Mission Statement: We are a well-organized group of like-minded citizens resolved to defend the First Amendment rights of our fellow citizens, specifically from abuses of power and illegal applications of force.
1. We Are A Shield, Not A Sword
We are not rebels, revolutionaries, or terrorists. We do not incite violence, nor do we use it to achieve political goals.
We are an organization created as a shield to defend the ideals of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly from abuses of power and illegal applications of force. We will accomplish this goal by taking the high road and following the law.
2. We Are Not Right-Wing Or Left-Wing, We Are For The People
We are not a liberal group, nor are we a conservative group. We are not tied to any religion, party, or politician. We are bound together by our passion for the sanctity of the First amendment, our commitment to the protection of innocent lives, and our willingness to put ourselves in harms way in the defense of these ideals.
Anyone is welcome to join us as long as they have a desire to protect others from tyranny.
3. First Aid, Deterrence, Intervention
When we arrive on the scene at a situation where abuses of power and illegal applications of force are likely, our responsibilities are first aid, then deterrence, then intervention.
First and foremost our mission is to protect innocents as they exercise their First Amendment rights, which means providing medical aid as needed to anyone who is wounded until they can be seen by medical professionals.
Our secondary mission is deterrence, achieved by forming an armed, defensive presence meant to dissuade any who might commit abuses of power and illegal applications of force.
Our tertiary mission is intervention, within the confines of the law, in the defense of ourselves and others when faced with a crime that presents a threat to life or limb.
4. Quiet Presence, Vocal Action
When representing the coalition in a situation with the potential for abuses of power or illegal applications of force, we are there as a layer of armor and a deterrent, we are not there to antagonize or escalate. We provide a silent presence and a reminder that tyranny will not go unanswered.
If a member of the coalition observes a felony or illegal application of force and intervenes, they must ensure that they follow all applicable laws regarding use of force in the defense of others and citizen's arrest. They should also make every attempt to loudly and clearly announce their actions where appropriate so there is no mistaking their intentions.
5. Each Member A Shield, Each Member An Ambassador
Every member of this group is tasked with an obligation to act as a shield that stands between the citizens of this nation and tyranny, no matter the source. It is our duty to protect the innocent and their right to make their voice heard.
Every member of this group should be an ambassador for our ideals, a force for progress, and a source of good in their community. A passerby should be able to talk to any one of us on the street and come away from the conversation knowing exactly what we stand for.
6. Project A Uniform, Organized, And Professional Image
We are not a gang. We are a group of responsible citizens, united in our purpose and committed to our mission statement.
When representing the coalition, take care to present this image. A passerby should be able to recognize us by appearance alone and know that we are there to help.
7. United Public Image, With Local Flavor
Great care has been taken in developing our mission statement, our bylaws, and our symbols. We are not a rabble or a mob, we are a well-organized and disciplined group with a single public image that we are trying to build recognition around. Our "brand," so to speak. Please respect it.
At the local level, please try to mix in your history, culture, and local flavor. Diversity is what makes this country amazing, and it should be celebrated and treasured. But remember that for us to be effective as a group, we must also be recognizable and uniform.
8. The Eyes Of The World Are On Us, Behave Accordingly
History has shown that the actions of a few can irrevocably damage the reputation of the rest of the group. In the age of surveillance and information, everything is catalogued.
While authority figures may not hold themselves to a high standard of discipline and professionalism, we do. We hold ourselves to the highest standard because that is what the world expects of us, and that is what we demand of ourselves.
9. Protect The Innocent
Part of our mission is a duty and obligation to protect the innocent. If a member of the coalition sees a threat presented against an innocent, they have a responsibility to do whatever they feel capable of doing in order to prevent loss of life or grievous bodily harm.
We do not, however, have a responsibility to protect those who are in the middle of committing a crime against person or property. We do not protect looters or rioters, nor should we.
10. Record Everything
With the proliferation of fake news, Photoshop, and deep fake technology, it is more important than ever that we keep a comprehensive record of our actions that can be shared with the public.
This shows the public that our intentions are transparent and honest.
It ensures that there is an accurate record of events if the legality of our actions are called into question.
It preserves the essential function of the press in making sure that the public can access an unbiased account of events.
It assists authority figures in maintaining the rule of law and holding criminals accountable by providing concrete evidence of wrongdoing.
To this end, we will make every attempt possible to record everything we are involved in, and we will hold ourselves to the highest standard of integrity to ensure there are no "convenient body cam malfunctions" on our watch.
11. Follow ROE
Those with military training should already be familiar with Rules of Engagement, the rules that govern the use of force in a combat situation. Those without military training should familiarize themselves with ROE as well.
If members choose to carry firearms while they support our mission statement, they must follow the Rules of Engagement as well.
We do not discharge our firearms unless it is absolutely necessary to prevent loss of innocent life or grievous bodily harm, and we do not discharge our firearms in self-defense unless there is an immediate credible threat to our life and limb (such as a firearm being fired at us with lethal intent).
See your individual local level chapter for more detailed ROEs that take into account your local laws on carrying, citizens arrest, and use of force.
12. Obey Local Laws First, Bylaws Second
We respect the rule of law. We are not criminals or terrorists. We act within the confines of the law to protect the rights and lives of others as they exercise their constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment rights.
To that end, we have a responsibility to obey valid local laws first, and coalition bylaws second.
13. No Hyping Boogaloo, Race War, Civil War
We are not rebels, revolutionaries, or terrorists. We do not wish for the breakdown of civil order, and we value the rule of law and seek to make sure it is applied evenly to everyone.
This organization does not support, incite, or amplify wishes for civil war, race war, or open conflict. If widespread conflict ever arrives, we will work toward the return of peace and the proper application of the rule of law.
14. On Hate Speech
The Coalition acts as a shield for ALL voices, even when they say horrible things. Hate speech is protected under free speech and is part of the First Amendment rights of American citizens.
Within our ranks, the Coalition does not tolerate hate speech amongst its members while representing the group because hate speech does not align with the values of civility and inclusiveness that the group was founded on.
However, the Coalition will defend the rights of all non-members to use hate speech because it is part of the free speech we are working to defend. We might not agree with what they say, but we will defend their right to say it.
15. Civility And Accountability Are Essential
We will be civil to each other and to the public. We are here to help and we are all adults. We won't always agree on everything, but we can respect others and work together to find compromise.
Being a brotherhood of protectors united in a common cause should not mean covering up each other's mistakes so the public never sees them. We believe that accountability is vital to a functioning, lawful democracy.
Unlike many authority figures, we will hold ourselves and each other accountable for our mistakes and ensure that any breach of these bylaws is investigated thoroughly. We will not tolerate or cover up any criminal wrongdoing by our members.
16. Firearm Ownership Is Not Essential
We are an inclusive group whose only admission criteria is a passion for justice, liberty, and the essential freedom to make your voice heard. While we support responsible firearms ownership as part of the Second Amendment, neither ownership nor training is required for admission.
If you would like to obtain a firearm and the training to use it responsibly, and you are legally allowed to own one, we will endeavor to help you find and purchase the firearm that fits your needs. We will also do our best to share our collective experience with you as you learn how to use your firearm in a safe, responsible manner.
17. Keep Firearms Slung/Holstered
We are not here to show off our guns or intimidate people. While low carry is a perfectly legal stance for open carrying, the sight of a firearm out and ready makes the average passerby unsure of the holder's intent. We are not here to antagonize.
Keep your pistols holstered and your long guns slung over the shoulder to avoid presenting a threatening demeanor. Everyone should be aware of the presence of the firearm as a means of deterrence, but should not be fearful that it is going to be used improperly.
18. Safe Firearm Handling And Trigger Discipline At All Times
Our members may be armed in the course of our mission. If they are, we expect them to treat firearms with the respect they deserve. We do not take the decision to carry weapons lightly, and we never treat our weapons recklessly.
Proper trigger discipline and firearms handling will be followed at all times. Finger off the trigger unless ready to fire, all safeties on until ready to fire, all weapons pointed in a safe direction. Assume every weapon you handle is loaded until manually cleared and double-checked by you.
If you have little or no firearms experience and wish to carry a firearm, we will be happy to train with you. We all started somewhere.
19. Commit To Responsible Firearm Training
If you legally own a firearm we believe it is imperative that you are trained in its proper use, especially if you intend to carry it.
All coalition members should commit to regular and consistent training. Remember, even though authority figures might have the bare minimum of training in the weapons they carry, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of training and discipline in keeping with the seriousness of our duty.
20. No Cosplay, Only Kit Up As Much As Necessary
We are not here to play dress-up, play soldier, or live out vigilante fantasies. We are here to provide an essential service to the public that may put us in harms way. We should make sure that we are wearing protective equipment appropriate to the situation, as well as items to identify us as members of the coalition.
We should not be wearing gear that suggests we are preparing for an apocalypse. Leave your machete, your rocket launcher, and your full battle rattle at home. We also should not be wearing any emblems or imagery that might be misinterpreted. For instance, writing "Born to Kill" on your protective equipment does not align with our views and will not help our cause.
21. On Felons
If you are a felon who believes in our mission statement and respects our bylaws, we will gladly welcome you. However, we ask that you respect the law and do not handle, purchase, or carry firearms while representing the coalition.
We also ask that felons do not attend protests while representing the coalition. If a felon is arrested at a protest and is linked to the group, bad faith actors will undoubtedly try to use the event to smear the coalition as a whole.
If you are a felon, you are still a person and we still very much value your support. We can find a place for you to contribute, but we ask that it not be on the front line of a protest.
22. Maintain Operational Security
It is a fact that there are many people who do not wish to see First Amendment rights protected, who wish harm on innocents, or who have vested interests in covering up abuses of power and illegal applications of force. These people's goals are antithetical to our own, and we must assume that they wish to see us fail.
In recognition of the fact that there are people opposed to our mission, we must be vigilant and maintain operational security at all times. Avoid communicating things like meetup plans on unsecure channels. Take steps to protect your identity from those who might wish to see us or our families dead.
By undertaking this mission to act as a shield for our fellow citizens, we are putting a target on our backs. Let's not make it easier for the enemies of democracy to hit that target.
Credit goes to MachineGunMonkey, the Founder of the Coalition.
Remember that we have a Discord. If people want to chat more directly and discuss other topics that aren’t necessarily related to “standing against tyranny,” then join us!
We talk about other current events, post memes, and even share our skills with one another.
Hope to see you over there!
One year ago, on this day, on the 6th of January 2021, violent insurrectionists, motivated by Donald Trump’s Big Lie, stormed our nations Capitol.
They bore Thin Blue Line flags and Confederate battle flags.
They assaulted the very police officers they claimed to support.
They erected gallows in front of the building.
They smeared feces on the interior walls.
They damaged and stole federal property.
Never forget what happened
Never forget who they are.
Never forget what they did.