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Protesters vow to tear down Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation memorial in Washington D.C.

Protesters pledged to tear down Lincoln’s Emancipation Memorial in Washington D.C. Tuesday night as they gathered to demand its removal. 

Organizers of the protest said they would not be working with the police and would achieve change ‘by any means necessary’ as they crowded near the 150-year-old statue paid for by former enslaved people.

The group said they would not touch the statue Tuesday night but would return with more support at 7pm Thursday to bring it down, according to WUSA9. 

It came as Democratic Congresswoman Elenor Holmes Norton announced she would introduce legislation to see the statue removed if the National Park service could not. 

Although paid for by former slaves, the Emancipation Memorial remains controversial as it was designed by white people and depicts a former slave in a subservient position to Lincoln.  

Protesters gathered at the Lincoln Emancipation Memorial on Tuesday night said that they would be returning with more support on Thursday to bring it down

Dozens of protesters gathered at the controversial D.C. statue on Tuesday night

Dozens of protesters gathered at the controversial D.C. statue on Tuesday night

Congresswoman Elenor Holmes Norton said she would introduce a bill to have it removed

Congresswoman Elenor Holmes Norton said she would introduce a bill to have it removed

Protesters calling for it to be taken down say that the former slaves who paid for the statue had no say in how it would be built and that even in its unveiling, abolitionist Fredrick Douglas said it ‘perpetuated negative stereotypes about African Americans’. 

Dozens gathered for the demonstration organized by The Freedom Neighborhood Tuesday night with videos showing a woman speaking about the educational events held around the statue being shouted down by protesters. 

The crowd chanted ‘No Justice, No Peace’ as the woman was told to stop speaking. 

LINCOLN’S EMANCIPATION MEMORIAL 

The Emancipation Memorial statue was first erected in Lincoln Park in Washington D.C. on April 11, 1876. 

It marked exactly eleven years to the day of Lincoln’s assassination. 

The memorial was paid for by formerly enslaved people, many of them Black veterans.

They wished to honor Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The fundraising was started after Virginian Charlotte Scott donated the first $5 she earned as a free person to create a memorial to Lincoln. 

Yet criticism has constantly surrounded the memorial because of the way in which it depicts Lincoln towering over a freed person. 

Critics say the design does not recognize the work of slaves to establish their own freedom. 

Abolitionist Fredrick Douglas even said as he unveiled the statue that it ‘perpetuated negative stereotypes about African Americans’. 

‘He freed the slaves for political advancement,’ one speaker said, according to WUSA9 journalist Tom Dempsey. 

‘Not because he cared, not because he wanted to. 

‘And the thing is that when we freed ourselves, we had seven years of progress, the best seven years for black people in the entire American history’. 

Police in riot gear were pictured standing in a group on the outskirts of the protest but no run-ins were reported.  

‘We’re kicking off the revolution with a series of shutting down the Capitol events and bringing attention to the injustices in the black community starting with Lincoln Park, a statue that embodies the racial undertones of black people being inferior to white people,’ The Freedom Neighborhood said in a social media post. 

‘WE WANT THIS STATUE GONE!’

 The group added that they would not be working with police to enact the change ‘nor will we seek any relationship with them’. 

‘In order to create change, we will do so by any means necessary. If you want a revolution, it won’t happen by being peaceful,’ the group wrote. 

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton has also said she wants the statue removed and will introduce legislation to do so. 

‘Because Lincoln Park is National Park Service (NPS) land, I will work with the NPS to see whether NPS has the authority to remove the statue without an act of Congress, and if so, we will seek its removal without a bill,’ said Norton in a statement . 

‘This statue has been controversial from the start. It is time it was placed in a museum.’ 

The Emancipation statue was first erected on April 11, 1876, exactly eleven years to the day of Lincoln’s assassination. 

It was paid for by formerly enslaved people, many of them Black veterans, to honor Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Police in riot gear were seen gathered near the Lincoln statue protest Tuesday

Police in riot gear were seen gathered near the Lincoln statue protest Tuesday

Organizers The Freedom Neighborhood said they would not be working with police

Organizers The Freedom Neighborhood said they would not be working with police

Rep. Norton has said that the freed slaves who paid for the memorial were not taken into account when it was built and has said it should now be moved to a museum

Rep. Norton has said that the freed slaves who paid for the memorial were not taken into account when it was built and has said it should now be moved to a museum

The fundraising was started after Virginian Charlotte Scott donated the first $5 she earned as a free person to create a memorial to Lincoln, according to DCist. 

The statue is located at the center of Lincoln Park, which is itself located midway between the U.S. Capitol and RFK Stadium.  

The Emancipation Memorial statue originally faced the Capitol but was moved 180 degrees to face a statue celebrating African American educator Mary McLeod Bethune when that was erected in Lincoln Park in 1974. 

Yet criticism has constantly surrounded the memorial because of the way in which it depicts Lincoln towering over a freed person. 

The freed enslaved person is shown on one knee looking up to Lincoln with broken shackles on his wrists. Below them the word ‘Emancipation’ is written.  

Critics say the design does not recognize the work of slaves to establish their own freedom.  

Criticism has constantly surrounded the memorial, pictured above, because of the way in which it depicts Lincoln towering over a freed person kneeling on the ground

Criticism has constantly surrounded the memorial, pictured above, because of the way in which it depicts Lincoln towering over a freed person kneeling on the ground

Protesters pledged that they will tear it down this week as protests continue in D.C.

Protesters pledged that they will tear it down this week as protests continue in D.C. 

‘The designers of the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park in DC didn’t take into account the views of African Americans. It shows,’ Norton said. 

‘Blacks too fought to end enslavement. That’s why I’m introducing a bill to move this statue to a museum.’

‘Understandably, they were only recently liberated from slavery and were grateful for any recognition of their freedom,’ she added in a statement to WUSA9. 

‘However, in his keynote address at the unveiling of this statue, Frederick Douglass also expressed his displeasure with the statue.’

As of Tuesday evening, more than 4,700 people have signed a petition for its removal. 

‘It’s time to take down monuments that memorialize the intended subservience of black people in this country.,’ say the petition, started by Marcus Goodwin, a candidate for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council

‘Confederate statues are the obvious example, but this statue in Washington, DC perpetuates the idea that we are beneath white people and should simply be grateful for the scraps that have been thrown our way. 

The speaker pictured said Lincoln only wanted to free slaves for 'political advancement'

The speaker pictured said Lincoln only wanted to free slaves for ‘political advancement’

Protests continued across Washington D.C. on Tuesday nights despite threats from Trump

Protests continued across Washington D.C. on Tuesday nights despite threats from Trump

‘While Abraham Lincoln was a monumental US President, worthy of memorializing, he already has a national monument that doesn’t have degrading racial undertones.’

Goodwin has said that the removal is not to undermine the legacy of Lincoln but to ‘examine this statue more specifically for how it’s represented’. 

He believes that the statue of Mary McLeod Bethune already in the park should be made the centerpiece instead. 

Tuesday’s Lincoln protest came on the heels of an incident in Lafayette Park Monday night over an Andrew Jackson statue. 

President Donald Trump demanded ten year prison sentences for protesters who tried to pull down a statue of former president Jackson while trying to build a ‘Black House Autonomous Zone’ outside the White House.

Trump announced that ‘numerous people’ have been arrested for the ‘disgraceful vandalism’ of the ‘magnificent’ statue of Jackson Lafayette Park and also wrote that protesters had defaced the exterior of St. John’s Church.

In a tweet following violent clashes between demonstrators and cops in riot gear, he wrote: ’10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!’

Last Friday, the statue to Confederate General Andrew Pike was also torn down and burned by protesters in the Capitol. It was the only outdoor statue to a Confederate in D.C.

Pike is considered by some as being was instrumental to the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan but the Freemasons, in which he was involved, insist evidence does not support that.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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