United States of America

The families of victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting have been in court, trying to hold the gun company Remington accountable for the impact of the way their weapons are marketed.

On the morning of the 14th December 2012, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook elementary school with his mother’s Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two pistols, and opened fire. He killed 20 children and and six adult staff members, before killing himself.

The central element of the project is one of reclamation: a restored and refitted Casspir vehicle, its surfaces covered in elaborate, brightly-coloured panels of glass beadwork arrayed in traditional patterns and completed by artisans from Zimbabwe and the Mpumalanga province of South Africa including women of the Ndebele tribe, known for their craftmanship.

In 1967, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Inspector Daryl Gates came up with the concept of SWAT based on his experience policing Black uprisings such as the Watts Riots. The War on Drugs saw higher rates of lethal force as the government transferred military equipment to police departments—a transfer that was motivated out of the government’s fear of Black liberation and antiwar movements.

Our campaign of the month is "Deadly Exchange", a project of Jewish Voices for Peace . Deadly Exchange seeks to end exchange programs between police forces in the USA and Israel.

In May 2017, US vendors of weapons made by German company Heckler and Koch received a letter purporting to be from Martin Obermann, the company's head of Transatlantic Sales, informing them of a mass recall of the weapons. The letter read,

YaliniDream

A longer version of this article was first published on TruthOut.org - thanks to Sarah Robinson for abridging

Multiple letters from Mount Olive Correctional Complex (MOCC) in West Virginia, report at least 5-7 imprisoned people are sprayed by tear gas, pepper spray or other chemical agents each week.  First-hand testimonies refer to the guards' lax references to the frequent use of these chemicals as "bug spray."

One person reports getting sprayed after kicking a door and breaking a window because guards ignored his emergency call button. He had not received his diabetic snack bag, which he had been requesting for four hours. In a letter he writes to the War Resisters League he describes that, "I have severe hypoglycemia at nighttime which can result in my death… they opened the beanhole and used a canister of OC [oleoresin capsicum gas] spray on my stomach and testicles intentionally!" OC spray, commonly referred to as pepper spray, is derived from capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers. According to his letter, the spray dispersed to the top tier of the ventilation system impacting at least seven others imprisoned in the MOCC.

Paul Magno

In July of 2012 three disarmament activists in the United States - Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice and Michael Walli - engaged in a nonviolent direct action they dubbed "Transform Now Plowshares" at Oak Ridge, TN's Y12 National Security Complex. Oak Ridge is a site dating back to the beginning of the Manhattan project during World War II and remains an essential link in the nuclear weapons production capability of the US. The three were able to traverse the terrain of the Federal reservation during the night, overcome four security fences, and confront the Highly Enriched Uranium Maintenance Facility (HEUMF) - a repository for 400 metric tons of bomb-grade uranium, enough for 10,000 nuclear weapons. Once there they marked the area with crime scene tape, unfurled peace banners and marked the walls of the building with human blood and spray-painted biblical peace messages.

Textron is an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies industrial conglomerate. Textron includes several companies including Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, and Beechcraft, Textron Systems, and has offices across the USA and in the United Kingdom.

A WRI affiliate in the United States of America – War Resisters League – stand 'with all migrants in the U.S., especially the many facing renewed threats of mass deportation under the new Trump administration.' WRL are working to challenge police militarisation and racism, and their campaign #NoSWATzone upholds a vision of “Sanctuary Cities” and sanctuary spaces that provide refuge from the federal raids that Trump promises to bring.

Read their statement and recommended reading and resources here.

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