‘All 50 States Bar Private, Unauthorized Paramilitary Activity’

‘All 50 States Bar Private, Unauthorized Paramilitary Activity’

Janine Jackson interviewed Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection’s Mary McCord about unlawful militias for the October 9, 2020, episode of CounterSpin –recorded before news was in about an alleged attempt by private paramilitaries to kidnap the governors of Michigan and Virginia. This is a lightly edited transcript. MP3 Link LA Times depiction (10/10/20) of members of the Michigan Home Guard, an unauthorized paramilitary group, demonstrating outside the Michigan statehouse. (photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP) Janine Jackson: A major worry, in an electoral season that has enough of them, is the prospect of people in military garb, and armed with lethal weapons, showing up at polling stations, marching around and, minimally, staring menacingly at people. Some of those would be part of self-declared “militias,” a term we’ve heard thrown around, but news reporting on militia intervention in the election, for example, reads a bit like that of an oncoming storm cloud: It’s not good, but what are you going to do? The thing is, there are laws, and we can have a public conversation around the fact that people in camo with guns are showing up at social justice protests and threatening people , claiming they have a constitutional right to do so. Addressing a concern starts with understanding it, and that’s what our guest does. Mary McCord is legal director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection , and a visiting law professor at Georgetown University. She joins us now by phone. Welcome to CounterSpin , Mary McCord. Mary […]

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