Trump's Threatening 'Automatic 10 Years in Prison’ for Those Damaging Statues



Historic monuments and statues became the targets of anger and vandalism during protests in the memory of George Floyd's death while he was in police custody around the end of May 2020.


The first few statues under fire were those of Confederate soldiers and generals mostly, but the anger has spread to monuments well beyond that historical period.


The protests started against police brutality and violence against black people as well as for various other policy changes related to black liberation.


What Is The Black Lives Matter Movement?


Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international social movement, founded in the United States in 2013. It is dedicated to fighting racism and anti-Black People violence, especially in the form of police brutality.


The movement has tried to fight racism through the means of political actions, letter-writing campaigns, and nonviolent protests. BLM seeks to battle police brutality, and the abuses committed by and for-profit jails. 


BLM activists have also called for a great initiative called “defunding” the police—which means, reducing police department budgets and investing the funds in community social services, such as mental health and conflict-resolution programs.


BLM activists strive to raise awareness amongst the people that black lives matter as much as any other lives, BLM programs have tried to gain attention to the movement by thoroughly celebrating Black artists and writers.


Why Did The Protests Start In 2020?


George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died on May 25, 2020, after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer in an encounter that was somehow captured on video and that incident incited huge protests against police brutality and racism in approximately more than 150 American cities in a few weeks.


An estimate of 20 million to 26 million citizens participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, making Black Lives Matter one of the largest protests or movements in United States history.


There have been more than 4,500 protests, or about 140 protests per day, since the first protest began on May 26, 2020, in Minneapolis.


The footage, that went viral, showed George Floyd pleading with the officer, saying repeatedly that he can’t breathe. His death sparked nationwide protests.


The Change It Brought


The add-up of change that the protests have been able to make in such a short period of time is remarkable. In Minneapolis, the City Council promised to dismantle its police department.


 In New York, lawmakers revoked a law that kept police disciplinary records a secret. Cities and states across the United States passed new laws banning chokeholds. 


Mississippi lawmakers decided to retire their state flag, which prominently includes a Confederate battle emblem. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio also pledged to move the funding from the city's police department towards youth and social services. 


Another important impact of the protests has been the overthrowing of several confederate and slavery-linked statues around the world.

The protests have also sparked raging conversations about the responsibility of industries and organizations, including the media, about how they have to and should address institutional racism.


Donald Trump’s Take On The Black Lives Matter Movement


Donald Trump released a statement saying that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is discriminatory towards black people and "bad for everybody" because of its name.


He even issues a statement saying whoever attempts to harm the federal monuments, including the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials, will have to automatically serve a substantial prison term.


He mentioned the Gandhi statue in Washington DC, which was vandalised at the height of the national protests by some unidentified miscreants.


He tweeted saying, “No, Radical Left anarchists, agitators, looters or protesters will not be knocking down or harming the Washington Monument, the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials, or just about any other Federal Monument or Statue. If they even try, an automatic 10 years in prison. Sorry!”.


Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act


Under the Veterans' Memorial Preservation Act, offenders can face up to 10 years in prison and a handsome fine for damaging or making attempts to damage "any structure, plaque, statue, or other monuments on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States."


BLM activists frequently protest black police killings and broader problems of racial discrimination, police violence, and racial injustice in the United States. It tries to bring a change through peaceful protests and other means. 


It is said to be one of the greatest movements in the history of the United States and has also brought along millions of people worldwide to support the cause. 


Edited By - Christeena George


Written By - Nandita Singh






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