Who Are the Oath Keepers?
Painted as radicals and racists by some, this organization of law enforcement officers and military vets says its only purpose is to uphold the Constitution.
It started with Katrina. The sight of U.S. military troops, law enforcement officers, and armed government contractors seizing firearms from citizens in the aftermath of that terrible storm shocked the conscience of Yale constitutional law scholar Stewart Rhodes. That these actions were later recognized as wrong by the U.S. Supreme Court did little to assuage Rhodes' concerns. The fact remained that an illegal precedent had taken place, and could well occur again; indeed, it appeared that that the seeds sown in Louisiana might not only take root, but germinate elsewhere, as well.
- We will not obey any order to disarm the American people.
- We will not obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects—such as warrantless house-to-house searches for weapons or persons.
- We will not obey any order to detain American citizens as "unlawful enemy combatants" or to subject them to trial by military tribunals.
- We will not obey orders to impose martial law or a "state of emergency" on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state's legislature and governor.
- We will not obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
- We will not obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
- We will not obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
- We will not obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to "keep the peace" or to "maintain control" during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.
- We will not obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext.
- We will not obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.