The rioters began chanting, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Andrew Jackson’s got to go!” while throwing a rope around the statue’s neck. Hundreds of them then locked arms and formed a ring around the statue’s base in a vain attempt to keep U.S. Park and D.C. police officers away.
Tear gas or other “chemical irritant” was used to disperse the crowd, but some officers were hit with thrown objects. Meanwhile, FOX News reported that the Secret Service asked White House reporters to leave the grounds.
President Trump has been closely associated with President Jackson, as their brands of populism are nearly identical. He responded to the effort to bring down the statue with the following statement:
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.
“This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!”
At the same time, other BLM rioters showed up in the area surrounding Lafayette Park carrying wooden boards and fencing they intended to use to build their “Black House Autonomous Zone.” Across the street, St. John’s Episcopal Church was once again desecrated with “BHAZ” spray-painted on its pillars.
The president responded to the attempted establishment of BHAZ, as well:
“There will never be an ‘autonomous zone’ in Washington, D.C. as long as I’m your president. If they try, they will be met with serious force!”
Interestingly, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday evening that the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, previously known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, was getting shut down after first responders struggled over the weekend to respond to several shootings. After previously calling CHOP a “summer of love event,” she declared there will be no part of her city where police and firefighters cannot go.
(Photo Credit: Reuters)
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