ALABAMA (WRBL) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that she has authorized Adjutant General Sheryl Gordon with the Alabama National Guard to activate up to 1,000 guardsmen to respond to violent protesters, as needed.
The announcement comes following a series of protests over the weekend, including in Birmingham, that escalated to violence.
The Governor gave a statement on the weekend protests earlier on June 1, responding to the protests in Birmingham, reading in part:
Like so many others throughout the country and around the world, I, too, was shocked and angered by the tragic actions that led to the senseless death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis. It is a death that should have never happened, and it is a tragedy for which that too many people, especially African Americans, are all too familiar.Governor Kay Ivey responds to Birmingham protests
Regretfully, the natural anger and frustration of Mr. Floyd’s death has now spread to our state and what started out as peaceful protests in some of our cities yesterday afternoon turned ugly last night.
While no state has a richer history than Alabama in terms of using peaceful protests to lead the country – and the world – to positive change, I agree with Alabama native, Congressman John Lewis, who this weekend said ‘rioting, looting and burning is not the way.’
Now, as the National Guard is authorized to be mobilized as-needed in case of more violence in Alabama, Ivey says the action serves as a preparedness measure, should local and state law enforcement need more support.
Her statement on the announcement reads:
While there is no immediate need for us to deploy our Guard, I have given authorization to Adjutant General Sheryl Gordon to be on standby, should our local and state law enforcement need additional support.Governor Kay Ivey announces authorization to mobilize Alabama National Guard, as needed
The Alabama National Guard stands ready to assist when peaceful protests become violent and dangerous to our public safety. I will always support the right of the people of Alabama to peacefully lift your voices in anger and frustration. However, we will not allow our cities to become a target for those, especially from other states, who choose to use violence and destruction to make their point.