USA: letter to 3,500 mayors and governors calls for tighter security ahead of inauguration

Pro-Trump protesters at the US Capitol building last week © Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

New measures needed to prevent white supremacist violence 

Lax gun laws and Trump’s embrace of white supremacists fuel fears 

Amnesty researchers monitoring situation at state capitols and in Washington - available for interview

In response to the events of last week and in anticipation of more gatherings by white supremacists ahead of the inauguration, Amnesty International USA has sent a letter to 3,500 US mayors and governors calling on them to protect people from armed groups and to denounce white supremacy.

Amnesty USA’s calls on mayors and governors includes requests that they:

*Publicly condemn and demand accountability for incitement to violence and the enabling and abetting of white supremacy at the highest levels of government, including by President Trump and other government officials

*Publicly condemn armed groups and individuals as a threat to public safety and human rights, and speak out against white supremacy, discrimination, xenophobic rhetoric and incitement to violence by such groups and individuals

*Issue executive orders, emergency orders or other temporary special measures to prevent armed white supremacist individuals or groups from intimidating or threatening people

*Temporarily prohibit the open and “concealed carry” of firearms in Capitol buildings and in public - including parks, recreational areas, religious institutions and schools

*Direct police departments to adopt and follow Amnesty’s best practice guidelines on the policing of demonstrations, and ensure that all law-enforcement agencies facilitate freedom of peaceful assembly - without discrimination - particularly in the context of volatile counter-protest situations, with commitments to ensuring transparent investigation and prosecution of unlawful use of force, and vigilantism by armed groups

Trump’s embrace of white supremacists 

A lack of restriction on guns, combined with the embrace of white supremacists by Donald Trump and other government officials, continues to put the country at risk of further violence. 
 

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