Jamiesfeast – A man from Utah was taken into custody on Tuesday for reportedly vandalizing a memorial that honors a regiment of Black soldiers who bravely fought in the Civil War, according to prosecutors.
27-year-old Jackson Green has been apprehended and is facing charges of property damage at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department claims that Green used red paint to inscribe the phrase “Honor Them” on the wall adjacent to the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial. This sculpture, created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, pays tribute to “Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first African American regiments to serve in the North during the Civil War,” as stated by the gallery.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Green is affiliated with Declare Emergency, a collective aimed at utilizing nonviolent civil resistance tactics to challenge the existing system and urge the government to take substantial measures in response to the climate crisis. Prosecutors assert that Green’s act, captured on video by fellow group members and subsequently shared online, resulted in damages exceeding $700.
“To pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the 54th regiment, we must make sacrifices of our own today,” reads a caption on the group’s Instagram account, accompanied by a video that seems to show a man painting words on the wall near the sculpture. The caption goes on to say, “President Biden should declare a climate emergency.” The video received mixed reactions, with some expressing support and others criticizing the decision to target a memorial dedicated to Black soldiers.
In a recent Facebook post, Declare Emergency shared a statement from a supporter named “Geor Green,” who they claim was responsible for the alleged incident.
“We should pay tribute to them by remembering their actions and their sacrifices,” Green emphasized when discussing the soldiers of the regiment. “Furthermore, we should honor their legacy by continuing their efforts. In light of this, I believe it is imperative for Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency as a way to honor them. The reason being that the individuals who are currently and will be most affected by the climate crisis are often marginalized communities, much like the brave soldiers who served in the Massachusetts 54th.”
According to the DOJ, members of the Declare Emergency group have previously faced charges related to incidents at the National Gallery of Art. In December, Joanna Smith pleaded guilty to defacing Edgar Degas’ “Little Dancer, Age Fourteen,” causing damage to the exhibit. Timothy Martin, her alleged partner in the act, is scheduled to stand trial in August, as stated by prosecutors.