Connecticut Black and brown activists groups bearing arms for self-defense

Connecticut Black and brown activists groups bearing arms for self-defense

Activist groups protesting racism in Connecticut often use armed security to protect themselves against potential danger. Courant file photo Second Amendment supporters often are concerned with citizens being able to protect themselves against home invasions or government overreach, but a number of Connecticut groups are defending themselves against a different threat: racism. Racial-justice activism has been on the rise in the last few weeks, set off by a white nationalist group’s efforts to recruit members in Connecticut. Organizations that demonstrate to protect the rights of Black and brown people say that facing off against potential hate crimes is perilous on an unlevel playing field. If counter-protesters come armed, they want to come armed, too. “Being armed has allowed us to secure our safety as a unit. There are groups that … go against what we stand for. … That can be a very dangerous situation especially with our experience of being attacked at certain rallies and events,” said Aleena Durant, a member of and trainer at Self Defense Brigade. “Being armed brings us safety in case of an emergency. We arrive armed not to pose a threat or make anyone afraid or anything like that. It’s more for our safety as a unit.” Durant and other activists of color would not say that they would carry a firearm at any particular place or time, out of concern that they will be targeted by police or counter-protesters. However, organizational leaders are unanimous in their support for armed self-defense, when the […]

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