Far-left protesters burned an American flag near the White House on Saturday, chanting "America was never great," just moments after President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE finished delivering a speech at the "Salute to America" Independence Day celebration.
Video shows the flag being burned in Black Lives Matter Plaza, just outside the White House. Activists can be heard chanting: "One, two, three, four, slavery, genocide and war. Five, six, seven, eight, America was never great."
“Refuse Fascism” Protesters Outside White House For #FlagBurningChallenge https://t.co/vEwxzoOKVx— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) July 4, 2020
After arguments with protesters who disagreed with their action, RevCom have managed to get a larger flag burning outside the gated Lafayette Square to chants of “slavery, genocide and war—America was never great.” Within seconds, it’s reduced to ash. pic.twitter.com/r7VItDanpw— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) July 5, 2020
Demonstrators appeared to be with Refuse Fascism as well as the Revolutionary Communist Party, two groups that have frequently protested the Trump administration. Refuse Fascism held protests in cities across the U.S. on July Fourth, posting on its website that it also created and then tore down a "statue" of Trump himself outside of Trump Tower in New York.
The demonstration outside the White House comes as many citizens reflect on Independence Day in the context of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism. Some of those protests have featured calls to tear down Confederate statues or monuments that commemorate figures who supported slavery.
Trump has criticized such protesters, including in his speech at the "Salute to America" where he called out the "radical left."
"We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing," he said in his address.
The president has also fiercely criticized flag burning, saying last month those who burn the American flag should go to jail.
Burning the American flag is not illegal, however, and the Supreme Court ruled in the 1989 case Texas v. Johnson that the action is protected by the First Amendment.