It seems a bit ingenuous for the government to position 26,000 armed federal troops, law enforcement officers, and National Guard soldiers in Washington, DC for anticipated protests during Biden’s inauguration. If you think back to January of 2017, there were widespread violent protests during President Trump’s inauguration with only a minor show of force.
An estimated half million protestors descended on Washington, DC for the expressed purpose of disrupting the inauguration of President Trump. Remember? It is said to be the largest ever inauguration protest.
Demonstrators were heard to chant, “Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!”
More than 200 violent demonstrators were arrested during the 2017 riots. Many of them wore face masks. This was three years before COVID.
Storefront windows of banks and shops were smashed along the parade route. Demonstrators locked arms and created blockades in front of public areas. Protests expanded and became more violent during the afternoon. Police officers with riot shields and helmets used flash grenades and pepper spray to disperse the rioters. Remember?
Arrests were made based on security videos, police helicopters, witnesses, and social media posts. Some of the posts were made by the demonstrators themselves.
Protests were well planned and advertised. For example, “Disrupt J20” was an organization that planned some of the demonstrations. Amazingly, they used Facebook to get the word out!
Organized protests included the Women’s March. Participants showed up wearing pink hats. Their march was streamed live on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Remember?
“I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” the singer Madonna said in a profanity-laced speech. Remember?
Peaceful supporters at President Trump’s inauguration were actually advised by police not to wear their red MAGA hats in the streets. “I think it’s very oppressive” said Trump supporter Marlita Gogan of Houston, Texas.” They can have their day, but I don’t get it.”
To be sure, police tried to stop the planned riots and protests during the 2017 inauguration. But there weren’t calls for federal troops and National Guard soldiers, even though the protests were anticipated.
It seems hypocritical for heavily armed troops in Washington, DC to try to stop demonstrators during Biden’s inauguration when they did little to prevent the well-organized and well-advertised protests for Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
Not to mention the widespread riots, looting, and burning during the summer. Police were told to stand down while state government buildings were vandalized and burned. Statues were torn down and police vehicles were torched as law enforcement officers stood by and watched. Remember?
That’s what makes the weaponization of Biden’s inauguration so hypocritical.
Image from: nytimes.com