Tell Congress: no more weapons of war for local police.

Because of Ferguson, it's clear we need to stop technology from being used to silence free speech. Police have brutally attacked protesters and journalists with teargas, rubber bullets, sound cannons, concussion grenades, and military vehicles. We have to draw the line or we risk losing our basic right to dissent. Tell Congress: "Support the 'Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act' and restore free speech now!"

Fight for the Future and Center for Rights will contact you about future campaigns. Privacy Policy

This is not what democracy looks like.

Since August 9th, protests rejecting the actions of the Ferguson Police Department following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager have exploded throughout the United States. In response to the protests, state and local police in Ferguson have deployed military-grade weapons and on unarmed protesters including tear gas, automatic rifles, and sound cannons. These weapons are known to cause severe harm and longterm health effects, especially tear gas, a chemical weapon that can cause death, miscarriages, and amputations.

The corruption of the police and their attempts to suppress the press is so egregious that there is an abundance of tweets, livestreams, reports that note events such as reporter Tim Pool having his press badge ripped off by a police officer, police arresting Intercept reporter Ryan Devereaux and shooting him with rubber bullets while his hands were in the air shouting “Press! Press! Press!”, and arrests of numerous other reporters for documenting the police and the protest.

Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have come out against the militarization of law enforcement in response to these events. With the momentum turning against militarized police, Congress is soon considering a bill called the “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement” Act that could help stop weapons of war falling into the hands of local and state law enforcement.

Do the police in your town have weapons of war? Probably.

The Department of Defense is authorized by the United States Code to transfer surplus military assets to local and state law enforcement. This is the way that local and state police get their hands on weapons of war - including mine resistant tanks, sound cannons, tear gas, automatic rifles, and grenade launchers. 12,000 police organizations across the United States obtain nearly 500 million dollars worth of military merchandise every year for no charge.

That’s how police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, or Oakland, California are able to roll into their towns and essentially wage war against residents with tear gas, tanks, grenade launchers, and AR-15 automatic rifles. Having military-grade weapons escalates the way police officers interact with people. These are not the tools of democracy, they're the tools of fascism. With a bill coming to Congress next month to restrict the transfer of military grade weapons to local and state law enforcement, the window of opportunity for us to restore democracy and protect the future of free speech is now. Please sign the petition and share this page.

Thanks to a FOIA request filed by the New York Times this year, we can now look up the amount of military equipment our own local police departments have.

Find out what your cops have


Bindrim, Kira. “Tear Gas Used as Protests Erupt in Ferguson, Missouri”. Newsweek. Read More

Cook, John. "Intercept Reporter Shot With Rubber Bullets and Arrested While Covering Ferguson Protests". Intercept. " Read More

Crilly, Rob. ”Supporters rally for police officer who shot dead Michael Brown“. Telegraph. Read More

Harris, Joe ‏(joeharris_stl). “Media being told to stay within designated area. #ferguson”. Tweet. Read More

Harris, Joe ‏(joeharris_stl). “Police asking all members of the media to please separate themselves.#ferguson”. Tweet. Read More

Mastio, David and Kelsey Rupp. “Pentagon weaponry in St. Louis County: Updated Column”. USA Today. Read More

McGreal, Chris. "Second fatal St Louis area shooting stokes tensions in Ferguson". The Guardian. Read More

Obama, Barack. “Full Transcript: Obama’s remarks on Ferguson, Mo. and Iraq”. Washington Post. Read More

Paul, Rand. “Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police”. TIME. Read More

Phillip, Abby. "Police in Ferguson arrest and threaten more journalists". Washington Post Read More

Priest, Dana and William Arkin. “Monitoring America”. Washington Post. Read More

Pool, Tim (Timcast). “Earlier tonight an officer ripped my Press patch from my vest in #Ferguson”. Tweet. Read More

Wall, Brandon. ”Georgia congressman will introduce police demilitarization bill”. Chicago Sun-Times. Read More