Trump under pressure: US President takes hard stance on destroying historic landmarks
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He has been threatening to use force ‘police force’ on some protesters, as protests have been sweeping the country over the last few weeks. These protests against racial injustice also threaten Donald Trump’s chances of re-election come November. His opponent, Joe Biden, has been vocal in supporting the protests after the death of George Floyd and has promised to bring about ‘change’ if he gets elected.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Donald Trump said: “They’re not taking down our monuments.”
“I will have an executive order very shortly and all it’s going to really do is reinforce what’s already there, but in a more uniform way.”
The President announced via Twitter that there was to be an authorisation “effective immediately” to arrest anyone caught hurting a commemoration to an armed services member on federal land.
Under the 2003 Veterans Memorial Act, the government already has the power to do so.
A lot of the statues and monuments that have been targeted by crowds of protesters in recent weeks, pay homage to the rebel Confederacy from the nation’s Civil War.
However, for those protesting against racial injustice, these statues represent tributed to individuals who perpetuated slavery.
There has now been calls for their removal.
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Alongside that, the Black Lives Matter movement have been taking to the streets earlier this month.
They were sparked after the death of George Floyd was killed on May 25 in police custody.
Despite most world leaders showing support for the fight against racial issues within society, President Trump has been somewhat off message.
Instead of standing in solidarity with protesters, he’s been blasting them even though a majority of Americans sympathise with them.
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During his re-election campaign rally on Saturday in Oklahoma, he said: “an unhinged left-wing mob” wants to “desecrate” what he described as “beautiful monuments.”
The current opinion polls for the US Presidential Election on November 3 put Donald Trump behind Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
A reason as to why this is the case could be down to his response to the coronavirus, which has killed more than 120,000 Americans as well as his poor approach to tackling racism.
It was reported that late on Monday protesters tried to topple a statue of former President Andrew Jackson.
Protestors were heard shouting “killer scum” and were seen pulling on the base using ropes around the statue of Jackson on a horse.
The Washington police force quickly came to control the situation by forming a protective ring around the statue and fended off activists with their riot gear.
President Trump then made a statement to reporters saying that “numerous people” had been locked up in jail for attempting to topple the statue.
He added that the government is looking at long-term sentences for these offenders.
Andrew Jackson, who was an Army general, was a plantation owner who enslaved Black people and is remembered for the Trail of Tears, forced removal of Native Americans from the South that killed thousands.
Trump took to Twitter to threaten protesters by suggesting he was ready to use force to stop them.
These threats have included using pepper spray and “flash-bang” stun grenades to disperse peaceful protesters.
On Monday protesters declared a “Black House Autonomous Zone”, a reference to an area in Seattle known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
Yet despite these efforts, police on Tuesday ended up clearing the area and physically blocked access.
“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President,” Trump tweeted. “If they try they will be met with serious force!”
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