Activists Move Destruction of Emancipation Memorial to Friday: ‘No Revolution Has Ever Been Just Peaceful’

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Activists have appeared to move their plans to tear down the Emancipation Memorial in D.C.’s Lincoln Park to Friday, announcing the event on social media and emphasizing their intentions by noting that “no revolution has ever been just peaceful. We are no different.”

A leftist agitator made waves on Tuesday after publicly announcing plans to destruct the Emancipation Memorial, while speaking to a crowd gathered in Lincoln Park.

“Thursday at 7 p.m., we tearing this motherfucker down!” he said while standing at the memorial’s base, prompting cheers from the crowd.

Officials, following this week’s organized attempt to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park, took the activist at his word. Hundreds of D.C. National Guardsmen are on standby to protect monuments in the nation’s capital, prepared to serve as unarmed, “uniformed deterrence.”

However, according to the group’s Instagram account, the official protest has been moved to Friday, although it remains possible that activists could still gather on Thursday night.

The group said in a Wednesday post:

OUR EVENT IS ON FRIDAY NOW! As with every revolution things change on the fly, so after much feedback from the community, and to ensure we are in the clear legally, we are putting on a rally for Friday at 6pm in collaboration with Moechella and DC Council Candidate Marcus Goodwin!

The activists also answered a series of commonly asked questions, explaining why they view the memorial as problematic and emphasizing that they will pursue justice “by any means necessary.”

The activists wrote in a post:

In this slide we answered your questions about the taking down of the Emancipation statue. We also want to state once again, we are here for justice by any means necessary. No revolution has ever been just peaceful. We are no different. This is the revolution.

“This statue represents a message that the freedoms and liberation of black people can only happen if it is on the white mans [sic] terms,” the group explained in a series of slides.

The agitators claimed to “respect Lincoln and his sacrifice” but said they “do not respect the imagery of his hand over a freed slave and the message it sends to our black people.”

While they acknowledged that freed slaves funded memorial — abolitionist Frederick Douglass even spoke at the dedication of the memorial — they contend that “they paid to commemorate Lincoln without any input on the design.”

“That is what we are challenging — the design and the message,” they said.

Activists demand a statue or black mural of a “black abolition leader based in Washington D.C, designed by a black artist, sculptor, or muralist” in its place.

“Statues teach history, but it should be done in a respectful manner of those it intends to teach. Our justice starts with tearing down the symbols of our oppression and demanding that we will wait no longer for the government to give us our freedom,” they added.

When asked if the statue is “coming down,” the group answered, “Anything is possible when the people have the power.”

Hawk Newsome, president of the Greater New York Black Lives Matter, echoed the hints of destruction and lawlessness previewed by fellow activists during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News Channel’s The Story with host Martha MacCallum, warning that “we will burn down this system and replace it” if the country does not heed to the demands of the movement.

“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down the system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally,” he stated. “It’s a matter of interpretation.”


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