US President Donald Trump has promised at least 10 years in prison to protesters who have damaged government buildings. He said this on Monday, July 27, on his Twitter account.
“Anarchists, instigators and protesters who disrupt and damage a federal courthouse in Portland or any other government building in all our cities and states will be prosecuted under the recently reinstated Monument Protection Order. At least 10 years in prison. Don’t do that!” – wrote Trump.
Earlier Sunday, protesters in Oakland, California, set fire to a local courthouse, smashed police station windows and attacked police officers.
In Portland, where the unrest has been going on for almost two months, demonstrators gathered outside the federal courthouse on the evening of July 20 put graffiti on its walls with spray paint cans. Law enforcement agencies responded by spraying tear gas.
On June 26, Trump reported that he signed an executive order to protect the monuments, providing for long prison sentences for vandals.
Since late May, protests have been taking place in American cities, often escalating into riots that began after the death of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis. A man died in hospital after being brutally detained by police.