The highest ranking military officer over Washington D.C., Maj. Gen. Schwartz, forced by higher orders was removed at exactly 12:01p.m. on Jan.20, on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new president.
This raised the question of whether or not this inauguration is going to be a peaceful transition.
Although nothing tragic happened, this gave birth to a lot of vulnerability and posed difficult questions about where everybody’s loyalty lies and who has the real power over our nation.
The DC National Guard Chief Fired Days Before Trump Inauguration: “The Timing Is Extremely Unusual”
Phil Mendelson, the D.C. Council Chairman said in rage “It doesn’t make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment,” after the Maj.Gen. Errol R. Schwartz was fired moments before Trump was sworn in as president.
The Washington Post reported that his departure came in the middle of the ceremony as a special security event.
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post.
“During the inauguration, Schwartz would command not only the members of the D.C. guard but also an additional 5,000 unarmed troops sent in from across the country to help. He also would oversee military air support protecting the nation’s capital during the inauguration.
“My troops will be on the street,” Schwartz, who turned 65 in October, said, “I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said that he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”
Schwartz, who was appointed to head the guard by President George W. Bush in 2008, maintained the position through President Obama’s two terms. He said his orders came from the Pentagon but that he doesn’t know who made the decision.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) blasted the decision to remove Schwartz, especially on Inauguration Day.”
“It doesn’t make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment,” Mendelson said. He added that Schwartz’s sudden departure would be a long-term loss for the District. “He’s been really very good at working with the community and my impression was that he was good for the Guard.”
In the District, the President appoints the National Guard, unlike in the states.
“Schwartz said that he has not been told why he was asked to step down. “I’m a soldier,” he said, noting that he was following orders and has no regrets. “I’m a presidential appointee, therefore the president has the power to remove me.””
Was this just another scheme of Obama? The fact that the anti-Trump activists were planning the biggest protest in the US history on the day of the inauguration was a little frightening. They were planning a wide range of actions. Trump’s election day was perhaps the most galvanizing moment for the radical left in modern American history. They tried their best to turn January 20 into a major political statement.
One activist group even took out a full page ad in the New York Times.
“Thousands of activists, journalists, scientists, entertainers, and other prominent voices took out a full-page call to action in the New York Times on Wednesday making clear their rejection of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence with the simple message: “No!” “
“Stop the Trump/Pence regime before it starts! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America!” the ad states, followed by a list of signatories that includes scholar Cornel West; author Alice Walker; Chase Iron Eyes of the Standing Rock Sioux; educator Bill Ayers; poet Saul Williams; CNN‘s Marc Lamont Hill; Carl Dix of the Communist Party USA; and numerous others.
The ad pointed people to refusefascism.org, and it asserted that Trump must be stopped whether he was legitimately elected or not…
“Trump promises to inflict repression and suffering on people in this country, to deport millions, to increase violence up to the use of nuclear weapons on people across the globe, and to inflict catastrophes upon the planet itself. He has assembled a cabinet of Christian fundamentalist fanatics, war mongers, racists, science deniers. NO! His regime must not be allowed to consolidate. We REFUSE to accept a Fascist America!”
According to information provided on refusefascism.org, the protests were supposed to start on January 14. They claim they wanted to “stop the Trump-Pence regime before it starts”, and planned to have the protests going “every day and every night” until the ‘D-day. Another group had a long list of events that were pre-scheduled for the protest on their official website. Their plan, according to Legba Carrefour, a spokesperson for DisruptJ20, was to block major transportation routes into and throughout our nation’s capital. Being very vocal about their attempt to “shut down the Inauguration”…
He said “We are planning to shut down the inauguration, that’s the short of it,” “We’re pretty literal about that, we are trying to create citywide paralysis on a level that I don’t think has been seen in D.C. before. We’re trying to shut down pretty much every ingress into the city as well as every checkpoint around the actual inauguration parade route.”
Turns out, these protests were not intended to stop on January 20th. They had hoped to turn a protest for abortion rights which was scheduled on the same day as the inauguration, into a “100 days of resistance” against Trump’s presidency.
All of this could have easily gotten out of control. Trump could have handled this protests radically in an attempt to restore law and order in the beginning of his term, but that would have had some serious consequences.