Striking photos show the National Guard blocking protesters in front of the Lincoln Memorial, as George Floyd protests continue

salarshani@businessinsider.com (Sarah Al-Arshani)
Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • Dozens of Air National Guard members lined the entrance to the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday. 
  • The order was made by Attorney General William Barr, The New York Times reported. 
  • This comes after days of protests over the death of George Floyd after a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis. 
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Dozens of Air National Guard members lined the entrance to the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday, blocking protesters from entering. 

 

According to WAMU, in response to protests, 1,500 additional national guardsmen joined the DC National Guard on Tuesday. 

The striking photos — taken at the same site as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 speech, the memorial for the president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation — highlight the unrest happening in the nation's capital and across the country following the death of George Floyd after an ex-officer knelt on his neck for several minutes last week. 

Protests have erupted all across Washington, DC, and on Monday, those in Lafayette square were met with force.

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Monday evening, police dressed in riot gear clashed with peaceful protesters near the White House. 

At around 6:30 p.m. local time, the DC National Guard troops and other law enforcement pushed peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Square using some form of chemical deterrent, rubber bullets, shields, and horses. Trump spoke in the Rose Garden at 6:44 p.m. local time, Business Insider previously reported.

 

Attorney General William Barr reportedly made the call to have members of the National Guard stand at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday, according to a New York Times reporter.

 

Photos show some law enforcement officials wearing "military police" vests in front of a barricade in front of the steps.

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

According to WRC, despite the presence, hundreds of protesters demonstrated peacefully. 

The National Parks Service was told to expect more "militarized presence around sites."

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

According to The New York Times, the park superintendent was also not notified ahead of time. 

National monuments were vandalized during protests over the weekend.

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

According to WUSA9, the National Mall was defaced, and phrases like "Yall not tired yet?" were spray-painted on the Lincoln Memorial, and "Do black vets count?" was written on the World War II Memorial. 

 

Trump has advocated for using force against protesters across the country.

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Monday, Trump gave an "ominous and curt address" in the Rose Garden threatening military intervention in nationwide protests, Business Insider previously reported.

"Today I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets," Trump said.

"Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law-enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled," he added. "If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them."

Guardsmen are often called into duty for natural disasters like hurricanes, but can also be called in for large demonstrations and protests.

Demonstrators gathered raise their fists at the Lincoln Memorial during a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Other states and major cities have also seen protests and had the National Guard called in to assist local law enforcement.

National Guard members rolled into Los Angeles over the weekend, after many businesses were destroyed, Business Insider previously reported.

Source: WAMU

The Lincoln Memorial is the site of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The site itself, as Dr. King points out in his speech, memorializes President Abraham Lincoln who issued the Emancipation Proclamation that decreed in 1863 that enslaved people in the southern states that rebelled during the Civil War "are, and henceforward shall be free."

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