Police beat and pepper spray after attempt to pull down Andrew Jackson statue, protesters deploy own shield wall

Video of Andrew Jackson Statue incident and protester shield block deployment that followed 2 min 31 sec

The June 22 Battle of H st escalated with a late-afternoon attempt to pull down the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Sq. Park Police riot squads broke up this effort in a blizzard of pepper spray and club hits. The police attack over the statue effort the was so violent one person reportedly lost four front teeth to a clubbing. For all their violence, these cops managed to retake only part of H st. Shortly after nightfall a heavy bloc of protesters carrying shields of their own reinforced the front line, leading to a standoff in place.

During the police attack on protesters trying to pull down the Andrew Jackson statue, a great deal of pepper spray was discharged into the crowd from large sprayers at close range. The chemical weapons were discharged from the direction of H st back towards the White House, from north of the protesters. Throughout and after this battle, the call of "Medic!" was heard again and again, and medics entered the fray to get wounded protesters out. In at least one case a medic was violently assaulted by police, a war crime on any battlefield. During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army was known for firing on medics and this led to war crimes prosecutions.

Chemical weapons could be felt and smelled most of the way to I st on 16th st, raising the question of whether any tear gas was also used. The Centers for Disease Control has asked that all police agencies stop using tear gas, pepper spray, or any other weapons that causes people to cough until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. One Twitter poster referred to the attack as "germ warfare."

Germ warfare is an apt analogy here, as the statue is of Andrew Jackson, an infamous enemy of Indigenous people best known for the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. Biological warfare was used hand in hand with guns, alcohol, and fake treaties to get to that point.

For all their violence, the attacking cops on June 22 managed to retake only part of H st. Most protester-installed fortifications defending the "Black House Autonomous Zone" stayed in place. Shortly after nightfall a heavy bloc of protesters carrying shields reinforced the front line. This was minutes after rumors of a planned police push N on 16th st. As of 3AM June 23, that police offensive into a stout shield wall of experienced and well-armored protesters had yet to materialize.

At about 4:30AM, word came that the original order to assault Black Lives Matter Plaza that started the day of fighting in mid-afternoon came from Mayor Bowser's office, and that as of that time the Black House Autonomous Zone was secure. Presumably Bowser had thrown in the towel for the night after all the ugly media and video.

Park cops used force and violence to keep protesters from pulling down that Andrew Jackson(author of Indian Removal Act) statue in Lafayette Sq

Another view of Andrew Jackson in ropes

On the front line, just behind the shield wall that blocked further police advances and prevented incidents from escalating into stampedes

Shields at low ready after things stabilized a bit

Creative Commons Licence