In one of the most disturbing decisions by the incoming Trump administration, the Commander of the Washington D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, has been informed that he will be removed from his post on January 20th at 12:01 PM, directly after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Schwartz nor the media has been informed as to why he will be removed, but given that the streets of D.C. will likely be filled with protestors expressing their outrage at the inauguration of a Russian shill and serial sexual predator into the Oval Office, the decision to replace him with a Trump-friendly commander has horrifying implications, as prominent media figures noted immediately:
Off the top of my head, wanting to have a commander in place who you know won't hesitate to fire on the crowd. https://t.co/HtjtUhEzhu
— keep golgotha weird (@Mobute) January 13, 2017
Best case scenario someone in Trump orbit settling obscure, petty score w Maj. Gen. Schwartz. Worst truly alarming. https://t.co/BokrlMwsFg
— Jasmin Mujanović (@JasminMuj) January 13, 2017
There will be over 5,000 unarmed National Guardsmen deployed to help keep the peace in addition to the 1,350 D.C. Guardsmen. Given Trump’s increasingly repressive behavior and his well-documented willingness to inflict violence on protesters, we can safely assume the new Guard Commander will take a much harsher approach to dealing with public dissent. Our right to protest is going to be severely challenged on Trump’s first day in office, and that is extremely alarming for the future of the First Amendment in this country.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.