Trump deploys ‘heavily armed soldiers’ on George Floyd’s protesters
London, June 2, 2020 (AltAfrica)-US president, Donald Trump has threatened to send in military if governors don’t act to the spate of protests over George Floyd’s killing. He said he also encouraged governors to bring in the National Guard, which many states have already done.
“As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property.”
President Trump says he wants mayors and governors to establish “an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” and if they don’t, “I will deploy the United States military, and quickly solve the problem for them” https://t.co/0LMqrK7lfM pic.twitter.com/TpXLeNf5ki— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 1, 2020
At a brief White House press briefing that ended without questions, Trump in his first official reaction to the protests said says he would mobilise all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and wanton destruction of property and protect the rights of law-abiding Americans.
He says: “We are ending the riots and lawlessness that have spread throughout the country.”
Trump says what happened last night in Washington DC was a “disgrace”.
The curfew tonight will “strictly enforced”, he warns.
Any rulebreakers will be arrested, detained and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, he continues.
Organisers of the “terror” will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail, he says, mentioning Antifa.
Trump’s extraordinary remarks have sparked widespread concern, with some noting that he is threatening to deploy the US military against citizens of this country.
Trump is mobilizing the military against the citizens of the United States.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) June 1, 2020
That’s it. That’s where we are. Weep for your country. Despair for its future. Revile these dangerous, corrupt and hateful leaders.
His speech took place as police were simultaneously teargassing protesters outside the White House.
Reacting to Trump’s threats to deploy the US military against its own citizens, CNN’s Don Lemon urged America to “wake up”, saying, “We are teetering on a dictatorship.
Don Lemon: “Open your eyes, America. Open your eyes! We are teetering on a dictatorship.” pic.twitter.com/s59BFXGY55— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 1, 2020
According to one estimate, there are now more than 17,000 National Guard troops activated in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Some have argued that the presence of the National Guard has only further escalated tensions and resulted in increased clashes and violence by police.