Trump Calls for Arrests as Protesters Topple, Burn DC Statue


Protesters on Friday toppled the only statue of a Confederate general in the nation’s capital and proceeded to set it on fire.

The crowd of protesters cheered as the 11-foot statue of Albert Pike wobbled on its high granite pedestal before falling backward.

Protesters then lit a bonfire and stood around it in a circle as the statue burned, chanting, “No justice, no peace!” and “No racist police!”

Police were on the scene but didn’t intervene.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the toppling, calling out D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and writing: “The DC police are not doing their job as they watched a statue be ripped down and burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!”

Trump Trial to End Early on Day of Opening Statements Due to Juror's Emergency Medical Appointment

The Pike statue has been a source of controversy for years. The former Confederate general was also a longtime influential leader of the Freemasons, who revere Pike and who paid for the statue.

Pike was a poet and lawyer in Arkansas, representing many Native American tribes and securing payment for lands taken from them by the federal government.

Should police have stopped the protesters from toppling the statue?

His body is interred at the D.C. headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which also contains a small museum in his honor.

The statue, dedicated in 1901, was located in Judiciary Square about half a mile from the U.S. Capitol.

It was built at the request of Masons who successfully lobbied Congress to grant them land for the statue as long as Pike would be depicted in civilian, not military, clothing.

Civil rights activists and some local government officials had campaigned for years to get the statue taken down but needed the federal government’s approval to do so.

“Ever since 1992, members of the DC Council have been calling on the federal gov’t to remove the statue of Confederate Albert Pike (a federal memorial on federal land). We unanimously renewed our call to Congress to remove it in 2017,” the D.C. Council tweeted Friday.

NFL Owner Cuts Funding for Columbia University After Anti-Israel Protests - 'No Longer an Institution I Recognize'

A proposed resolution calling for the removal of the statue referred to Pike as a “chief founder of the post-Civil War Ku Klux Klan.”

The Klan connection is a frequent accusation from Pike’s critics and one which the Masons dispute.

Statues of historic figures around the world have been torn down in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

[jwplayer 8Wt7gir0]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City