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Donald Trump calls for arrest of people who vandalize, destroy monuments

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President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26, 2020, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)

US President Donald Trump has vowed to arrest anyone caught trying to tear down monuments or statues, threatening they could be jailed for 10 years.

Trump added the new order applies “retroactively” so those who previously participated in bringing down memorials could be detained. 

He wrote: ‘I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.
‘This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!’

The announcement follows weeks of  anti-racism demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other African Americans in the hands of white police officers, with activists calling for the removal of memorials to the country’s colonialist past.

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