Protests have raged in many US cities for days. And for days, US President Trump has been calling on governors in the states to crack down. Now he is going on the offensive himself.
US President Donald Trump has announced tough crackdown on rioters in the face of anti-racism protests. In a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House, Trump described the riots as “acts of domestic terror”. If the cities and states affected do not take the necessary measures, he will deploy soldiers “and quickly solve the problem for them”. Trump continued: “Mayors and governors must show an overwhelming police presence until the violence is crushed.”
In his short-term speech, Trump announced the deployment of “thousands of heavily armed” soldiers and police officers in the capital, Washington, to “stop rioting, looting, vandalism, attacks, and the deliberate destruction of property.” The president described the outbreaks of violence during the protests in Washington as “total shame”.
Escalating protests outside the White House
Trump’s appearance was accompanied by protests outside the U.S. government headquarters where police forces vehemently acted against demonstrators. Demonstrations against police violence, racism and social injustice have been going on in many US cities for days. The protests were triggered by the death of African American George Floyd after a brutal police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The demonstrations were partly violent. Trump had repeatedly called on democratic governors and mayors to crack down on rioters and accused them of weakness.
Now the President has asked the governors to deploy enough National Guard forces to regain control of the streets in their cities. “If a city or state refuses to take the necessary measures to defend the lives or property of its residents, I will deploy the United States military and quickly resolve the issue for them.”
Trump speaks of terror and anarchy
Trump also announced arrangements to protect the capital, Washington, where there have also been protests in recent days, some of which have been rioting. This is a shame, Trump said, and announced that thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers and law enforcement officers would be deployed.
“I am your President for Law and Order,” Trump said to the population. He would fight to protect the country and its citizens. What happened in the past few days can be equated with terror in part. The country needs security and not anarchy, justice and not chaos. “This is our mission and we will win.”
UN chief Guterres calls for restraint
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has meanwhile called on everyone involved to exercise restraint. “Complaints have to be heard, but they have to be expressed in a peaceful manner and the authorities have to show restraint in how they deal with the demonstrators,” Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric told journalists.
“In the United States, like any other country in the world, diversity is a gift and not a threat, but the success of diverse societies requires a massive investment in social cohesion in every country.” Cases of police violence should be investigated.