Deploying for a Fascist Coup: National Guard, ICE, Called Up to Suppress Post-Election Protests



Government officials at the federal and state levels are mobilizing repressive forces under their command to be deployed in major cities as Election Day nears.

Department of Homeland Security officials recently announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are being sent to DC and preparing to “protect federal property in Washington” if there is “unrest on election day.” Mobilizing ICE and other federal police agencies loyal to Trump is part of the “Protecting American Communities Task Force” established by an executive order he issued in June, as a beautiful uprising of protest against police murder and brutality of Black and Latinx people swept the country. Trump claimed the “task force” was formed to combat “anarchists and left-wing extremists,” as it deployed teams of these heavily armed and often disguised agents, including tactical squads, to brutalize and arrest protesters in DC, Portland, Seattle, and about a dozen other cities.

This week, Texas governor Greg Abbott declared that he intends to send 1,000 National Guard troops to Houston, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth before election Tuesday. Abbot said “in the event that there are any protests after the elections are concluded ... we will have adequate personnel in place to make sure that we will be able to address any protest that could turn into riots.” Governors of Wisconsin, Kentucky, and several other states are also mobilizing National Guard forces. Ohio’s governor said he will “do what’s needed.” As of October 30, 10 states were actively planning to involve the Guard in “election-related missions” such as cyber security and staffing polling stations, and 15 more indicated they plan to do so.

The Associated Press reported that the National Guard has also designated military police units in Alabama and Arizona to be “rapid reaction forces” that can deploy quickly around the country “to any potential civil unrest.” The AP article continued that “Military leaders don’t explicitly tie the changes [in potential assignments] to concerns about possible election-related violence, but the nation is bracing for unrest surrounding the tumultuous presidential campaign, particularly if voting results are not known for days or weeks because of the increase in mail-in ballots.”

Federal laws and years of practice have generally kept the U.S. military out of the election process. But the Trump/Pence regime is shredding this longstanding bulwark of the normal functioning of U.S. society as a key component of its rolling fascist coup. These military and paramilitary forces are being mobilized to help steal the election for the fascist regime. They are being mobilized to violently suppress people who righteously rebel against the theft of this election in service of a fascist coup, and won’t accept its legitimacy.

In the face of this fascist mobilization, a statement from Refuse Fascism rings out with great urgency: “We must overwhelm this fascist regime and movement with our mass non-violent protest. If we unite and rise like we did in the spring for Black lives, coming back day after day—united by the demand Trump/Pence OutNow! and refusing to stop till they’re gone—we can change the political situation. Our numbers, our diversity, and our heart for humanity can sustain us through whatever the Trump/Pence regime tries to do to remain in power. As we grow, we will inspire millions more to join this great struggle, until those in power are compelled to concede to our single demand that the regime must go.”



In a first, ICE Agents are poised to respond to potential Election Day unrest, NBC News, October 31, 2020.

An Election Day role for National Guard? Maybe, but limited, Associated Press, October 30, 2020.

Abbott: Troops will be 'in position' after election but only deployed in Texas 'as needed', Houston Chronicle, October 29, 2020.

National Guard taps units for rapid response to civil unrest, Associated Press, October 2, 2020.

Wisconsin Joins List of States Deploying National Guard Units on Election Day, Newsweek, October 29, 2020.

Here’s What National Guard Units Across the Country Will Be Doing on Election Day,, October 31, 2020.

Texas state police and national guard were called out to guard Alamo Plaza as protesters marched nearby on June 9. (Photo: Houston Chronicle/Josie Norris)



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