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Protesters attempt to pull down statue of former US president near White House

Police used pepper spray to move protesters out of Lafayette Square, where the Andrew Jackson statue is located.

The statue of President Andrew Jackson.
The statue of President Andrew Jackson.
Image: PA

PROTESTERS HAVE ATTEMPTED to pull down a statue of former US president Andrew Jackson near the White House before being dispersed by police.

WUSA-TV in Washington reported last night that police used pepper spray to move protesters out of Lafayette Square, where the Jackson statue is located.

Videos posted on social media showed that the protesters had climbed onto the statue and tied ropes around it, before trying to pull it off its pedestal.

The statue shows Jackson in military uniform, riding a horse that is rearing up on its hind legs.

The 19th century president’s ruthless treatment of Native Americans has made his statue a target for demonstrators protesting against the United States’ legacy of racial injustice.

The Jackson statue remained on its pedestal last night.

embedded254265218 Firefighters put out a fire as protesters and police gather at Lafayette Park.

US president Donald Trump tweeted late yesterday that “numerous people” had been arrested for “the disgraceful vandalism”.

He added: “10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!”

US interior secretary David Bernhardt issued a statement, saying: “Let me be clear: We will not bow to anarchists. Law and order will prevail, and justice will be served.”

On 1 June, law enforcement officers forcefully cleared peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square in order for Trump to stage a photo op at a nearby church.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday to say that he had authorised action against people over the toppling of statues:

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Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

He said this action will be effective immediately but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused.

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