Protesters fail to topple Andrew Jackson statue near White House
WASHINGTON (US) – Protesters tried to bring down a statue of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, in a park near the White House on Monday. They scrawled “killer scum” on its pedestal and tried to pull it down with ropes before police intervened.
The incident took place in Lafayette Square, where crowds peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd were forcibly dispersed three weeks ago to make way for staged photos of President Trump holding up a bible in front of a nearby church.
The effort to topple the famed bronze statue of Jackson astride a horse was the latest bid, to destroy monuments of historical figures considered racist or divisive.
President Donald Trump tweeted that many people were arrested for the “disgraceful vandalism” in Lafayette Park and also for defacing the exterior of St John’s Church.
“Ten years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!” he warned.
The incident took place at dusk with several protesters wearing face masks breaking through a 6-foot-tall fence erected recently around the statute.
Climbing on the monument, protesters tied ropes around the sculpted head of Jackson and the horse and tried to topple it.
Dozens of law police officers, led by US Park Police, arrived at the scene wielding batons and firing chemical agents to disperse the protesters. By dark, police had taken control.
Native American activists have criticised Jackson, a Democrat, for signing the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which displaced thousands of native Americans from their lands and forced them to march west, in what became known as the “Trail of Tears.” Many perished on the trail.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field