In the community

Citizen action group aiming to form militias and grand juries across U.S. to meet in Vale

VALE – A Christian-based national citizen action group that aims to form “lawful” militias and grand juries in every county in the country to enforce the U.S. Constitution and hold public officials accountable will hold a seminar in Vale next month.

Tactical Civics, a Texas citizen group, will meet at Chabelita’s Taqueria, on Wednesday, March 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to a Facebook post by Tanya Tackitt one of the group’s county coordinators. Tackitt said she and Kathy Nelson are the two Malheur County coordinators in a direct Facebook message.  

Tackitt sent a press release about the event on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The social media post promoting the Vale event posed questions to stir attendance, such as, “Do you think there are too many criminals and not enough public servants in our government?”
Another asked, “Do you think the criminals need consequences, and the servants need supervision?” Do you think someone should do something about it?”
The group offers a “lawful, peaceful, and permanent solution” at its seminar for those answering yes to those questions, according to the Facebook post.

On its website, Tactical Civics describes itself as a private Christian organization that says the U.S. is under “Communist occupation” by politicians in Washington, D.C. The group said the country is a “republic of sovereign states” founded on Christian principles.

Tactical Civics officials said the organization has chapters in nearly 20 counties in Oregon.

The group declared the 2020 presidential election was a “massive fraud” without citing any evidence on its webpage.  State and federal judges – some appointed by former President Donald Trump – dismissed more than 50 lawsuits filed by groups alleging voter fraud and other irregularities. 

David Zuniga, a Texas engineer, and his brother Oscar, an engineer, founded the parent organization, AmericaAgain! Trust, a charitable and perpetual trust, in 2007. He said Tactical Civics is the action group under the trust.

According to its website, a monthly membership in the group is $5 per month, while yearly dues are $50. Those in elected offices or who are employed by a public agency are barred from joining, according to the membership page.

Jeff Calhoun, listed as a regional coordinator, said on the website that Tactical Civics has a “peaceful” plan rooted in “popular constitutionalism.”

The group believes the country has three problems, according to Calhoun. One is that the country was founded on Christian principles, yet people have turned their “backs on God.” The solution, he said, is “repentance,” to show remorse and take action. Then, he said, people need to “honor Jesus Christ.” 

Calhoun said no one properly enforces the Constitution. He said Tactical Civics proposes forming county grand juries to hold elected officials accountable for violating the Constitution. 

According to Oregon law, a grand jury is a group of citizens selected out of the same jury pool that reports for regular jury service. A grand jury assesses evidence a prosecutor presents to determine whether someone committed a crime and should be charged.

Tactical Civics intends to form county chapters to form a “lawful militia” to “bear the sword of the grand jury.”

Zuniga noted that Tactical Civics emphasizes the importance of the “rule of law” when discussing the role of a grand jury and holding government officials accountable.

According to Zuniga, the group is working on an artificial intelligence mobile app that would scan proposed state and federal legislation for violations of the Constitution. Those bills that run against the Constitution would notify the lawmakers involved with a warning that if the bill moves forward, they could face an indictment.

The group also wants to expand the U.S. House from 435 to more than 6,000. Under its proposed “Bring Congress Home Act,” Tactical Civics proposes that, members of Congress would meet online from a “modest office” as they did during the pandemic. This, they say, would put those officials “under the watchful eye of the people, rather than under the thumb of lobbyists.” 

Zuniga said that regardless of anyone’s politics, the current U.S. congressional districts are too large and unrepresentative of those populations. He said Oregon is a good example, with a few “blue blobs” in districts with dense populations among a sea of red.

Zuniga said the word “militia” is maligned for good reason. Especially in Oregon, he said, which saw militia groups show up to the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“People hear the word militia and they go ballistic,” he said, “as they should.”
Those groups, he said, do not meet the historical and Constitutional requirements of a militia.

The press release Tackitt shared noted the organization’s website dubbed an “online training center,” offers, among others, Zoom classes, a library of books, podcasts, videos and blog articles.

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