If this were a movie, and not real life, I would proffer the possibility that this was a trap for my fellow Americans.
You see, after a week of the White House espousing the “law and order” stance, the military is heading out of Washington DC, and, historically speaking, weekends attract the largest crowds when it comes to protesting.
The nation’s capital is bracing for the largest protest yet on Saturday since the death of George Floyd, expanding a massive fenced perimeter around the White House, even as the Pentagon sent home hundreds of active duty troops positioned outside the city.
Over 10 days of protests, the security perimeter around the White House has increased, and on Thursday morning extended to the far outskirts of a park complex known as the Ellipse near the National Mall with extensive fencing and barricades.
That was in anticipation of a major event on Saturday, according to the local police department.
Just how wild could it get?
“We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we’ve had in the city,” Peter Newsham, chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, said at a press conference on Thursday morning.
It was not immediately clear which groups were organizing the march, but #1MillionDCSaturday was trending on Twitter in a call for one million people to march on the capital to protest police brutality against African Americans and the death of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.
The United States Park Police told McClatchy that it was using “intelligence to monitor upcoming events,” but would not preview its planning as doing so could “pose a hazard to the public and police.” The White House referred questions about Saturday’s march to the Secret Service, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The timing of the military departure, set against the backdrop of a surge in angst, sure does seem to be a peculiar confluence, careening toward catastrophe, doesn’t it?