President Donald Trump said he would use “serious force” against protesters if they set up an autonomous zone in Washington, D..C.
“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!” he wrote.
There will never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
The president’s comment is a reference to Seattle’s self-declared Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone that was set up after authorities abandoned the city’s East Precinct. Millions have rallied against racial injustice and police brutality around the nation since the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
“Since then, hundreds of people have been gathering in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where the atmosphere has been part peaceful protest, part commune, with speeches, distribution of free food, live music, a community garden and late-night movie screening,” NBC News reported last month.
Many soon criticized the president, who has threatened to use force against protesters before.
So, are you confirming that if peaceful protesters claim to have an “autonomous zone” you will use violence to stop them? Just confirming for someone I know, named the Constitution.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) June 23, 2020
If King George III had access to Twitter, I suspect he would have said much the same.
Actually he did say much the same, it just took him one really long run on sentence to do it. Then again, he was already starting to go insane at the time.
— politi_geek (@politi_geek) June 23, 2020
Trump knows that he can only pull this election off at this point by causing even more division. By inciting violence, he thinks it makes him look tuff but we all know he’s all hot air.
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) June 23, 2020
Oh good, Trump is threatening violence against peaceful protesters again. Doesn’t he have anything better to do?
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) June 23, 2020
Last week, the president issued a threat against anyone wishing to protest against a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that took place on Saturday.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” he wrote on Twitter. “It will be a much different scene!”
The president has backed police officers and the unions behind them and has in the past had tweets flagged by Twitter for promoting violence, including one instance when he promised “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”