legislation and a session of the Michigan legislature in opposition to COVID-19 public health measures. They held armed demonstrations at capitol buildings against COVID-19 public health measures in Michigan, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and other states.
Hawkins renewed his call for community control of the police. “As long as the police continue to police themselves, they will continue to cover up assaults and murders by police officers and to coddle racist vigilantes. We need stronger medicine than advisory review boards appointed by the same politicians who have designed and funded today’s militarized police departments. We need police commissions elected by the public, or selected by lot like juries, with the power to hire and fire police chiefs, rid departments of racists and sadists, set policies and budgets, and independently investigate and discipline officer misconduct,” Hawkins said.