'Antifa and anarchists co-opted an otherwise peaceful Justice for George Floyd demonstration in Seattle on Saturday, turning it into a riot. Criminals destroyed businesses, looted stores empty, burned cars, and spray painted their hateful, divisive message wherever they could. "Antifa is a cancer on our cities. They have an ideology and they seek to destroy and injure anything and anyone that gets in their way. They pretend they’re fighting fascism but they have more in common with fascists and dictators than anyone they’re fighting." The next day, scores of employees and volunteers came together to help clean up the mess Antifa and the anarchists made during their Seattle riot. Earlier that day, President Donald Trump said the United States would label Antifa a terrorist group for their ideologically-driven violence.'
+ Seattle Riot: 46 devastating photos of Downtown destruction, vandalism (2020):
'This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s. New York City suffered the worst of the riots Monday night, as Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by while Midtown Manhattan descended into lawlessness. Bands of looters roved the streets, smashing and emptying hundreds of businesses. Some even drove exotic cars; the riots were carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements. Outnumbered police officers, encumbered by feckless politicians, bore the brunt of the violence. In New York State, rioters ran over officers with cars on at least three occasions. In Las Vegas, an officer is in “grave” condition after being shot in the head by a rioter. In St. Louis, four police officers were shot as they attempted to disperse a mob throwing bricks and dumping gasoline; in a separate incident, a 77-year-old retired police captain was shot to death as he tried to stop looters from ransacking a pawnshop. This is “somebody’s granddaddy,” a bystander screamed at the scene. Some elites have excused this orgy of violence in the spirit of radical chic, calling it an understandable response to the wrongful death of George Floyd. Those excuses are built on a revolting moral equivalence of rioters and looters to peaceful, law-abiding protesters. A majority who seek to protest peacefully shouldn’t be confused with bands of miscreants. But the rioting has nothing to do with George Floyd, whose bereaved relatives have condemned violence. On the contrary, nihilist criminals are simply out for loot and the thrill of destruction, with cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa infiltrating protest marches to exploit Floyd’s death for their own anarchic purposes. These rioters, if not subdued, not only will destroy the livelihoods of law-abiding citizens but will also take more innocent lives.
Many poor communities that still bear scars from past upheavals will be set back still further. One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers. But local law enforcement in some cities desperately needs backup, while delusional politicians in other cities refuse to do what’s necessary to uphold the rule of law. The pace of looting and disorder may fluctuate from night to night, but it’s past time to support local law enforcement with federal authority. Some governors have mobilized the National Guard, yet others refuse, and in some cases the rioters still outnumber the police and Guard combined. In these circumstances, the Insurrection Act authorizes the president to employ the military “or any other means” in “cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws.” This venerable law, nearly as old as our republic itself, doesn’t amount to “martial law” or the end of democracy, as some excitable critics, ignorant of both the law and our history, have comically suggested. In fact, the federal government has a constitutional duty to the states to “protect each of them from domestic violence.” Throughout our history, presidents have exercised this authority on dozens of occasions to protect law-abiding citizens from disorder. Nor does it violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which constrains the military’s role in law enforcement but expressly excepts statutes such as the Insurrection Act. Anti-integration protesters at the University of Mississippi awaiting the arrival of the first African-American student, James Meredith.Credit...Getty Images For instance, during the 1950s and 1960s, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson called out the military to disperse mobs that prevented school desegregation or threatened innocent lives and property. This happened in my own state. Gov. Orval Faubus, a racist Democrat, mobilized our National Guard in 1957 to obstruct desegregation at Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower federalized the Guard and called in the 101st Airborne in response. The failure to do so, he said, “would be tantamount to acquiescence in anarchy.”'
'More recently, President George H.W. Bush ordered the Army’s Seventh Infantry and 1,500 Marines to protect Los Angeles during race riots in 1992. He acknowledged his disgust at Rodney King’s treatment — “what I saw made me sick” — but he knew deadly rioting would only multiply the victims, of all races and from all walks of life. Not surprisingly, public opinion is on the side of law enforcement and law and order, not insurrectionists. According to a recent poll, 58 percent of registered voters, including nearly half of Democrats and 37 percent of African-Americans, would support cities’ calling in the military to “address protests and demonstrations” that are in “response to the death of George Floyd.” That opinion may not appear often in chic salons, but widespread support for it is fact nonetheless. The American people aren’t blind to injustices in our society, but they know that the most basic responsibility of government is to maintain public order and safety. In normal times, local law enforcement can uphold public order. But in rare moments, like ours today, more is needed, even if many politicians prefer to wring their hands while the country burns.'
+ Tom Cotton: Send In the Troops - "The nation must restore order. The military stands ready." (2020):
'President Trump said during a statement in the Rose Garden on Monday that he is taking "immediate action” to mobilize “all available federal resources” to stop riots and looting across the country, threatening to deploy the military if states don’t send in the National Guard to protests. "I will fight to protect you," Trump said in an evening protest, ahead of what's expected to be more protests in the city of Washington on Monday night over the death in Minnesota of George Floyd. Immediately following the speech, in an extraordinary scene, the president and his entourage walked outside of the White House, across Lafayette Square, to St. Johns Episcopal Church, which caught on fire during the protesters the night before. During the brief visit, the president stood in front of the boarded-up church and held up a Bible. He was accompanied by a variety of aides and officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. On Sunday night rioters set fire to the parish house at St. John's. The parish house contains offices and parlors for gatherings. The basement, which was also torched, is used for childcare during church services, and had recently undergone renovations. However, the damage could have been "a lot worse," according to Rev. Rob Fisher. "I have recommended every governor deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers to dominate the streets," the president said during his speech. "We are ending riots and lawlessness, we will end it today." Trump said he is dispatching "thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers and military personnel" to stop the rioting. "I want organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties," he said. "We cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob," the president added. "The biggest victims of this rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities." Earlier on Monday, the president unloaded on governors in a phone call, accusing them of being "weak" in their response to the riots and urging them to dominate. “Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people. You have to dominate, if you don't dominate you're wasting your time,” he said, according to a senior staffer in a governor’s office who was listening to the call. “They're going to run over you, you're going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate. You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” said Trump. “We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.”'
+ Trump vows to mobilize federal resources in address to nation, makes surprise trip to church that caught fire (2020):
'On Saturday, demonstrators in Seattle took over Interstate 5, cars were lit on fire and store windows were smashed in. Mayor Jenny Durkan abruptly announced a 5 p.m. curfew lasting until 5 a.m. Sunday, citing "an extremely dangerous situation" as the fire department was unable to access multiple fires burning downtown. In Austin, some 200 people showed up outside police headquarters in peaceful protest by around noon on Saturday before the crowds swelled exponentially as marchers headed alongside Interstate 35. Multiple media outlets reported police had resorted to deploying tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds at police headquarters on 8th Street just before 2:30 p.m. According to reports, about 100 police officers were seen in full riot gear at the intersection of Guadalupe and West 3rd streets in attempts to control the throngs. Thousands of people returned to the streets Saturday in Chicago's Loop, gathering at Federal Plaza before marching to Trump Tower. Video from the scene showed some demonstrators atop police vehicles. Officers struck protesters with batons near Trump Tower and squad cars were damaged, with at least one set on fire, according to an AP report. And on a third night of protests in New York City, demonstrations broke out in Harlem, Times Square, on the West Side Highway and on the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, along with other sites. Hundreds have been arrested over the days of protest, including several expected to be charged Saturday night or Sunday with throwing Molotov cocktails in Brooklyn Friday night. In a video shared on social media from a protest scene in Brooklyn, two NYPD cruisers can be seen ramming into demonstrators. It's unclear if anyone was injured. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says protesters and police officers will be held accountable for acts of violence at a demonstration in Brooklyn that left people bloodied and vehicles burned. Protesters chanted for a relatively-peaceful hour before NYPD officers clashed with the crowd. A cloud of pepper spray descended over the rally, police armed with batons violently took down protesters and some rally goers set fires — all scenes that played out in real time on social media. The chaotic scene moved beyond Barclays Center and into the streets of Fort Greene and nearby neighborhoods. At least one police van was set on fire, a NYPD officer was filmed violently shoving a woman to the ground and walking away, among many other violent scenes throughout the day and night.'
+ Tear Gas Used On Minneapolis Protesters; Unrest Continues In U.S. (2020):
'As protests over the death of George Floyd grow in cities across the U.S., government officials have been warning of the “outsiders” — groups of organized rioters they say are flooding into major cities not to call for justice but to cause destruction. But the state and federal officials have offered differing assessments of who the outsiders are. They’ve blamed left-wing extremists, far-right white nationalists and even suggested the involvement of drug cartels. These leaders have offered little evidence to back up those claims, and the chaos of the protests makes verifying identities and motives exceedingly difficult. Police officers across the country were gearing up Saturday for another night of potentially violent clashes in major cities. Some states had even called in the National Guard to aid overwhelmed police. The finger pointing on both sides of the political spectrum is likely to deepen the political divide in the U.S., allowing politicians to advance the theory that aligns with their political view and distract from the underlying frustrations that triggered the protests. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday told reporters he’d heard unconfirmed reports that white supremacists were coming from elsewhere to stoke the violence and that even drug cartels “are trying to take advantage of the chaos.” John Harrington, the state’s commissioner of public safety, later said they had received intel reports on white supremacists. “But I cannot say that we have confirmed observations of local law enforcement to say that we’ve seen cells of white supremacists in the area,” he said Saturday. Federal officials later pointed to “far left extremist groups.” President Donald Trump alleged the violence was “being led by Antifa and other radical groups.” Antifa, short for anti-fascists, is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations. Attorney General William Barr later seemed to echo Trump’s assertion, saying the violent incidents in Minneapolis were driven by groups using “Antifa-like tactics.” Barr vowed that federal prosecutors across the country would use federal riots statutes to charge protesters who cross state lines to participate in violent rioting. A Justice Department spokesperson said the attorney general’s assertion was based on information provided from state and local law enforcement agencies, but did not detail what that information entailed. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was even more vague, declining to point to any particular ideology in his assessment. His agency has heard that “a number of different groups are involved in these whether it’s Antifa or it’s others, frankly,” he said. The groups appeared to be organized and using tactics that wouldn’t normally happen in peaceful protest, he said, though he didn’t elaborate. While the motives behind the violence were unclear, there was firmer evidence that some of the protesters were coming to the demonstrations from outside the urban centers that have been the epicenter of the demonstrations.'
+ Officials blame differing groups of ‘outsiders’ for violence (2020):
'What started as a peaceful Justice for George Floyd protest in Seattle turned violent thanks to fringe Progressive and Antifa activists. And their abhorrent behavior is being defended by bad-faith voices, pretending we’re under assault by white supremacists. Or, even worse, peaceful protesters who are fine with the destruction. Americans have the right to peacefully assemble. This is beyond question. What folks don’t have the right to do is destroy property, assault officers, disrupt freeway traffic, or steal police weapons. Yet portions of Seattle were trashed, burned, and destroyed thanks to a large group of Antifa members, anarchists and their enablers. Pacific Northwest Antifa members — filled mostly with privileged, angry white millennials — and local anarchists have consistently co-opted peaceful protests for their own political agenda. They do it almost every May Day. Some are local to Seattle, some from around Washington, and some based in Oregon. These monsters don’t care about George Floyd. You think Antifa is above taking advantage of a George Floyd protest in Seattle? They’re simply exploiting national anger to push their anti-capitalist and anti-police agenda.'
+ Rantz: Seattle Antifa violence ruined a peaceful Justice for George Floyd protest (2020):
'On Saturday, Barr released a statement about the riots across several prominent U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, and New York City. The attorney general said that the riots were being "hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda. In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far-left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence. We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. The Department of Justice (including the FBI, Marshals, ATF, and DEA), and all of our 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country, will support these local efforts and take all action necessary to enforce federal law. It is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. We will enforce these laws."'
+ AG Barr: Riots 'planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far-left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics' (2020):
'The protests over the death of George Floyd, who was handcuffed and pinned down by a police officer’s knee on his neck in Minneapolis, continued on Monday night. Demonstrators were driven from parks, interstates and government buildings by growing numbers of law enforcement officers in riot gear, whose response to the demonstrations has been criticized in dozens of confrontations. In Washington, police officers used flash grenades and tear gas to disperse a crowd across the street from the White House so that President Trump could visit a nearby church for a photo op. Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump berated America’s governors over their response to the protests, calling the protesters “terrorists” and demanding “retribution.” More protests have emerged around the world in the past few days, with many demonstrators expressing solidarity with their American counterparts and denouncing racism in their own countries. The widespread condemnation partly reflected what critics called the erosion of America’s moral authority.'
+ In Photos: America Rises in a Seventh Night of Protest (2020):
'A man was shot dead in Louisville after police officers and the Kentucky National Guard “returned fire” while clearing a large crowd early Monday. Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a statement that at around 12:15 a.m. his officers and the National Guard were sent to a parking lot to break up a crowd. “Officers and soldiers began to clear the lot and at some point were shot at,” Conrad said in a statement. “Both LMPD and National Guard members returned fire, we have one man dead at scene...” Louisville has seen a weekend of protests, as the city mourns Breonna Taylor, 26, a black woman killed in her home in March by Louisville police who were executing a “no-knock” warrant targeting her former boyfriend. More than 40 people were arrested Sunday night, the city's fourth consecutive night of demonstrations, according to NBC Louisville affiliate WAVE. Last Thursday, seven people were shot in the city during protests that turned violent. Officers were not involved in the Thursday shootings, Police Sgt. Lamont Washington said at the time. Kaitlin Rust, a reporter for WAVE, was on air on Friday when she yelled and said she was "getting shot" by rubber bullets or pepper bullets.'
+ One dead in Louisville after police and National Guard 'return fire' on crowd (2020):
'Police have used a range of weapons against peaceful protesters as well as members of the press during the demonstrations. Described as non-lethal, these weapons can seriously injure, disable and even kill. Chemical irritants include tear gas and pepper spray, which cause sensations of burning, pain and inflammation of the airways. Public health and infectious diseases experts have opposed the use of chemical irritants such as tear gas, saying in an online petition that they could increase risk for COVID-19 by “making the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection.” Because chemical irritants can spread widely, bystanders and individuals other than the intended targets can be exposed to the chemicals. Tear gas has been widely and frequently used by police to disperse protesters. CS or CN gas are chemical compound powders that spray from canisters. They produce a burning sensation in the eyes and mouth that incapacitates. To protect themselves from pepper spray and other chemical irritants, protesters are dousing themselves with milk to help diffuse the burning sensations.
Police have shot protesters with pepper spray both from handheld devices and projectiles. While pepper spray is chemically distinct from tear gas, it produces similar effects: burning and watering of the eyes and skin. Police have also fired pepper balls, small projectiles containing chemical irritants. Such projectiles can contain PAVA spray, an irritant similar to pepper spray, as well as CS gas. The balls can be shot from launchers or modified paintball guns. Protesters have been hit by a variety of rubber, plastic, and “sponger” bullets. Reuters journalists in Minneapolis were shot by police with 40mm hard plastic projectiles during a protest in May. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city’s police department will minimize the use of rubber projectiles during peaceful protests going forward. Kinetic impact projectiles include rubber, plastic, wooden, and “sponger” bullets, which are shot from launchers and guns. A 2017 survey published by the British Medical Journal found that injuries from these caused death in 2.7% of cases.
Protesters in Columbus, Ohio reported having been shot with wooden bullets by police forces. Images online showed wooden dowel-shaped rods sliced into small, bullet-sized projectiles. The Columbus Police Department confirmed they used those devices against protesters on May 30 and said they are known as “knee knockers.” Protesters have reported police using sting-ball grenades, which upon explosion, spray the surrounding area with rubber pellets. In addition to the rubber balls, the grenades can contain chemical agents or explode with bright light and sound. Disorientation devices, commonly known as flashbangs or stun grenades, explode with bright light and sound in order to stun and disorient demonstrators. They can cause severe burns when fired at close range. Constructed like a conventional grenade, the bright flash and the loud bang can cause temporary blindness, temporary loss of hearing and loss of balance. Parts of the device can burst and fly as shrapnel.'
+ Graphic Violence: What U.S. police are shooting at protesters (2020):
'President Donald Trump has announced he intends to designate a militant anti-racist movement a terrorist organization as violent protests attended by a variety of activists have erupted in cities around the country, including Nashville. The protests, some of which have resulted in destruction of property and violent clashes with police, are being held in response to police killing George Floyd in Minneapolis and other black individuals who have recently died at the hands of law enforcement. "The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization," Trump said during remarks at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, though it's unclear by what legal mechanism he can designate a domestic organization to be a terrorist group. Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a left-wing activist movement active globally, including in Tennessee. The loosely affiliated groups frequently advocate for anti-racist policies, though often take an anarchist and militant approach. There is no formal leadership or unified national structure to the movement. It is not one organization, but rather loose network of activists using a "black bloc" tactic at protests — dressing in all black and concealing their faces with masks and bandannas. Multiple antifa groups have been based in Nashville in recent years...' Last year, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville, filed the "Unmasking Antifa Act," legislation that sought to punish up to 15 years a person wearing a mask or disguise while committing a crime, including threatening or intimidating another individual "exercising their constitutional rights or privileges," according to a statement from Burchett's office at the time... U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Sunday also blamed antifa and other similar groups over the violent protests around the country. Barr did not say what specific groups may have been involved or where they came from, but he said the Justice Department and the FBI will work on identifying “criminal organizers and instigators” to be arrested and charged Trump's national security advisor Robert O'Brien told CNN Sunday that the administration planned to "get to the bottom" of antifa's role in the protests. And he said the president and Barr want to know what the FBI is doing to "to track and dismantle and surveil and prosecute antifa." O'Brien denounced "these antifa militant radicals who come into our cities and cross state lines. "They're organized, and use Molotov cocktails and fireworks and gas to burn down our cities, especially businesses in minority neighborhoods. It's got to be stopped," he said on "State of the Union." But some have blamed right-wing provocateurs seeking to incite a race war for the violence. "The truth is nobody really knows," Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press."'
+ President Trump wants to declare antifa a terrorist group. Here's what we know about their Tennessee activities. (2020):
'The Insurrection Act allows the president, at the request of the governor of a state or a state legislature, to federalize that state’s National Guard and to use the active-duty military in order to suppress an “insurrection” against that state's government. The act also allows a president to federalize the National Guard and send in active-duty troops, even if the governor or legislature does not ask for help, if it becomes impracticable to enforce federal laws through ordinary proceedings or if states are unable to safeguard its citizens’ civil rights.
“If there is an insurrection in a State, the President, at the request of the State’s legislature, or Governor if the legislature cannot be convened, may call National Guards of other States into Federal service as well as use the Federal military to suppress the insurrection.”
The act goes on to authorize the president to deploy the military (federal or state) whenever he believes it necessary “to suppress an insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy.”
“Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages or rebellion against authority of the United States makes it impracticable to enforce the law of the United States in any State or territory by judicial proceedings, the President may call into Federal service the militia of any State and use the Federal military to enforce the laws or suppress the rebellion.”
The law also states the president can use the armed forces when there is an interference with federal or state law.
The law may be used when an “insurrection:”
“(a) … so hinders the execution of law of that State and of the United States and it deprives citizens of constitutional rights (e.g. due process); or (b) it opposes or obstructs the execution of laws or impedes the course of justice. In the event of the deprivation of rights, the State is deemed to have denied its citizens equal protection of laws.”
Prior to invoking the Insurrection Act, the attorney general crafts and the president must issue a “proclamation to disperse.” The proclamation to disperse will “immediately order the insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their abodes within a limited time,” according to the legislation.'
+ What is the Insurrection Act and what will it allow Trump to do? (2020):
'The moment we’ve been dreading since that escalator ride down Trump Tower five years ago this month — that’s been slowly building brick by brick as Donald Trump tore down the rule of law, abused the presidency to enrich himself, and grabbed the bully pulpit of the White House to divide America with racism, sexism and xenophobia — finally came at 6:45 p.m. as the sun sank over Washington on the night of June 1, 2020. Backed into a corner after his incompetence and distrust in science was trampled by a virus that’s killed 105,000 Americans, compounded by 40 million unemployed, and now massive, chaotic protests over the police brutality and racism that he has nurtured instead of combating, the president of the United States declared war on the American people. Speaking from the Rose Garden as a flash-bang grenade deployed against peaceful protesters echoed from across the street, Trump sounded almost like a satire of a tinhorn dictator as he vowed to “dominate the streets” while invoking an ancient law, the Insurrection Act of 1807, and threatening to use the U.S. military to end the nationwide protests and growing unrest over the killing of an unarmed 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, at the hands of four Minneapolis cops. Except this was no satire, no joke. Less than two minutes before the president began his speech, military police and other law-enforcement officers mounted a violent assault on hundreds of seemingly law-abiding protesters across the street from the White House, firing tear gas and painful rubber bullets as the panicked crowd scattered in a shocking split-screen moment.'
'“Did you see that?” a protester, his face covered in a red mask, screamed as he ran past a CNN camera crew, fleeing the projectiles and the gas. “Like we’re nothing!” It was an obviously staged moment, a reality-TV president unleashing all-too-real-life violence against American citizens who were peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to protest — all for the purpose of creating what he thought was the perfect photo op. Indeed, the shocking military action to clear the streets allowed the president — who hasn’t been near a church in weeks, and who hasn’t reached out to console any family devastated by the coronavirus — to walk across the street to partially fire-damaged St. John’s Episcopal Church. There, he awkwardly held a Bible aloft, which only served as a reminder of the famous quote of unknown provenance that when fascism finally comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. “We are teetering on the brink of dictatorship,” CNN commentator Don Lemon said, as alarmed pundits struggled to find the words for a 244-year American Experiment staring into the abyss. But frankly there were too many moments Monday when it felt like we were already over that edge. It was not just in increasingly occupied Washington, but right here in the city where it all began, Philadelphia, as police fired tear gas and shot rubber bullets at hundreds of people engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience by blocking I-676. As these police-state tactics escalate, the social fabric of the country is getting ripped to shreds.'
+ The President of the United States declared war on America on Monday night (2020):
'Fires were set near the White House as tensions with police mounted during a third straight night of demonstrations in response to the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minneapolis. An hour before an 11 p.m. curfew ordered by Mayor Muriel Bowser, police fired a major barrage of tear gas stun grenades into the crowd of more than 1,000 people, largely clearing Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and scattering protesters into the street. Protesters piled up road signs and plastic barriers and lit a raging fire in the middle of H Street. Some pulled an American flag from a nearby building and threw it into the blaze. Others added branches pulled from trees. A cinder block structure, on the north side of the park, that had bathrooms and a maintenance office, was engulfed in flames. As the curfew hit, police sealed the perimeter of the park. Shortly beforehand, police pushed a crowd of about 300 demonstrators several blocks with a series of charges with batons and riot shields. Enraged protesters screamed, "Who do you serve? Who do you protect?" Police shot pepper powders point black at several protesters. CBS News confirmed that President Trump was briefly brought to the White House bunker Friday night after protests erupted near the White House.'
+ Fires flare near White House amid rising tensions with police during protests (2020):
'Several truckloads of D.C. National Guard military police had arrived near Lafayette Park Monday evening where large groups of protesters had fought with police for the past three nights. At one point on Friday the protests prompted officials to have Trump taken to a bunker below the White House for his protection. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Barr were seen walking near the police line in Lafayette Park as military vehicles were stationed nearby. A U.S. official said that active duty Army military police units from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were preparing to be on standby in the Washington, D.C. area Monday night. The National Guard troops are going to be protecting national monuments, the White House, property and infrastructure, the official said, and not all D.C. Guard troops will be armed. Earlier, as the White House geared up for another night of protests outside its gates, Trump lashed out at governors for their handling of demonstrations over George Floyd's death, emphasizing instances of rioting and looting that marred overwhelmingly peaceful protests across the country. As his press secretary cited Martin Luther King Jr.'s support for nonviolence, Trump shared a message from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who suggested unleashing a U.S. Army air assault division on those carrying out "anarchy, rioting, and looting." --- "100% Correct," the president wrote.'
+ Police use munitions to forcibly push back peaceful protesters for Trump church visit (2020):
'It became clear during the last night hours of Monday, June 1, that there was something different about the demonstrations of the police killing of an African-American man than the ones that had taken place in recent years. A group of protesters breached the barricades that stood between the White House and Lafayette Park, leading to an hours-long standoff just outside the West Wing. Enraged protesters battled Secret Service agents dressed black riot gear and carrying plastic shields, a scene that few Americans had ever witnessed in this nation, much less at the president’s doorstep. After midnight, the crowd managed to pull two officers off the line, dragging them into the park, fists flying. The wild spectacle of street fighting steps from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was just as unprecedented as what was transpiring inside the White House, where the president was informed of the chaos and, out of a concern for his safety, he and his family were led into a fortified underground bunker. Firing pepper spray, swinging batons and shouting “get the f*** out of the park,” federal agents were eventually able to turn back the demonstrators. But that startling, surreal clash would not be the last in Washington spurred by the killing of George Floyd. Once the crowds were cleared from Lafayette Park, fortifications were hardened and National Guard reinforcements with riot shields joined the line of defense walling off the park. Crowds of protesters surged into the city on Saturday and Sunday, lighting fires after dark and tearing through multiple stores. The violence mainly focused in the downtown business district, but there were pockets of looting that spread to residential neighborhoods, leading D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to order an 11 p.m. curfew on Sunday. As it became clear that the protesters chanting “Black lives matter!” and “No justice! No peace!” would not, to paraphrase the president’s early prediction for the coronavirus pandemic, “magically disappear,” Browser on Monday moved up the curfew four hours earlier, to 7 p.m. Twenty minutes before that hour arrived on Monday night, with the president still due to deliver remarks on the protests from the White House Rose Garden, a series of loud crashes ripped through Lafayette Park. Flash-bang grenades fired by the U.S. Park Police paved the way for a phalanx of officers on horseback and others on foot dressed in black riot gear. “Move! Move! Move!” they barked in military unison at the hundreds of protesters gathered within shouting distance of the White House. With National Guard helicopters hovering overhead, demonstrators bolted as the officers descended upon them, some hurling insults as they were chased.'
+ Floyd protests and Trump's response gave Washington a week it won't soon forget (2020):
'Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people were not were not authorized to discuss the preparations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The get-ready orders were sent verbally on Friday, after Trump asked Esper for military options to help quell the unrest in Minneapolis after protests descended into looting and arson in some parts of the city. Trump made the request on a phone call from the Oval Office on Thursday night that included Esper, national security advisor Robert O’ Brien and several others. The president asked Esper for rapid deployment options if the Minneapolis protests continued to spiral out of control, according to one of the people, a senior Pentagon official who was on the call. The person said the military units would be deployed under the Insurrection Act of 1807, which was last used in 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles that followed the Rodney King trial. Another official said Saturday, however, that federal troops could be deployed to Minnesota without invoking that act. In that situation, they would perform non-law enforcement duties such as providing logistics help. “If this is where the president is headed response-wise, it would represent a significant escalation and a determination that the various state and local authorities are not up to the task of responding to the growing unrest,” said Brad Moss, a Washington D.C.-based attorney, who specializes in national security. Members of the police units were on a 30-minute recall alert early Saturday, meaning they would have to return to their bases inside that time limit in preparation for deployment to Minneapolis inside of four hours. Units at Fort Drum are set to head to Minneapolis first, according to the three people, including two Defense Department officials. Roughly 800 U.S. soldiers would deploy to the city if called. Protests erupted in Minneapolis this week after video emerged showing a police officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopping moving and pleading for air. Floyd later died of his injuries. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. The protests turned violent and on Thursday rioters torched the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct near where Floyd was arrested. Mayor Jacob Frey ordered a citywide curfew at 8 p.m. local time, beginning on Friday. In that city, peaceful protests picked up steam as darkness fell, with thousands of people ignoring the curfew to walk streets in the southern part of the city. Some cars were set on fire in scattered neighborhoods, business break-ins began and eventually there were larger fires. Active-duty forces are normally prohibited from acting as a domestic law enforcement agency. But the Insurrection Act offers an exception. There was no indication Saturday that Trump intended to invoke that act. It would allow the military to take up a policing authority it otherwise would not be allowed to do, enforcing state and federal laws, said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law professor who specializes in constitutional and national security law.'
+ Pentagon ready to send troops to Minneapolis if state asks (2020):
'Staffers at The New York Times are in open revolt Wednesday after the paper’s opinion section ran a column from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) calling upon President Donald Trump to “send in the troops” in response to nationwide protests against police brutality. In a column titled “Tom Cotton: Send in the Troops,” the notoriously hawkish, pro-Trump senator called upon the president to mobilize the military to shut down protests across most major U.S. cities, despite the objections of both local officials and Trump’s own defense secretary. In response, dozens of Times staffers began tweeting the same message, alongside an image of the headline: “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.” Among those tweeting in solidarity were a diverse swath of editorial and production staffers, including restaurant critics, art and graphics producers, travel, style and culture reporters, tech writers, and Times opinion writers like Roxane Gay. “Surreal and horrifying to wake up on the morning of June 4 - the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown - to this headline,” wrote Times China correspondent Amy Qin. The New York Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, in a Twitter thread, editorial page editor James Bennet explained the editorial decision: “The Times editorial board has forcefully defended the protests as patriotic and criticized the use of force, saying earlier today that police too often have ‘responded with more violence — against protesters, journalists and bystanders.’ We’ve also crusaded for years against the underlying, systemic cruelties that led to these protests.”'
+ New York Times Staffers in Open Revolt Over Tom Cotton’s ‘Send in the Troops’ Column (2020):
'Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce plans Thursday to remove one of the country’s most iconic monuments to the Confederacy, a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee along Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue, a senior administration official told The Associated Press. The move would be an extraordinary victory for civil rights activists, whose calls for the removal of that monument and others in this former capital of the Confederacy have been resisted for years. Also on Wednesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to seek the removal of the other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which include statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. Those statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue, which is on state property. Stoney said he would introduce an ordinance July 1 to have the statues removed. That’s when a new law goes into effect, which was signed earlier this year by Northam, that undoes an existing state law protecting Confederate monuments and instead lets local governments decide their fate. “I appreciate the recommendations of the Monument Avenue Commission – those were the appropriate recommendations at the time,” Stoney said in a statement, referencing a panel he established that studied what should be done with the monuments and recommended the removal of the Davis tribute. “But times have changed, and removing these statues will allow the healing process to begin for so many Black Richmonders and Virginians. Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that.” Bill Gallasch, president of the Monument Avenue Preservation Society, said he worried the statues’ removal would change the “soul” of the street, hurt tourism in historic Richmond and stir up violence between far-right and far-left groups.'
+ Virginia governor to announce removal of Lee statue (2020):
'After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action. He wanted to send the military into American cities, an idea that provoked a heated, voices-raised fight among his advisers. But by the end of the day, urged on by his daughter Ivanka Trump, he came up with a more personal way of demonstrating toughness — he would march across Lafayette Square to a church damaged by fire the night before. The only problem: A plan developed earlier in the day to expand the security perimeter around the White House had not been carried out. When Attorney General William P. Barr strode out of the White House gates for a personal inspection early Monday evening, he discovered that protesters were still on the northern edge of the square. For the president to make it to St. John’s Church, they would have to be cleared out. Mr. Barr gave the order to disperse them. What ensued was a burst of violence unlike any seen in the shadow of the White House in generations. As he prepared for his surprise march to the church, Mr. Trump first went before cameras in the Rose Garden to declare himself “your president of law and order” but also “an ally of all peaceful protesters,” even as peaceful protesters just a block away and clergy members on the church patio were routed by smoke and flash grenades and some form of chemical spray deployed by shield-bearing riot officers and mounted police. After a day in which he berated “weak” governors and lectured them to “dominate” the demonstrators, the president emerged from the White House, followed by a phalanx of aides and Secret Service agents as he made his way to the church, where he posed stern-faced, holding up a Bible that his daughter pulled out of her $1,540 MaxMara bag.'
+ How Trump’s Idea for a Photo Op Led to Havoc in a Park (2020):
'The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd, according to a two-page memorandum obtained by BuzzFeed News. Floyd’s death “has spawned widespread protests across the nation, which, in some instances, have included violence and looting,” the DEA memo says. “Police agencies in certain areas of the country have struggled to maintain and/or restore order.” The memo requests the extraordinary powers on a temporary basis, and on Sunday afternoon a senior Justice Department official signed off. Attorney General William Barr issued a statement Saturday following a night of widespread and at times violent protests in which he blamed, without providing evidence, “anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics,” for the unrest. He said the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be “deployed to support local efforts to enforce federal law.” Barr did not say what those agencies would do. The DEA is limited by statute to enforcing drug-related federal crimes. But on Sunday, Timothy Shea, a former US attorney and close confidant of Barr's who was named acting administrator of the DEA last month, received approval from Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer to go beyond the agency’s mandate “to perform other law enforcement duties” that Barr may “deem appropriate.” Citing the protests, Shea laid out an argument for why the agency should be granted extraordinary latitude. “In order for DEA to assist to the maximum extent possible in the federal law enforcement response to protests which devolve into violations of federal law, DEA requests that it be designated to enforce any federal crime committed as a result of protests over the death of George Floyd,” Shea wrote in the memo. “DEA requests this authority on a nationwide basis for a period of fourteen days.” A spokesperson for the DEA declined to comment. On Tuesday afternoon, Keith Kruskall, associate special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York division, sent an urgent email seeking 25 volunteers to assist with “security” to the Capitol in Washington, DC from Tuesday through Friday. Two sources knowledgeable about the deployment said 15 people from the DEA’s elite Special Response Team and 10 special agents were chosen. Not all 25 volunteered, the sources said.'
+ The DEA Has Been Given Permission To Investigate People Protesting George Floyd’s Death (2020):
'Thousands of masked marchers taking over Lakeside Avenue, “I Can’t Breathe” and “Justice for George” posters waving in the midst of a global pandemic. People pounding police cars and setting them ablaze. Men chucking bricks at the glass of the Justice Center. As Saturday’s rally for justice in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd devolved from peaceful to chaotic, cleveland.com photojournalist John Kuntz captured incredible images of the anger, compassion and violence. Kuntz published nearly 100 photos of the scene, capturing the clashes between protesters and Cleveland police where tear gas and pepper spray were deployed. While the rally began peaceful at the Free Stamp, some protesters began throwing bricks, setting fires, destroying property around downtown Cleveland and looting. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called in the National Guard Saturday night to assist Cleveland police, at the request of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams. The mayor also issued a curfew that began at 8 p.m. Saturday, though that didn’t stop the violence immediately.'
+ See 97 incredible photos of Cleveland’s rally for George Floyd, as it turned from peaceful to riotous (2020):
'Housed within the Pentagon, DIA is primarily responsible for collecting military intelligence. Like the CIA, it can operate within a limited sphere domestically — such as by recruiting traveling American businesspeople as assets, coordinating with the FBI on potential U.S.-based counterintelligence targets or tracking border-crossing terrorists. But DIA lacks law enforcement authority and has no known history of surveilling or tracking domestic political protests. Kudla, the DIA spokesman, said, “As a Defense Department combat-support agency that works with other parts of DoD and the intelligence community, our capabilities are focused squarely on foreign threats to the nation.” According to former intelligence officials, for DIA to be turned inward at Americans, its personnel would need to either be detailed to another agency or supporting a separate lead agency, such as the FBI. “Intelligence agencies are prohibited from spying against American citizens,” wrote Andrew Bakaj, a founding partner at the legal firm Compass Rose Legal Group, in a message to Yahoo News. Bakaj, a former CIA officer who represented the still anonymous CIA whistleblower who sparked the impeachment proceedings against Trump, said there are cases “when law enforcement needs an assist or support from intelligence agencies, such as a task force. The administration looking to have DIA — military intelligence — conduct intelligence operations against American citizens engaging in protests is, optically, a huge problem,” he wrote. Regardless of the need to arrest violent offenders, he continued, “turning the military intelligence against American citizens is an affront to the Constitution.” Irvin McCullough, national security analyst for the whistleblower nonprofit Government Accountability Project, said that when employees, such as those at DIA, “question the legality of government-sanctioned actions, that’s a call for effective oversight alongside those activities. If whistleblowers come forward with concerns of illegality or abuses of authority, they should be welcomed with open arms and shielded from retaliation,” he wrote in an email to Yahoo News. Jamil N. Jaffer, a former associate counsel to President George W. Bush who also served as a senior counsel on the Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee, also expressed concerns about the possible role of a military intelligence agency in any domestic surveillance. “The role of our intelligence agencies when it comes to looking at foreign intelligence threats domestically is carefully circumscribed and operates under specific laws and regulations including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and for good reasons, going back [to] the abuses of the 1960s and 1970s relating to domestic protests, among other things,” wrote Jaffer, now the executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.'
+ Pentagon intelligence employees raise concerns about supporting domestic surveillance amid protests (2020):
'On Tuesday night, more protesters marched across U.S. cities to push back against police brutality and the killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd by a white police officer. And overhead, in cities such as Las Vegas, Washington DC, and Portland, the National Guard and law enforcement flew surveillance planes, according to flight data reviewed by Motherboard. The data shows that flying high-tech and traditionally military-focused aircraft above protesting cities is becoming a norm at this time. "Military surveillance planes over America's cities are a rare visible indicator of tectonic increases in surveillance quietly underway," John Scott-Railton, a security researcher who has also been tracking some of the surveillance aircraft flights, told Motherboard. For several hours last night, authorities flew an RC-26B aircraft over Washington DC, making dozens of circles above the city, according to data Motherboard reviewed from ADS-B Exchange, a repository of unfiltered flight data. Authorities also flew a RC-26B over Las Vegas Tuesday night, as spotted by Scott-Railton. The aircraft made repeating circles around different areas of the city, according to flight data reviewed by Motherboard. Tuesday protests in Las Vegas were peaceful according to local media reports, but on Monday police shot and killed one person who was armed. After that, authorities announced the Nevada National Guard would join law enforcement on future protests. The RC-26B is a reconnaissance plane carrying infrared and electro-optical cameras, and has been used on counter-narcotic missions and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Authorities also deploy the aircraft for assistance during floods or other disasters.'
+ The Military and FBI Are Flying Surveillance Planes Over Protests (2020):
'Antifa: well organized, practiced in street warfare, entering into Phase Two of Mao’s rules for Insurgencies. These people are very serious. They are terrorists aligned with the radical leadership of Black Lives Matter, who traded learnings with Hamas, and, the founding philosophy of which Professor Jacobson has exposed, based upon the work of Anne Sorock of The Frontier Lab. “If you think the Black Lives Matter movement is just or even primarily about ‘Black Lives,’ then you don’t understand the movement. A new research report, based on detailed interviews with those active in the movement, demonstrates that the organized movement is a vehicle for a radical leftist anti-Capitalist agenda, using ‘Black Lives’ as the hook.” Antifa has never had to hide in Seattle, Portland or the rest of the West Coast. When the news media is forced to mention them at all, they obligingly call them “anti-fascists”, which, this week, useful idiots have been touting on Twitter as proof that being against Antifa means one is for fascism, to which I have replied, “why are you against ‘Making America Great Again?” Antifa loves guns, they have a militia arm and they have practiced seizing civilian infrastructure, part of Phase Two on Mao’s rules for Insurgencies In notoriously anti-Second Amendment Seattle, Antifa open-carried. They commandeered a couple of blocks, as their “security arm”, the John Brown Gun Glub, prevented citizen journalist, and expert on Antifa and its funders, Andy Ngo, from filming the goings on. The Seattle media was incurious. Portland, Oregon, has at times been owned by Antifa. They controlled the comings and goings of cars an people, which the Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, allowed. A decision upon which he doubled-down. At various times on my radio program, I read from Facebook pages of Antifa groups about their paramilitary trainings to be held in Seattle parks: how to make IEDs; how to hide spears in the handles of protest signs; the use of marbles to trip (and probably fatally injure) police horses and their riders. The rest of the Seattle media was not drawn to the stories. Antifa has already committed one major act of terrorism, an attempt to seize a hardened, government building, part of Phase Three of Mao’s rules for Insurgencies.'
+ I Watched Antifa Grow, Let Me Warn You About These Terrorists (2020):
'The FBI’s Washington Field Office “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violence that occurred on May 31 during the D.C.-area protests over the murder of George Floyd, according to an internal FBI situation report obtained exclusively by The Nation. That same day, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would designate “Antifa” a terrorist organization, even though the government has no existing authority to declare a domestic group a terrorist organization, and antifa is not an organized group. Following the president’s tweet, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.” The FBI report, however, states that “based on CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison, FBI WFO has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence.” The statement followed a list of violent acts like throwing bricks at police and the discovery of a backpack containing explosive materials, which were flagged by the FBI under a “Key Updates” section of the report. The FBI has been issuing such reports daily since the weekend, according to a Bureau source, who added that none of these documents contained any evidence of antifa violence. Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” is a type of militant anti-racist, anti-nationalist organizing that does not rely on the justice system to confront the far right. Groups associated with antifa have destroyed property and committed violence in the past, but the fact that the FBI’s situation reports cannot find any evidence of such involvement now suggests that fears about such groups may be exaggerated. The report did warn that individuals from a far-right social media group had “called for far-right provocateurs to attack federal agents, use automatic weapons against protesters.” (The Nation is withholding the name of the group in order to not disrupt any potential law enforcement investigations.) Last year, FBI documents obtained by this reporter showed that the Bureau has listed “Racially Motivated Violent Extremists” among its top counterterrorism priorities. While those priorities did include white supremacist groups, they also included what the FBI called “Black Identity Extremists.” The documents reveal that the Bureau linked “retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement” to the “shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri,” from which the Black Lives Matter movement originated.'
+ The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence (2020):
'The headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was ablaze in the early hours on Sunday morning as protests raged in Richmond. The Richmond Fire Department could be seen working to put out the fire, which appeared to cover much of the front side of the building, which is located on Arthur Ashe Boulevard between the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Nine fire trucks and a police line three blocks long worked to assuage the fire and protect the building. Graffiti covered much of the building's facade: “f--- racists,” “police are creepy,” “stole from us,” and more. On the front steps, the word, “abolition.” Nearby, graffiti covered the Stonewall Jackson statue on Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Monument Avenue, where protesters had gathered earlier in the night. The nearby Robert E. Lee memorial and was also covered in graffiti. A CVS pharmacy also nearby showed shattered glass windows and front doors. Graffiti covered the side of Whole Foods on Broad Street near Boulevard. The Richmond Fire Department tweeted that they battled two fires Saturday night/Sunday morning. The one at the United Daughters of the Confederacy by the VMFA and the other at VCU's Rhodes Hall on the 700 block of West Franklin Street. "Both fires are now under control and were on the exterior only," the fire department tweeted around 1:30 a.m. "Crews are being extremely cautious as they’re potentially intentional."'
'A night after violent demonstrations gripped Richmond in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, more unrest broke out Saturday evening. The protests started peacefully Saturday night, with demonstrators gathered on a downtown street corner chanting as passing cars honked at them. But by 9:30 the scene had changed with protesters tossing garbage cans and water bottles and firing gunshots into the air as they marched through the city. Multiple windows were smashed along Broad Street. On Saturday morning, the streets of Richmond whirred with the sounds of city cleaning trucks as they rounded corners and pumped the brakes at each sighting of profanity toward police or “BLM” sprayed across government buildings, walls and storefronts after Friday night’s protest in response to the death of Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The cleaning trucks passed Belvidere Street, where a GRTC Pulse bus burned just hours before, and the corner of North Monroe and West Grace, where the vehicle on fire was a police car. VCU workers sprayed the university’s Institute for Contemporary Art walls clean of “BLM” and a four-letter profanity, written just feet away from a “Solidarity is Essential” sign. By Saturday evening, Richmond Police Department headquarters was boarded up with wooden panels fitted to conceal its windows, buses stopped running and Capitol Square was closed as cities across the U.S. braced for further protests.'
+ Daughters of Confederacy headquarters on fire, 2 Capitol Police officers injured as violence erupts during second night of protesting in Richmond (2020):
'Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has praised Donald Trump for the “law and order” speech he gave on 1 June in response to protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Speaking in the White House rose garden, Trump said he was 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”. In a post on Facebook, Novoselic wrote: “Wow!!! I know many of you can’t stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech.” He continued: “I agree, the president should not be sending troops into states – and he legally might not be able to anyway – nevertheless, the tone in this speech is strong and direct.” The National Guard has deployed thousands of troops across America. However, Trump would have to invoke the 19th-century Insurrection Act to deploy armed troops. State governor approval is not required if the president determines that it has become impossible to enforce US laws or when citizens’ rights are threatened in any US state. Novoselic alleged that the violence “appears as a leftist insurrection”, despite a lack of clarity about the left-wing antifascist group antifa’s involvement with the protests. “Imagine if so called ‘patriot militias’ were raising this kind of hell?” Novoselic wrote. “If this were the case, left-wing people would welcome federal intervention. Most Americans want peace in their communities and President Trump spoke to this desire. Never mind the legal details that few understand – Trump said he would stop the violence and this speaks to many.” Novoselic dismissed a fan’s query about whether this was a parody account...'
+ Nirvana: Krist Novoselic praises Trump's 'strong and direct' protest speech (2020):
'The US defence secretary has opposed Donald Trump’s threatened use of the Insurrection Act to allow active duty troops to be deployed in American cities, Mark Esper was speaking to journalists in the Pentagon amid mounting disquiet about the increasingly militarized response to the George Floyd protests, and confusion over the role of the troops. About 700 troops from the 82nd airborne division, mostly military police and combat engineers, were flown to bases around Washington on Monday night. The Associated Press reported that 200 would fly out on Wednesday, but then with a few hours that decision was reversed and the airborne troops stayed put in the bases on the outskirts of the capital. Trump has threatened to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act that would allow him to deploy troops on city streets, against the wishes of state and city authorities. The president said he would use the law if local authorities failed “to defend the life and property of their residents”. Esper categorically opposed using the act on Wednesday. “I say this not only as secretary of defence, but also as a former soldier, and a former member of the national guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” the defence secretary said. “We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.” Esper has been supportive of Trump and has avoided contradicting him until now. But there is reported to be mounting unease about senior officers about the politicisation of the armed forces, and concern over Esper’s own actions. “Esper has directly challenged Trump,” Thomas Wright, director of the centre on the United States and Europe on the Brookings Institution, said on Twitter. “Trump hates being boxed in. If he fires Esper, it could set in motion a crisis that may lead to a wider revolt within the GOP.” Esper was due in the White House to meet Trump straight after his Wednesday morning press briefing. It was not clear if Trump had ordered him to reverse his order on troops deployments around Washington.'
+ Pentagon chief opposes Trump threat to deploy military at protests (2020):
'I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside. We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.'
'James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law. Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics. Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children. We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Park. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite. Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.'
+ Defense Secretary Mattis’ statement on Trump’s handling of nationwide protests (2020):
'U.S. Army UH-72 Lakota helicopters, as well as UH-60 Black Hawks, one possibly belonging to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have been flying extremely low-level show-of-force maneuvers over areas of Washington, D.C. in obvious attempts to try to disperse groups protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week. Some of the helicopters have held a hover right over groups of people, hitting them with their rotor wash and the deafening sound of their rotors and engines. This comes after President Donald Trump announced he had ordered hardline measures against protesters and rioters in the nation's capital, including the deployment of additional national guardsmen, federal troops, and federal law enforcement officers. Daniella Cheslow, a reporter for WAMU 88.5, American University Radio, in Washington, D.C. posted the video seen below of one UH-72 Lakota "parked" above a group of people on Twitter. Steven Dengler, the co-founder of XE Currency, a FOREX software tools and services company, and a licensed helicopter pilot, chimed in to point out that, at least under Federal Aviation Administration rules, this maneuver was very illegal. The UH-72 in this instance has red crosses on white square backgrounds on its door and under the fuselage, denoting that its primary mission is as an air ambulance. It's not clear what unit the Lakota, or a standard Black Hawk that was also seen performing similar maneuvers, are assigned to. Both the D.C. National Guard and the active Army's 12th Aviation Battalion, the latter of which is based at Davison Army Airfield in Virginia, have UH-72s, including examples in the air ambulance role, as well as UH-60 Black Hawks. There is also a possibility, albeit much less likely, that the helicopters might have come from somewhere else given that the Trump Administration has called in substantial additional federal military and law enforcement support.'
+ Military Helicopters Descend On Washington In Bizarre Very Low-Altitude Show Of Force (2020):
'Mass surveillance society subjects us all to its gaze, but not equally so. Its power touches everyone, but its hand is heaviest in communities already disadvantaged by their poverty, race, religion, ethnicity, and immigration status. Technology and stealth allow government watchers to remain unobtrusive when they wish to be so, but their blunter tools—stop-and-frisk,1 suspicionless search, recruitment of snitches, compulsory questioning on intimate subjects—are conspicuous in the lives of those least empowered to object. We are not exactly the first to notice these disparities. There is a rich and diverse literature of dissent, hard experience, and scholarship about the disproportionate intrusions of government into poor and brown communities, much of it produced by people with roots in those precincts themselves. We are indebted to their work. We will make no pretense here of explaining the unjust burdens of surveillance to people who have carried and protested them for decades. We direct our report, instead, to people who could have listened but did not: lawmakers, law enforcement authorities, mayors, governors, and other people with power who failed to look beyond their own experience and point of view. Most of all, we aim this report at our fellow thinkers about surveillance on a national and global scale.'
'For decades, and especially in the past four years, civil libertarians (including the authors of this report) have tended to frame this debate in the discourse of universal rights. We assert a place for privacy among the core liberties that restrain state power in a self-governing democracy. Through that lens, government surveillance is seen as inflicting its harms on everyone. Even when ostensibly targeted, its methods tend to encroach on the public at large. All of us, consciously or not, have something to hide—something that would harm us or people we know if revealed in the wrong circumstance. We stand by these positions. We have also come to see them as profoundly incomplete. Universalist arguments obscure the topography of power. Surveillance is not at all the same thing at higher and lower elevations on the contour map of privilege. Privacy scholars speak of philosophical rights and hypothetical risks; privacy-minded middle class Americans fear allowing the government too much access to their electronic trails. But there is nothing abstract about the physical, often menacing, intrusions into less fortunate neighborhoods, where mere presence in a “high-crime” area is grounds for detention, search, and questioning by police. At age sixty-five, tens of millions of Americans5 claim their Medicare benefits with nothing more eventful than completion of some forms. (Medicare.gov even promises to “protect your privacy by getting rid of the information you give us when you close the browser.”) An impoverished single mother on Medicaid faces mortifying questions, face-to-face with benefit managers, about her lovers, hygiene, parental shortcomings, and personal habits. The abusive application of broad legal powers should color our choices about the powers themselves. We do not mean “abuse” in the narrow sense of a rogue employee who deliberately breaks the rules. Much more common and more serious problems arise from officially sanctioned practices—ostensibly within the rules—that authorities inflict unequally on poorer, browner, and blacker communities. State and local overreach of this kind should be no less central to the national privacy debate than intelligence operations on a global scale.'
'This report gives primary attention to the disparate impact of surveillance made manifest through urban policing and social services for the poor. Not everyone is accustomed to viewing these systems through the lens of surveillance, but a substantial body of research has done so for years. In the lived experience of minority neighborhoods, authorities at ground level wield enormous power to peer into their lives. Privacy is not only a luxury that many residents cannot afford. In surveillance-heavy precincts, for practical purposes, privacy cannot be bought at any price. Unspoken policy, well intended or not, disqualifies those people from basic protections8 that most Americans can take for granted. Privacy advocates have sometimes struggled to demonstrate the harms of government surveillance to the general public. Part of the challenge is empirical. Federal, state, and local governments shield their high-technology operations with stealth, obfuscation, and sometimes outright lies when obliged to answer questions. In many cases, perhaps most, these defenses defeat attempts to extract a full, concrete accounting of what the government knows about us, and how it puts that information to use. There is a lot less mystery for the poor and disfavored, for whom surveillance takes palpable, often frightening forms. Universalist arguments apply across lines of social and economic class, but their generality is not well suited to combating unequal and particular harms. Members of our most disadvantaged communities have long asserted that they fall under heavier and more hostile scrutiny, and empirical research supports them. Meaningful oversight of state surveillance cannot be designed with only common conditions in mind. There is no sense in having a conversation about surveillance in America without taking account of its profoundly unequal use. We cannot divorce privacy research or policy from considerations of class, race, gender, and other social hierarchies. When we do that, as we do often, we fail. The liberal conception of privacy has no claim to universal reach if it fails to adapt to unequal circumstance.'
+ The Disparate Impact of Surveillance (2017):
'Burning and/or looting Target or Macy’s is a minor diversion. No one is aiming at the Pentagon (or even the shops at the Pentagon Mall). The FBI. The NY Federal Reserve. The Treasury Department. The CIA in Langley. Wall Street houses. The real looters – the ruling class – are comfortably surveying the show on their massive 4K Bravias, sipping single malt. This is a class war much more than a race war and should be approached as such. Yet it was hijacked from the start to unfold as a mere color revolution. US corporate media dropped their breathless Planet Lockdown coverage like a ton of – pre-arranged? – bricks to breathlessly cover en masse the new American “revolution.” Social distancing is not exactly conducive to a revolutionary spirit. There’s no question the US is mired in a convoluted civil war in progress, as serious as what happened after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King in Memphis in April 1968. Yet massive cognitive dissonance is the norm across the full “strategy of tension” spectrum. Powerful factions pull no punches to control the narrative. No one is able to fully identify all the shadowplay intricacies and inconsistencies. Hardcore agendas mingle: an attempt at color revolution/regime change (blowback is a bitch) interacts with the Boogaloo Bois – arguably tactical allies of Black Lives Matter – while white supremacist “accelerationists” attempt to provoke a race war. To quote the Temptations: it’s a ball of confusion. Antifa is criminalized but the Boogaloo Bois get a pass (here is how Antifa’s main conceptualizer defends his ideas). Yet another tribal war, yet another – now domestic – color revolution under the sign of divide and rule, pitting Antifa anti-fascists vs. fascist white supremacists. Meanwhile, the policy infrastructure necessary for enacting martial law has evolved as a bipartisan project.'
+ Pablo Escobar: Why America's Revolution Won't Be Televised (2020):
'In a disturbing development in the United States, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi installed outside the Indian embassy in Washington DC has been desecrated by unruly Black Lives Matter protesters, news agency ANI has reported. The United States Park police have launched an investigation into the desecration of the statue, the news agency said quoting sources. Protests have erupted across the US over the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd died on 25 May after a white cop pressed his knee on the African-American man’s neck. Following the incident, protesters have taken to the streets across the country to protest against police brutality and racial injustice. Some of the protesters have also resorted to violence and looting. The US prosecutors have charged several police officers in the case. The main accused, Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder. The three other officers at the scene were charged for the first time with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.'
+ US: Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue Outside Indian Embassy In Washington DC Vandalised By Black Lives Matter Protesters (2020):