The White House Surrounded By Nearly 2 Miles Of Fencing And Barricades
The White House has been transformed into a ‘fortress’, with security fencing and concrete barriers being used to keep out protesters.
It comes just 72 hours after Trump’s administration opted to use tear gas and other non-lethal force to clear Lafayette Square of peaceful protesters so the president could pose in front of a church with a bible.
The new fencing is lined with armed guards and combat troops, and is said to run around 1.7 miles around the White House.
While some people have said the use of such barricades shows Trump’s weaknesses, White House officials claimed to the Washington Post that the president wasn’t involved in making the decision to ramp up security.
Trump is said to have been sensitive to the perception fanned by his critics that he is cowering in a bunker and fearful for his own safety, while White House sources added that he’s livid that the media found out about him being taken to a bunker on Friday, May 29, as protesters breached temporary fences.
The added security comes as the protests against racism and police brutality show no signs of slowing down in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Yesterday, June 4, Trump released a letter from lawyer John Dowd, which described protesters as ‘terrorists using idle hate filled students to burn and destroy,’ later saying Trump had done more than anyone to help ‘our minority brothers and sisters’ than anyone else, including Obama.
Earlier today, June 5, activists painted ‘Black Lives Matter’ in huge yellow paint across the whole of 16th Street, which leads to the White House. The project, which sees each letter being drawn at around 35ft long, was done with the assistance of the city and commissioned by Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Crews from the D.C. Department of Public Works closed off parts of the street so the painting could be completed.
Many people have come out in support of the artwork, while others have claimed it is merely performative rather than productive.
The D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted:
This is peformative and a distraction from her active counter organising to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community. Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.
Many officials have expressed their concerns over Trump’s administration deploying thousands of federal police and National Guardsmen into the city.
Voicing her own concerns, Mayor Bowser said:
We are all very concerned about how the federal assets pushed out from the federal complex and we worked with them to push back. We are subject to the whims of the federal government. Sometimes they are benevolent and sometimes they are not. And so we have to fix it.
The ongoing protests began in response to the death of black Minneapolis father George Floyd, who died at the hands of police during an arrest. His death prompted Black Lives Matter demonstrations to form not only all over the US but in many other parts of the world too, calling for an end to systemic racism.
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CreditsThe Washington Post
The Washington Post