Protesters try to bring down statue of Andrew Jackson near White House
Protesters tried toppling a statue of former President Jackson near the White House on Monday, according to video footage shared online of the demonstration.
Protesters were heard chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Andrew Jackson’s got to go” as they climbed on top of the bronze statue of the seventh president in Lafayette Square, outside the White House.
Protesters scaled the statue, chanting “hey hey ho ho Andrew Jackson’s got to go” pic.twitter.com/i3o3PqKmZW
— Margaret Barthel (@margaretbarthel) June 22, 2020
Hundreds of protesters had locked arms around the statue before they were removed from the area by police officers, The Washington Post reported.
Protesters also reportedly had ropes around the statue to pull it down.
Law enforcement used pepper spray to push protesters out of the area, WUSA reported. A reporter for the station on the scene was among those hit by pepper spray.
The Hill reached out to the Metropolitan Police Department for comment.
President Trump slammed the protesters Monday night, “for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street.”
He added, “10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!”
Numerous people arrested in D.C. for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street. 10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also condemned demonstrators for trying to topple the statue.
“It’s about time DC police showed up to stop the mob. If [Mayor] Muriel Bowser won’t allow the police to do their job, @realDonaldTrump should deploy federal law enforcement to protect this 168-year-old statue and every other landmark in our nation’s capital,” he tweeted.
And, by the way, criminal masterminds, you’re destroying a statue on federal property that commemorates the military service of Andrew Jackson, a crime that carries a 10-year sentence under the Veterans Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act. And you’re on tape.
Lock ‘em up!
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 23, 2020
The move comes as protesters have toppled statues of Confederate figures and white supremacists across the nation amid protests over racial inequality and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
In other cases, lawmakers have removed statues or slated them for removal.
Jackson was a former general in the U.S. Army. His tenure as president is marked by his signing of the Indian Removal Act, which led to the relocation of thousands of Native Americans and the deaths of thousands more.
Protests in Washington, D.C., have remained peaceful for the past couple of weeks, and Monday night marked the first significant clashes between protesters and police since authorities used pepper spray to clear demonstrators from Lafayette Square earlier this month.
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