A group of African-Americans in Dallas has responded to the spate of police violence against African-Americans by forming an open-carry gun club named after former Black Panther Huey P. Newton that stages protests toting their semiautomatic weapons.
More than 30 members of the newly formed Huey P. Newton Gun Club marched through south Dallas on Wednesday carrying their rifles, shotguns and AR-15s. The group eventually stopped at a restaurant with their weapons, sitting near Dallas police officers who were inside eating lunch.
The Huey P. Newton Gun Club posted a manifesto on its website that explains the circumstances that led to the club’s formation, in addition to a list of three demands that begin with calling for an end to police brutality.
“The recent murders of unarmed black, brown, and whites across the United States of America has eradicated trust in the police,” the group says on its site. “Individuals across this nation have been stripped of due process, subjected to state-sponsored police terrorism, and continue to suffer the fate of being terminated extra-judicially.
“In Dallas the police have murdered over 70 unarmed individuals, most of them black and brown men, over the last ten years. Excluding a recent incident where police testimony was contradicted by surveillance footage, there have been no indictments since 1973.”
The group says it will conduct “armed self-defense patrols through our communities in the coming week.”
These are the group’s demands:
1. We demand the immediate end to police brutality, harassment, and murder of the people.
2. We assert the right of the people, particularly those of color, to bear arms and protect themselves where local, state, and the federal government have historically failed to do so.
3. We demand that the media, in coordination with police, cease immediately assassinating the character of victims subject to police terrorism.
In a YouTube video, the group can be seen lining up in formation with their weapons as they protest the deaths of Michael Brown, the teen shot and killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, who died July 17 as a result of a police chokehold in Staten Island, New York.