During the weekend, there were massive riots in many cities in the United States following protests over the violent death of George Floyd. But apart from a few tweets, little was heard from US President Donald Trump given the escalating situation in his country. Now, however, Trump has stepped in front of the microphones in the rose garden of the White House to comment on the riots that have been going on in US cities for days.
His very brief statement should do little to ease the situation on the country’s roads. Trump announced the mobilization of all of his government’s available civil and military forces to stop the riots. “We are ending the riots and lawlessness that have spread across our country,” the president said, referring to “acts of domestic terror.”
He described himself as the “president of law and order”. Above all, the wording stands for tough police crackdown and a drastic intervention against alleged violations of the law.
President speaks of “thousands of heavily armed soldiers”
He also called on all state governors to mobilize the national guard so that “we dominate the streets.” “An overwhelming presence on the streets is necessary until the violence has ended.” If cities or states fail to do so, he will deploy the military, Trump said. He also announced that “thousands of heavily armed soldiers” would be sent to Washington.
Numerous military vehicles were seen around the White House, CNN reports of a “long convoy that drove out of the White House complex onto Pennsylvania Avenue.” These are apparently members of the National Guard. According to the Reuters news agency, active US soldiers are waiting near the capital. Their action against US citizens would be a remarkable step in the escalation.
In the US capital, a curfew should come into effect again at 7 p.m. (local time / 1 a.m.CEST). According to the US President, this is “enforced harshly”. His statement fears that there will be another escalation in Washington in the evenings, where thousands of demonstrators are on the streets.
Tear gas against protesters near the White House
The first clashes have already taken place. Shortly before the US President’s appearance, the police had forced demonstrators outside the White House. A dpa reporter reported that the police had used tear gas and stun grenades. Even during Trump’s statement, loud loud bangs were heard from near the White House, according to CNN. According to various US media, peaceful demonstrators were violently displaced. The intervention should apparently clear the way for Trump. Shortly after his speech in the Rose Garden, the President ran his entourage to a nearby church and posed for photos with a Bible in his hand.