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Banks Comments on Military Vehicles in Urban Areas, Rumors of Martial Law in Military Times

July 15, 2023

Military Times

William C. Banks

William C. Banks

Videos of troops and military equipment moving through downtown Philadelphia spread online in June, sparking false claims on social media platforms that the U.S. government was preparing to invoke martial law. What was really happening was parade preparations for Flag Day and the U.S. Army’s birthday in historic Philadelphia. 

“The whole idea is quite preposterous. We’re so far from any situation in which martial law would be declared that it’s laughable,” says William Banks, professor emeritus of public administration and international affairs. “The fact that it’s become a part of disinformation campaigns is concerning.”

“What people are seeing now is what people have seen every summer for as long as I’ve been alive,” Banks says. “Folks are taking their summer National Guard duty right now and riding convoys to wherever they’re going to be. For many of us, it’s a regular scene in the summer on the highways.”

Read more in the Military Times article, “Spot troops on your street? It’s likely a parade, not martial law.”

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