Donald Trump Threatens 10 Years In Prison For Anyone Who Defaces Monuments
US President Donald Trump has threatened to throw people in jail for a decade if they vandalise a statue.
In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests across America and the world, many people have been calling for the removal of statues and monuments that commemorate the slave trade.
In some places, the statues have been removed and in others they have remained. Some have been vandalised, painted over or damaged, while others have stayed intact.
But Trump is now warning that anyone who tries to interfere with another statue will face the full force of the law.
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 Monumrnt or Statue. If they even try, an automatic 10 years in prison. Sorry!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2020
He wrote on Twitter: "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 Monumrnt [sic] or Statue. If they even try, an automatic 10 years in prison. Sorry!"
But this isn't just a threat. President Trump revealed a few weeks ago that he was planning to implement the penalty.
He said: "I have authorised the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalises or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the US with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran's Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.
"This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!"
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Dozens of statues and memorials have been removed in the US during the protests, mainly of confederate military figures, slave traders and explorers.
The movement has also spread to other parts of the world.
Edward Colston's statue was famously pulled down by protestors in Bristol, UK at the height of the BLM movement.
Colston worked for the Royal African Company during the 17th century before becoming a Conservative MP in Bristol. He is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of around 30,000 slaves shipped from Africa to the Americas.
While many venues and buildings have previously carried his name, the controversial statue was erected in 1895, 174 years after his death.
With campaigners having asked for decades for the statue to be taken down by the government of the city, protesters tore it down and threw it into the harbour on 7 June.
The protesters had gathered to protest against the death of George Floyd while in the custody of officers of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Featured Image Credit: PA