National Guard to protect monuments, ahead of Trump's order to crack down on vandals
The D.C. National Guard will provide additional security ahead of protesters' purported plan to remove Lincoln statue near Capitol Hill
June 25, 2020 - 2:10pm
The D.C. National Guard will reportedly assist with protecting monuments in the nation’s capital, ahead an executive order President Trump is set to sign this week that will bring jail time for protesters who try to destroy or remove statues and other federal property.
Unarmed guardsmen will protect the monuments along the National Mall and other federal properties.
"The District of Columbia National Guard is responding to a request to support law enforcement officials and has dispatched unarmed personnel, with others on stand-by, a National Guard spokesman told CNN on Wednesday. "Activated Guardsmen are expected to provide security for local monuments and critical infrastructure."
Trump vowed Tuesday after protesters tried to remove a statue of former President Andrew Jackson for Lafayette Square, near the White House, that he would sign the order, which he said will strengthen existing law and could result in offenders being sentenced to as much as 10 years behind bars.
Protesters across the country have been defacing and removing statues memorializing historical figures in U.S. history as part of the demonstrations that followed the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died in the custody of Minneapolis police.
“Very sad to see States allowing roving gangs of wise guys, anarchists & looters, many of them having no idea what they are doing, indiscriminately ripping down our statues and monuments to the past. Some are great works of art, but all represent our History & Heritage, both....,” Trump tweeted late Wednesday night.
Protesters in Portland, Oregon, have already a statue of George Washington and will purportedly attempt to remove one Thursday night of Abraham Lincoln in the District of Columbia's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
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