Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ryan Saavedra.
President Donald Trump announced early on Tuesday morning that he has "authorized" the federal government to arrest anyone who vandalizes statues or monuments on federal property.
The announcement from the president comes after rioters have destroyed numerous statues of former presidents in recent days, including statues of George Washington
, Thomas Jefferson
, and Ulysses S. Grant
"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,"
Trump tweeted. "This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!"
Trump later addressed the extremists who tried to set up an "autonomous zone" in Washington, D.C., tweeting: "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!"
Last night, Trump weighed in on the rioters who tried to destroy a statue of former President Andrew Jackson earlier in the day, writing: "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!"
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt responded to the latest destruction of property by the rioters, writing the following statement
- I just left Lafayette Square where another so called "peaceful protest" led to destruction tonight. Let me be clear: we will not bow to anarchists. Law and order will prevail, and justice will be served.
- The scope of the violence and destruction since the protests started weeks ago have been significant. Criminals have vandalized national memorials and monuments, ignited sacred sites, attacked law enforcement officers, and destroyed countless businesses.
- The Lincoln Memorial and World War II Memorial were previously defaced, and now the Andrew Jackson Statue in Lafayette Square has been defaced by criminals who sought to topple the statue recognizing the seventh President of the United States.
- Law enforcement officers ensured that this would not happen.
- Across the country, some elected leaders of our cities have expressed enthusiasm and support for these criminals, exhibiting an undeniable unwillingness to protect law abiding citizens and their property.
- We live in the greatest country in the world, and I thank our dedicated law enforcement officials who stand tall against these coordinated attacks and seek peace and justice for all.
The destruction of historical statues and monuments across the country was sparked by the death of George Floyd a month ago. Floyd's death triggered riots, looting, and violence across the country, which morphed into activists going after Confederate statues. The activists quickly moved on from the Confederate statues to vandalizing statues of America's presidents, the man who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner
," a notable person
from the Catholic church, and a Holocaust memorial