“Police did not clear protesters from Lafayette Park for Trump photo op, inspector general finds.” ~ CNN
A little over a year ago, on June 1, 2020, we watched it play out, live. U.S. Park Police, Metropolitan Police, and the Secret Service used unnecessary tactics to clear Lafayette Square without first issuing a warning. They executed a surprise attack against protesters and journalists to clear a path from the White House to Lafayette Park. As soon as the route had been relinquished that former guy, a would-be dictator, paraded alongside his Attorney General, Press Secretary du jour, daughter, and others, toward their destination, St. John’s Episcopal Church, a Church Trump has still never set foot inside. Once there, he posed with a prop (not his Bible, ) “it’s a Bible,” held upside down. It was a staged photo-op, but more than that, it was an attempt to repair Trump’s bruised ego. It was pushback against news leaks that he had been hiding underground in the White House bunker.
Trump nominated Interior Department Inspector General, Mark Greenblatt, has released a report assuring us we did not see what we saw. We thought we watched Park Police and Metropolitan Police, aided by Secret Service disperse a crowd of protesters and journalists, violently and without warning, using teargas and rubber bullets.
Where were they on January 06, 2020?
For what purpose? The purpose was to prop up a disgraced coward who had earned the title “bunker boy.” No? My mistake. Trump’s Inspector General now tells us that his report, paid for by taxpayers, has concluded U.S. Park Police and Secret Service disbanded the crowd for the construction of anti scale fencing. Isn’t that how all construction crews work, with teargas and rubber bullets? It’s a prep function, like sanding wood before you stain it.
I am not so easily manipulated. I saw what I saw, and all the gaslighting in the world will not rewrite history. Embarrassment was the motivation for the attack and promenade. News of Trump’s cowardice, hiding in the White House bunker, during protests had been made public. This violent attack was a weak man attempting to seem strong by ordering an attacking innocent people.
Greenblatt’s report says clearing the area for construction had been planned for days and that the Bureau of Prisons officers on the scene used pepper spray against protestors and Metropolitan Police officers used tear gas, despite orders from Park Police not to do so.
Protesters and journalists acted within the law. Greenblatt calling it “a particularly tumultuous event in a tumultuous time,” doesn’t excuse the reckless assault against the people who were there, and against the constitution. Why is Greenblatt still employed?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” ~Amendment I of the U.S. Constitution
George Bernard Shaw’s character from “Jaws,” Matt Hoopper, said it best: “Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn’t any propeller, and it wasn’t any coral reef, and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper! It was a shark!”
More specifically, it was an orange shark with a long red tie, and a Bible held upside down. It was an attack against our First Amendment rights.
When will the Trump administration be held accountable for their crimes? (Merrick Garland?) Our democracy is under threat. The repeated claim that Trump will be reinstated in August has a purpose. There will be another attempt to overthrow the government, and the longer it takes the DOJ to act, the more emboldened those who threaten to destroy us become.