DC National Guard changing vest colors from camo to black for protests
Members of the D.C. National Guard are wearing black vests instead of their typical camouflage vests during pro-Trump protests in Washington, D.C., this week.
The D.C. National Guard announced they will be switching their vest colors from Jan. 5 to 7 as thousands of the president’s supporters flock to the city to protest Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win.
D.C. National Guard spokesperson Capt. Tinashe T. Machona said the change in colors highlights a different mission from the camouflage vests and are typically worn for domestic support operations, such as the response to protests against police brutality and racism in the city last summer.
“The black identification vest is not body armor nor a tactical vest. It is the traditional uniform worn by the D.C. National Guard members in multiple domestic operations including Presidential Inaugurations, the COVID-19 pandemic response, the 4th of July celebration and the ‘Anniversary March on Washington’ in the last year,” Machona said in a statement Tuesday.
More than 300 National Guard personnel have been activated in D.C. this week to support the city government as it responds to the demonstrations calling on Congress not to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory. President Trump has made various unsubstantiated claims of election fraud ahead of the congressional count.
The Guardsmen were activated following a request by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and Christopher Rodriguez, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, on behalf of the District’s Metropolitan Police Department and Fire and Emergency Services.
D.C. police and federal authorities are monitoring the demonstrations, with clashes seen Tuesday night between protestors and police that led to six arrests near the White House ahead of Wednesday’s gathering.
Trump supporters are pushed back by DC Police after they tried to enter BLM Plaza. pic.twitter.com/s9kREHr8Pm
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 6, 2021
Councilman Charles Allen has warned against a counterprotest, and some businesses have been boarded up as a precaution.
More than 100 Republicans in the House and over a dozen GOP senators are expected to back challenges to the electoral certification, prompting hours of debate.
Other Republicans, including Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah) and Ben Sasse (Neb.), have come out against Trump’s claims of election fraud and plan to certify the results.