United States President Joe Biden faced calls from left-wing climate change activists that demonstrated in front of the White House on Monday, vandalizing a statue commemorating former President Andrew Jackson and calling for the Democrat to take action immediately.
On Monday, the Build Back Fossil Free coalition gathered in the streets of Washington, D.C., with a five-day protest plan that aimed to urge the president to take action against climate change. They wanted the Democrat to declare a national emergency and stop all projects that were utilizing fossil fuels.
Biden Faces Mounting Pressure
The director of coalition core member the Sovereign Inupiat for a Living Arctic, Siqiniq Maupin, said in an email statement on Monday that the demonstration was conducted in the belief that President Biden should follow through with his campaign promises. He argued that many people worldwide were dying from pollutants, toxins, and climate catastrophes.
Maupin said that the federal government was still sacrificing American people's lives for oil and gas across the United States. The protesters have been met with warnings from the U.S. Park Police that they would be forced to conduct police action should they fail to disperse, Fox News reported.
The situation in front of the White House resulted in the arrest of an indigenous woman who was part of the crowd protesting that the government takes action against climate change. Secret Service officers detained the female after she allegedly threw an object over the fence of the White House. As she was handcuffed, the woman could be heard screaming, "I don't want to die."
The protests showed the large gathering of people singing and prayer while some vandalized the statue of former President Jackson. Protesters wrote the words "expect us" in bright red letters on the statue's pedestal.
Jackson has long been the recipient of scrutiny from indigenous people over his treatment of Native Americans during his administration. Remarkably, many have criticized his Indian Removal Act that resulted in the Trail of Tears which forcibly displaced some 60,000 Native Americans from 1830 to 1850, the New York Post reported.
Proclamation of Indigenous Peoples' Day
The protesters gathered on Columbus Day, on the same day that President Biden also proclaimed Indigenous Peoples' Day. A member of the Dine Nation, Les Begay, said it was important for people to focus on celebrating the Indigenous culture and not Christopher Columbus, who is regarded by many as a colonizer and not a discoverer.
"Not honoring Indigenous peoples on this day just continues to erase our history, our contributions, and the fact that we were the first inhabitants of this country," said Begay, Yahoo News reported.
Biden said his proclamation of the first-ever Indigenous Peoples' Day in the United States was to honor America's first inhabitants and the Tribal Nations that continue to live today. The Democratic president urged residents to celebrate the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. He also called on the people to direct the flag of the U.S. to be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day.