While he’s yet to provide any real consolation and relief of justice for George Floyd’s death and those of many others killed by police brutality, Donald Trump has activated 400 National Guard members to protect cold, lifeless monuments in Washington D.C. amid anti-racism protests.
The move to deploy the hundreds of armed members follows the toppling on Friday of the region’s only statue of Confederate leader Albert Pike, and more recently, on Monday, the unsuccessful attempt to bring down that of President Andrew Jackson, which faces the White House.
Subsequently, Trump took to Twitter, and again mentioned during his multiple rallies thereafter, that he’s ordered the National Guard and local law enforcement to arrest and charge demonstrators for vandalizing and defacing monuments. He says charges bear 10 years in prison under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act.
In a statement addressing Trump’s latest move, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Christian Mitchell says, “Since their activation, none of the National Guard members have been dispatched to actual monument locations to provide assistance to the NPP. They remain on standby at the DC Armory at this time. They will support U.S. Park Police at key monuments to prevent any defacing or destruction.”