Statement on US government's use of force on peaceful protests

Published July 30, 2020

The Executive Committee of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies issued the following statement.


On the evening of July 21, Professor Maureen Healy, the Chair of the History department at of Lewis and Clark College, was participating in a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, OR, when she was shot in the head by the “impact munition” used by the federal forces who have been deployed to that city. She suffered a concussion, and is recovering at home. Professor Healy specializes in the history of East Central Europe, and is a longtime member of ASEEES.  As professional colleagues, but also as scholars who are painfully familiar with the history of state-sponsored violence, we want to express our outrage over what has happened to Professor Healy, along with all those who have been victimized by the US government’s use of force against peaceful protest.  The scandal here is not that a distinguished historian has been shot, but rather, that she is just one of hundreds of people who have been injured in recent weeks because of the administration’s use of armed federal troops to silence dissent. This attack on our colleague should serve as a reminder that we are currently witnessing events that have frightening precedents in the part of the world we study (and beyond). As scholars and as citizens, we call upon people of good will at all levels of the US government to step back from this abyss before it is too late.