The scene of “troops dressed for combat” at the Lincoln Memorial — the famed point of departure for the civil rights movement that saw the March on Washington — mimicked images of Tiananmen Square, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
“What is President Trump doing to this grand democracy?” Schumer asked.
Dozens of National Guard troops deployed by President Trump were stationed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday night in a fresh attempt at brandishing military force to squash anti-racism protests that entered a fifth night in Washington, D.C.
This photo represents the opposite of what the Lincoln Memorial stands for, and will be a permanent stain on the American story at home and around the world https://t.co/T5ZcKXbUz0
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) June 3, 2020
President Trump’s harsh tactics to silence demonstrators have continued unabated —first deploying 1,200 members of the National Guard to patrol D.C. streets and later dispensing chemical spray and shooting rubber bullets at protesters, while sending low-flying helicopters overhead in other parts of the city. Trump has repeatedly said he wants to “dominate” protests that have erupted on streets across America.
Tiananmen Square was occupied in 1989 by student-led demonstrations in Beijing that were driven away when the military driving tanks fired bullets killing an unnamed number demonstrators.
Sen. Chuck Schumer says the images of "troops dressed for combat" at the Lincoln Memorial remind him of Tiananmen Square: "This administration ordered federal officers to gas peaceful protesters … What is President Trump doing to this grand democracy?” https://t.co/aL4BfEM05o pic.twitter.com/QBLJ7ebuph
— ABC News (@ABC) June 3, 2020
Schumer’s remarks come after the failure of a resolution proposed by Senate Democrats condemning the violent dispersal of protesters in Lafayette Park on Monday. In an MSNBC interview on Tuesday night, Schumer also accused the President of taking advantage of division fo personal gain, seeming to “take delight in ripping us apart further.”
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