Trump signs executive order protecting monuments, statues
US President Donald Trump on Friday announced via Twitter that he has signed a strong executive order that protects the monuments and statues of the nation against vandalism.
The order seems to have stemmed from anti-racist protestors uprooting or defacing statues of several colonialist leaders and leaders who promoted slavery.
An anti-racist movement of sorts has taken grip of the nation after an African-American person died in police custody on May 25th. In different parts of the world like UK and Ireland, protestors have defaced statues of known imperialists including that of former UK PM Winston Churchill’s.
"I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues - and combatting recent Criminal Violence," the President wrote Friday.
"Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!" Currently there exists a Veterans' Memorial Preservation Act, under which the President claimed earlier this week that he had "Authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the US with up to 10 years in prison."
The order directs the attorney general to enforce the already-existing law.
Last week, protestors tried vandalising the statue of former US president Andrew Johnson near the White House.
The order also prevents protestors from destroying any perceived religious element of monument damage, asserting that "Christian figures are now in the crosshairs".
Trump allies had been pushing the White House to take a stance - any stance - on the racial issues fracturing the country and has been asking the President to ‘pick a lane’ on the issue and take some leadership moves.
Some outside advisers had advocated for an even more forceful condemnation of looting and property destruction and added that the monuments executive order, would be a "Symbolic step" toward elevating the law and order message and stop the destruction of imperialist or statues that propagated white supremacism and failure to cajole state and local authorities to do so in other cities.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump "Took decisive action to put an end to this lawlessness and protect American streets from vandalism and mob violence." "President Trump will never allow violence to control our streets, rewrite our history, or harm the American way of life," she was quoted as saying in a CNN report.