Brandon Stanford, who is black in America
Show guns against racism and Donald Trump : Black militia shows up in the US - what it is and what it wants
They look like soldiers. Martial, dressed all in black. Semi-automatic rifles hang around their shoulders and, in combination with the predominantly paramilitary uniform, appear threatening to intimidating.
Anyone who sees the black militia NFAC, also known as the black militia, quickly connects them with the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement. In doing so, she clearly distinguishes herself from the movement - and from the term protest itself.
The “Not Fucking Around Coalition” - meaning: “We-mean-it-serious-Coalition” - wants only one thing: Justice for Breonna Taylor. The 26-year-old black paramedic was shot dead by police on March 13 in her home.
Therefore, the NFAC marched on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The images spread rapidly on the internet.
The vigilante group demands faster investigations and more transparency from the police. "If you don't tell us, we'll think you're doing nothing," said John Fitzgerald Johnson, NFAC founder, the local Louisville Courier Journal. Fitzgerald Johnson is also known as "Grand Master Jay" and was an independent candidate for the 2016 US presidential election.
Grouping invokes its right of assembly
NFAC and "Black Lives Matter" are similar in the matter: Both movements stand up against racist police violence. While the protest movement for George Floyd does so loudly and with banners, the NFAC is out to exercise its constitutional rights and bear arms, according to Fitzgerald Johnson. The group, which consists of former military riflemen, sees itself as "purely black" - and only invokes its right of assembly.
The fact that groups are heavily armed at meetings in the USA is unusual and questionable from a European point of view - but in America it is legal. Black and white protesters also carried rifles recently at the “Black Lives Matter” protests in Richmond.
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There is therefore little criticism of the NFAC's semi-automatic weapons in the USA. Only the right-wing extremist militia “Three Percenters”, which formed against the NFAC in Louisville, actively speaks out against the black vigilante group.
The NFAC have already emphasized several times that they have nothing to do with the “New Black Panther Party”. This is part of the "Black Power Movement" and calls on black Americans to arm themselves and thus protect themselves against attacks by the police. When they first appeared publicly, members of the NFAC had been dubbed “black panthers” - in mid-May on the sidelines of protests following the racist murder of Afro-American Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia.
“We don't protest, we don't demonstrate. We don't come to sing or chant, ”Fitzgerald Johnson made clear three weeks ago.
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In early July, the militia was noticed with a march in Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta in the state of Georgia. Around 1000 heavily armed members of the militia marched through the park to the Confederate memorial in order to demand its removal on the spot, according to park officials.
The memorial depicts former Confederate President Jefferson Davies and two generals who fought to preserve slavery during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The vigilante group had agreed with the police for this march and thanked them later for it.
"Our initial goal was to have a formation from our militia in Stone Mountain to make a point," said NFAC founder Johnson. "While so many statues are being phased out in the country - why not this one?"
Black militia are peaceful - but a shot goes off anyway
On the same day, the Atlanta vigilantes accompanied the sister of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed by police officers, who wanted to take part in a protest march against police violence. The NFAC formation escorted them, but did not take part in the demonstration - and thus remained true to the line proclaimed by Fitzgerald Johnson.
So the black militias are anything but what one might expect from them on the outside. They are peaceful and not out to use their firearms.
There were other reasons for the fact that a shot from a rifle did break out in Louisville on Saturday: When the vigilante group was about to inspect their weapons, one of the participants accidentally shot three of his colleagues - who were not seriously injured, however.
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