Veterans for Black Lives Matter volunteered to help clean up DC after the siege

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It’s been almost two weeks since the Capitol was besieged by insurrectionists. Over the last two weeks more information is coming out about the terrorist attack, particularly about the people who were involved. There is growing evidence that several Congress people helped the traitors storm the Capitol by providing them tours and maps the day before. Several of the participants were off-duty law enforcement and veterans and they left a big mess for those having to clean up behind them.

Navy veteran David Smith founded Continue to Serve in July after the death of George Floyd and the peaceful protests organized by BLM. David says he created Continue to Serve because he wanted to “create a community of veterans who would stand up for justice and equality.” David was angry when he heard the news that several veterans were involved in the failed coup on the Capitol. After seeing all the trash the insurrectionists left behind in his city, David organized over 200 military veteran volunteers to clean up the streets of D.C. and the Capitol. Below are more details on the story from the Washington Post:

On his commute home to Germantown, Md., Smith spotted remnants of Wednesday’s riot strewn around the streets. Trash littered Pennsylvania Avenue and adjacent areas, and signs and stickers with racist and fascist symbols and messages were “all over the place,” he recalled.

Smith decided he wanted to do something about it, calling on a group of fellow veterans and volunteers to do a thorough sweep of the area around the Capitol and downtown D.C. Beyond ridding the area of hateful markings, Smith hoped to reinforce that the veterans who participated in the siege do not represent them all.

On Jan. 10, close to 200 volunteers congregated at McPherson Square, trash bags in hand. They fanned out and spent two hours collecting “Stop the Steal” and other pro-Trump paraphernalia that had been littered during the riots, and also used scrapers and adhesive remover to peel off signs and stickers featuring logos and symbols from various neo-Nazi and alt-right groups.

Volunteers divided into five groups, each led by a veteran, who guided them along a mapped route to the Capitol.

“It was like a massive street sweep,” said Smith. “We left no stone unturned. It was amazing.”

Smith arranged the cleanup operation on social media through an organization he started in June called Continue to Serve. His goal is to create a community of veterans who stand up for justice and equality.

[From Washington Post]

I was absolutely livid when the information was coming out that several of the treasonous assholes were veterans. As a military person and then a veteran you take a vow to uphold the Constitution. To protect it and the American people you are supposed to serve. Any veteran worth his or her salt saw the storming of the Capitol as a terrorist attack and was appalled. The fact that some of the participants of the siege were from the veteran community made that day even more egregious. In my opinion, those who were in law enforcement and who were veterans part of this who took part in this horrible day in history should be levied with the biggest charges because they KNEW better. The veterans particularly should be at the very least charged with treason even though they are no longer serving. We won’t even discuss how the insurrectionists were treated by law enforcement and how frigging entitled they were.

I am grateful for veterans like David and those who volunteered to clean up the streets after the riot. Because I was honestly triggered when I saw NJ Rep Andy Kim along with Black housekeeping staff at the Capitol cleaning up after white supremacists. Inauguration Day can’t come fast enough. The anxiety around the safety of Kamala and Joe are at an all time high. I want the inauguration to go off without a hitch while I watch Trump, his wife, and co-conspirators escorted off the grounds into waiting federal vehicles. They all must answer for not only the last four years but for Jan 6. With that being said, I am going to look into Continue to Serve because I love that it is a community of veterans who are standing up for social justice and equality. This sort of activism makes me very hopeful and excited for the future. I also need to get my hands on one of those “Veteran’s for BLM” sweatshirts.

There are a lot of things that must be healed in the U.S. But first there must be accountability and justice, and truth must be spoken about the history of this nation. The history of the United States is very present and it was on full display on January 6. And we all witnessed how very destructive not dealing with old wounds can be.

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