Open Letter To Governor Gina Raimondo And The Rhode Island National Guard
Dear Governor Raimondo and Major General Kevin R. McBride, adjutant general and chief of staff for the governor, Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard:
It has come to our attention that proposed legislation at the request of Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island National Guard, House Bill H5878 and Senate Bill No. 762 adds the words “requirement for public safety reinforcement” to the list of circumstances where the Governor can activate the RI National Guard.
This addition to section (a) of the law would expand the Governor’s authority to ‘Order the state militia into service’. The current law was enacted in 1956 with NO amendments to this particular section since it’s inception. Therefore, if the law has been sufficient for the past 59 years – what has changed?
At this time in our history, and with what has happened to the Rights and Freedoms of all Americans since 911, and; whereas, all of Fed Up In RI’s requests to secure the original National Guard’s correspondence from the sponsor, Representative Jacquard, containing your reasons for the change of law have been denied, we ask that you supply us with your request to Rep. Jacquard explaining the intent of this amendment.
We firmly believe that House Bill H5878 and Senate Bill No. 762, if enacted, will allow the Rhode Island National Guard to be activated, without a declaration of Martial Law by the Governor, for the purpose of “reinforcement” for the civil police. Our concern about this legislation along with the addition of the broad all encompassing ‘undefined in scope and operation’ phrase “PUBLIC SAFETY” and the word “REINFORCEMENT” makes it clear that the National Guard will be militarily reinforcing Rhode Island’s civil police departments. Therefore, without a declaration of Martial Law, it seems to us that the National Guard will be doing this entirely under the “police power” of the State and not confined under the legitimate powers given to the Governor for deploying the National Guard contained in the Rhode Island Constitution (Article 1, Section 18. Subordination of military to civil authority – Martial law) and in the original enactment of law.
It should be noted here, that the Definition of: “reinforcement, support, military operation, operation – activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign); http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reenforcement
And according to the Rhode Island National Guard’s own documents, “Despite being the smallest state, Rhode Island is the only National Guard with a Special Forces unit, a Special Operations Detachment unit, and an Airborne Infantry unit in one state.”. See: http://www.riarmynationalguard.com/
Therefore, it is Fed Up In RI’s position that any notion of merging the RI National Guard with the police, under the police powers, without a declaration of “Martial Law,” by the Governor, as the current existing law and the RI Constitution provide – who could possibly by definition initiate their own PUBLIC SAFETY campaign – using one of the most powerful National Guards in the Country – is not only a scary scenario in this turbulent time, but blatantly unconstitutional under the Rhode Island Constitution.
This is unacceptable, and that is why We of Fed Up in RI are compelled at this time to remind all of you of the Oath you took to support and uphold the Constitution against all enemies – foreign and domestic. Your Oath also makes it mandatory upon all of you to refuse to deploy against fellow American Citizens, or to refuse to be used as “police augmentation” when that deployment violates the Constitution.
If this change becomes law, it is possible that we could become a society where fully dressed soldiers with assault rifles will become common place on our streets, as is the case in other parts of the world. Will these police, with National Guard “reinforcement,” be able to knock on doors and force their way in, under “wellness checks,” or, to some day confiscate guns without the Governor having declared “Martial Law,” as the Constitution requires?
Our Constitution remains the ‘supreme law of the land” and can not be legislated away, as NO legislative act contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. This slippery slope can not be re-climbed, and that is why in all good conscience we can not be silent and stand by idly without declaring our strong opposition to allowing this new pretense to subvert our constitution.
Please know that we respect and fully support the important role the Rhode Island National Guard serves, and honor the great sacrifices made every day by those in the name of the security of our state and nation. However, the military do not belong among the civilians unless there is a declared state of emergency to support the civilian population, not to act against them. We of Fed Up in RI do not want to see you placed in the position of having to make that unconscionable decision, nor should you seek it.
Therefore, out of our deep concern for all, we formally ask that you remain true in honoring your Oaths by withdrawing your ‘Request’ and support for House Bill No. 5878 and Senate Bill No. 762, forthwith.
ADDITIONAL CONTACT INFORMATION:
Office of the Governor
Governor Gina M. Raimondo
Office: (401) 222-2080
Fax: (401) 222-8096
The Sponsor of House Bill No. 5878
Cell : (401) 419 -9915
The Co-Sponsor of House Bill No. 5878
Representative Jared R. Nunes
Office: (401) 821-8693
The Sponsor of Senate Bill No. 762
Senator Maryellen Goodwin
Office: (401) 272-3102
THANK YOU ~