President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that seeks to protect federal monuments from sustained attacks by mob protestors with new conditions for state and local governments to receive federal funding.
“State and local governments that have failed to protect public monuments, memorials, and statues from destruction or vandalism,” the order states, will be stripped of federal resources to provide funding for public spaces and law enforcement.
The new order signed last week also directs the Justice Department to prosecute anyone who “destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates,” secular and religious relics in addition to any individuals or groups that seek to “incite violence or other illegal activity in connection with the riots and acts of vandalism.”
Trump’s monumental order comes on the heels of the worst outbreak of civil unrest in decades as woke mobs tear down American statues in the great purge of a 21st century cultural revolution, where self-proclaimed social justice warriors bring about the destruction of memorials dedicated to actual social justice warriors.
The progressive irony was made clear in Friday’s order, where Trump condemned the recent violence from “anarchists and left-wing extremists” as a direct assault on “the very rule of law itself.”
Earlier this month, in Boston, a memorial commemorating an African-American regiment that fought in the Civil War was defaced with graffiti. In Madison, Wisconsin, rioters knocked over the statue of an abolitionist immigrant who fought for the Union during the Civil War. Christian figures are now in the crosshairs, too. Recently, an influential activist for one movement that has been prominent in setting the agenda for demonstrations in recent weeks declared that many existing religious depictions of Jesus and the Holy Family should be purged from our places of worship.
Upon Trump’s signature, the Justice Department immediately took action. On Saturday, four men were charged with the destruction of federal property for their recent failed attempt to bring down a statue of President Andrew Jackson in Washington D.C.’s Lafayette Square.
“The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed,” acting U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin said in a statement. “This Office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital: Your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated.”
Progressive activists and protestors in recent weeks have also targeted Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, each of whom mark the faces of Mount Rushmore.