Agitators aiming to topple historic statues in Washington, D.C., better get their last licks in because the hammer is coming down.
The Pentagon told Fox News on Wednesday that hundreds of National Guard troops have been activated there in order to protect federal assets as protesters take to the streets.
The decision came days after anarchists had violent clashes with police, defaced St. John’s Church and tried to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson in Layette Square Park. The clashes near the White House prompted President Trump to take to Twitter to vow that D.C. will not turn into Seattle where protesters set up an “autonomous zone.”
“If they try they will be met with serious force,” he said.
The Pentagon said that 400 troops have been activated and are on standby if needed. Their mission would be to support U.S. Park Police “at key monuments to prevent any defacing or destruction,” Lt. Col. Christian Mitchell, the spokesman, told Fox News. He said that the troops will not be armed and will assist with “crowd management.”
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The attack on the Jackson statue that is in the shadow of the White House seemed to resonate with Trump, who warned anarchists that they could face 10 years in prison under federal law that protects monuments from vandalism.
Todd Starnes, the host of the “Todd Starnes Radio Show,” has spoken out about the left’s drive to erase the country’s history. Starnes, the author of “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation,” said earlier, “Here we are, in American history, that anything that you don’t like can be irradiated. And the problem with that is that when you erase your history, you are prone to repeat that history.”
Trump has publically clashed with D.C.’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, who criticized his decision to use federal troops during past protests. She said city police had a firm grip on the protests. Her critics said she was simply grandstanding in the media and doing her best to get noticed by Joe Biden as a potential vice president pick.
Trump has taken the position of 2020’s law-and-order candidate and criticized Democrat-controlled cities that succumbed to violent anarchists in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.
He retweeted Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who wrote, “The left-wing mob presents a serious threat to the American way of life. They won’t stop at statues. They’ve already torched police precincts, low-income housing, and churches. This violence against people and property cannot go unpunished.”