Insurrection Act will have to be invoked for Trump to bring in military on home ground
New York imposes curfew amid protests asking for Justice for George Floyd
#BlackLivesMatter gains momentum across the country as people rally against racial discrimination
After protests against racial discrimination in the United States refuse to die down, President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself “the president of law and order” and threatened to ‘deploy the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests’.
Escalating his rhetoric during a period of roiling national crises, Trump threatened to deploy the U.S. military to cities or states that don’t take “necessary” actions to halt violent protests, saying the armed forces will “quickly solve the problem for them.”
“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said in a short statement in the Rose Garden at the White House.
To do that, the president would need to invoke what’s known as the Insurrection Act of 1807. The original text of the act, which has been amended several times since it was first passed, is “an Act authorizing the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States, in cases of insurrections”.
As Trump spoke, an incredible TV split screen developed around the White House. While he addressed the nation in the White House’s idyllic Rose Garden, a series of military vehicles rolled out front on Pennsylvania Avenue and military police and law enforcement clashed with protesters at Lafayette Park.
Trump said he would mobilize “thousands and thousands” of soldiers to keep the peace if governors did not use the National Guard to shut down the protests.
Loud tear gas explosions could be heard as authorities moved what appeared to be peaceful protests in the park. The escalation came just after Attorney General William Barr came to the park to to survey the demonstrators.
According to senior defense officials, between 600 and 800 National Guard members from five states were being sent to Washington to provide assistance.
New York City imposed a curfew as officials tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent another night of protests over George Floyd’s killing.
With an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, New York joined other cities around the country in imposing such measures after days of unrest. The limit on a city of more than 8 million people comes after months of restrictions already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Big crowds rallied in Times Square and Brooklyn on Monday afternoon and marched through the streets for hours. As in previous days, the demonstrations held in daylight hours were peaceful with officers mostly keeping their distance from marchers. A nighttime march through Brooklyn was also peaceful, with limited action with police.
But midtown Manhattan descended into chaos as night fell.
Earlier in the day, one Times Square demonstrator, Giselle Francisco, considered the curfew necessary.
On Friday night, protestors in huge numbers had gathered outside the White House in Washington DC, and President Donald Trump was briefly taken to the White House underground bunker.
He was there for less than an hour before US Secret Service and the United States Park Police officers sought to block the protestors.
The protesters identifying themselves with the #BlackLivesMatter movement demanded justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality against blacks in America. The movement against systemic discrimination and marginalisation of Black Americans has reignited after the killing of Floyd.
Floyd, a Black American died after a police officer strangulated him by pushing his knee over the man’s neck.
The video which was caught on the camera has created an uproar. Violent protests have broken out across the country against police brutality.
As many as 40 cities and Washington D.C. across the United States have imposed curfews in response to the continuing protests.
Micro blogging site Twitter too showed support by adding the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to its official handle.
News Channel CNN’s correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested by police while reporting live on air, covering the protests.
Jimenez had just shown a protester being arrested when about half a dozen white police officers surrounded him. Jiminez is also a Black American.
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