5 Times the National Guard was Activated (& What it Means for Ferguson)

November 20, 2014   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
November 19, 2014

(TheAntiMedia) On Monday, Missouri governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency. He activated the Missouri National Guard in anticipation of “unrest” following the Darren Wilson decision. A summons for these services usually indicates a growing tide of opinion against the government. It is almost always accompanied by inordinate numbers of police.

To be clear, the National Guard is often called in when violence erupts, but while it may be effective at stopping that superficial violence (by threatening or using violence), it reliably provides an excuse for the government to ignore the original reasons for that “unrest.”

Here are 5 modern instances of National Guard intervention in domestic affairs and what these historical examples mean for Ferguson:

1. The Race Riots: During the 1960s, waves of protest swept the United States for a variety of reasons. The most prominent riots erupted largely due to African-­American frustrations with institutionalized racism, from economic inequality to police injustice. The riots were almost always inspired by relations with police, if not sparked directly by incidents of police abuse. In urban centers across the country, governments relied on armies of cops and the activation of thousands of National Guardsmen to shut down waves of often violent protest and looting.

Further, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968 (which the FBI may have assisted), African-Americans were outraged and rioted again. This prompted activation of multiple state National Guards and amounted to thousands of troops per city, including Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

2. The Anti-War Movement: In 1968, the trend of dissent against the state continued. This time, it was against the Vietnam War. The National Guard was activated in Chicago, Illinois to shut down protests at the Democratic National Convention, where scorned President Lyndon B. Johnson, had chosen not to seek re-election. Protesters (and eventually, rioters), were discontent with the corruption and warmongering of the leftist faction of the two-­party system and thousands took to the streets. In addition to thousands of police officers who instigated violence, the National Guard helped to put down the dissent and break up the protests.

When that proved, unsurprisingly, to be a short-term solution, protests continued. Three years later at Kent State University, Ohio governor James Rhodes found it appropriate to summon nearly 1,000 National Guardsmen at yet another protest against the ongoing Vietnam War. In the now notorious stand-­off, four university students were murdered by the National Guard (who were called to “keep the peace in a protest for…peace). Eight more were wounded.  The Guard claimed they were returning fire, but no evidence supported that claim.

3. The Rodney King Riots: In April of 1992,­ police officers were acquitted of the brutal 1991 beating of intoxicated black motorist Rodney King in northern Los Angeles. The verdict defied video evidence and riots broke out across Los Angeles. Nearly 10,000 National Guard troops were called upon to stop the riots and looting. This proved that the government’s tactic of sending in troops to stop violent protests (precipitated by violence and racism by the government) as it had in the 1960s had failed. It also proved that the state refused to learn its lesson.

4. Waco, TX and the Branch Davidians­: When the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms division learned that David Koresh, leader of the religious sect, Branch Davidian, was allegedly harboring illegal weapons, they attempted to raid his facility in Waco, TX. This led to deaths on both sides and the FBI’s involvement. After 51 days, the larger, infamous raid ensued. Though small in number, the National Guard was called to back up the federal government. Shortly after, Koresh’s compound was set on fire and 80 people died, including women and children.

Though the government’s official story is that the Davidians themselves started the blaze, controversy and distrust of this narrative still runs rampant. Koresh and his followers may have been insane and engaged in illicit activity,  but the conduct of the FBI and outcome of the 1993 raid is still angrily disputed. The massive show of force is not.

5. The Afghanistan and Iraq Wars­: Due to the difficulties and complexities of waging illegal, profit­-motivated wars in the Middle East, increasing numbers of domestic troops were needed to waste the wares of military­-industrial profiteers. In 2011, nearly half of all troops in Bush’s and Obama’s wars were National Guard. The use of the Guard in foreign wars exposes their true nature: though they may sometimes help during storms and were used to protect the desegregation of schools (after being used to block it), it remains that they are factions of the military.

Clearly, governments have a tendency to call in the National Guard when “order” is disturbed.

Even more so, the National Guard is deemed necessary when the people revolt against oppressive treatment from government. Though riots and violence are never preferable, calling in the National Guard to treat symptoms of underlying abuse is like prescribing pills to treat disease without examining diet or lifestyle.

But what does this mean for Ferguson? Obviously, that Jay Nixon is not expecting an indictment of Darren Wilson. Most importantly, it means that those in power are not taking seriously the demands from (mostly) peaceful protesters that justice be served and police brutality be addressed. Further, considering the issues at hand and the militarization of police, having the National Guard in Ferguson almost seems redundant.

Regardless, calling troops in signals that the government has no desire to accommodate the people. Rather, it would prefer to continue perpetuating the problems that led them to summon the Guard in the first place.

Hopefully, the grand jury will prove Nixon, his “state of emergency,” and his National Guard summons wrong.


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Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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32 Comments

  1. pigs are above the law and america is a facist country whom all politicans and judges are bought and paid for by corporations and zionist israel. peaceful protest doesnt do shit and it never has. the people need to arm themselves and fight back with a revolution if you want to see positive change

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  2. There just warming up , the concerns of the citizens , is the farthest thing from governments mind

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  3. Then I bet you're glad you're in Canada?

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  4. This isn't news its anti government speech. All you unamerican fucks need to take a hike.

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  5. if the national guard follows orders blindly it will be bad for the citizens, now if the guard uses common since then it will be nasty for the police

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  6. It is the truth, don't like it? off yourself.Please do not dumb down the gene-pool any further. Being Pro- government in times like theses makes you a domestic terrorist supporter

    Post a Reply
  7. Brett Tulloss It's not much better here in Canada mate. Violence isn't the answer though.

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  8. If you were a real American you would pick up arms and fight against the corrupt government.

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  9. The government needs to realize the the national guard is made up of YOUR neighbors. They do NOT necessarily need to follow the Governor's orders. They can also turn on the governor if his orders are to turn on those protesters. Just saying….it could happen.
    I'm a retired disabled vet. Yes, I just said that the national guard can turn on our government. Does that make me a bad US citizen? No. It means I FULLY understand HOW our government was formed in the first place. It can be reformed in the same way.

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  10. Steve Brooks The canadian government is doing the same, just a little slower, they are doing false flag shootings as well

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  11. Yes keep flocking you sheep-like fucktard.Your un american if you think goverment oppression is better than the will of the people.I hope cops come to raid your home, shoot your dog, and then arrest you, Because thats is what happens to "real" Americans who decide that the government is over stepping its limits of powers.We are the power and if you want to stand in line with the rest of em be warned then, the people will rise and end this tyranny and pray your on the right side. END THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND FEDERAL RESERVE!

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  12. Brett Tulloss not really as canada is also owned by usa, coprorations and zionist israel, we are a mini america here and what is full blown in the us is happening here slowly

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  13. Takato Mon i know we are a mini america, i am just trying to educate and get the word out

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  14. pigs are above the law and america is a facist country whom all politicans and judges are bought and paid for by corporations and zionist israel. peaceful protest doesnt do shit and it never has. the people need to arm themselves and fight back with a revolution if you want to see positive change

    Post a Reply
  15. pigs are above the law and america is a facist country whom all politicans and judges are bought and paid for by corporations and zionist israel. peaceful protest doesnt do shit and it never has. the people need to arm themselves and fight back with a revolution if you want to see positive change

    Post a Reply
  16. Wade Dewell We're more so owned by China as evidenced by recent trade agreements.

    Takato Mon The Harper regime is criminal we all know this. Get on board with the Anything but campaign and help jar them from power in the 2015 election.

    Post a Reply
  17. This is literally the most retarded thing that has ever been published on the internet under the guise of being true. That includes 911 conspiracy theories, 5/12/12 prophecies, Obama's birth certificate deniers and any and everything that FoxNews has ever posted.

    Post a Reply
  18. Steve Brooks weak people and shit never changes EVER!

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  19. Peaceful protest played a huge part in the collapse of dozens of oppressive states.

    Post a Reply
  20. Eric Mc Cullough Shit changes, it only takes a small group of dedicated people to institute real and lasting change. Do your part, be the change you want to see.

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  21. The truth isn't usually comfortable to accept.

    Post a Reply
  22. Franco Niytowl Albanese Yeah, keep smoking weed buddy and then wonder why you're not getting anywhere in life. And then blame the government because your life is shit.

    Post a Reply
  23. Steve Brooks TRUST ME! I have been doing my part to look over us all' I wish to see the change we have been dreaming of in this world and to not attempt just that would be a sin to my people man! I love everyone even the lame, retarded, mentally gifted, brown, black, pink for that matter' lol I got love man! Because truth be told we all look the same on the inside as grotesque as it may come off.

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  24. To protect the people from foreign and domestic!

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  25. WHEN CLIVE BUNGEE &KLAN & THE TEA PARTY &THE KLAN TURNED ON THEIR HIGH POWERED WEAPONS ON GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, INVADE THEIR HOMES & OFFICES && CUT THEIR TELEPHONE LINES & GAS LINES SO THEY COULD GET. BLOWN UP ONLY THING AUTHORITIES DID WAS PUT THEIR TAILS BETWEEN THEIR LEGS & RUN..NOT EVEN AS MUCH AS AN ARREST MADE. THIS EVIL RACIST SYSTEM ONLY BULLY PEACEFUL LOVING, POOR, INNOCENT & "BLACK" PEOPLE. THIS IS A WICKED SYSTEM THAT'S ALSO DOING ALOT OF UNTHINKABLE EVILS TO OTHERS ABROAD ASWELL. WE CANNOT LOOK TO THESE DEMONS FOR ANYTHING GOOD. .WE MUST LOOK TO OURSELVES FOR OUR LIBERATION. STARTS WITH US THE OPPRESSED BEING IN ONE ACCORD WITH EACH OTHER, REEDUCATING& EQUIPPING OURSELVES FOR THIS EVIL BATTLE.

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  26. ALL GOVERNMENT IN THIS COUNTRY RACIST.. DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS YOU ALL ARE SLAVE MASTERS OR SOLD OUT TO SLAVE MASTERS. I PRAY FOR EVERY EVIL JUDGMENT ON ALL YOU WICKED EVIL RACISTS.

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  27. You need to take a hike off a bridge, bro. America belongs to the people not the government or the corporations that control it.

    Post a Reply

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