Activist Who Won Right to Burn American Flag Burns 3 Flags In Hollywood Trump Protest
Gregory ‘Joey’ Johnson, 63, won the right to burn the flag in the landmark US Supreme Court 1989 case of Texas v. Johnson, with the US Supreme Court ruling that flag burning was indeed a form of protected speech.
On Saturday, July, 4 – America’s Independence Day – Johnson took to a street in Hollywood close to where President Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star is located, and proceeded to burn a Confederate flag, a Blue Lives Matter flag and a US flag.
The flag burning event, which took place sometime after 12.30 pm on Hollywood Boulevard, was organised by the Revolution Club of Los Angeles, a ‘new communism’ organisation, and anti-fascist political organisation, Resist Fascism.
In a Facebook post from the event, Johnson could be seen standing on a stage fronted by a banner which read, ‘Revolution – Nothing Less’. Speaking before the crowd, Johnson claimed President Trump wanted to uphold racist ideas of white supremacy, describing him as ‘despicable’ and ‘a fascist’.
As per NBC Los Angeles, Johnson said:
His answer for all these people who have pulled down these statues, these symbols of white supremacists, slavers and people who committed genocide against Native Americans is to arrest and prosecute these people.
Trump is a 21st century Hitler. He’s despicable. He’s a fascist. His rant [at Mount Rushmore] only added more fuel to my fire to burn the American flag.
Johnson proceeded to state:
Trump is the one dishonouring the flag by trying to criminalise flag burning.
Last month, President Trump called upon the Supreme Court to reconsider flag burning laws, pledging his support for an ‘anti-flag burning’ statute.
In audio obtained by CNN, President Trump described the act of flag burning as a ‘disgrace’, telling governors:
We have a different court and I think that it’s time that we review that again. Because when I see flags being burned — they wanted to crawl up flag poles in Washington and try and burn flags but we stopped them.
They’re weren’t able to do it. They would’ve done it if we didn’t stop them. I think it’s time to relook at that issue, hopefully the Supreme Court will accept that.
If you wanted to try to pass a very powerful flag burning statute again — anti-flag burning, I hope you’ll do it because we’ll back you 100% all the way. Okay? I hope some of you do it.
In an interview with Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian, Johnson revealed he had been recently been encouraged in his activism by the Black Lives Matter protests which swept the globe following the death of George Floyd.
Johnson told Abcarian:
People are calling into question, in the millions and tens of millions, white supremacy and how rooted it is in the fabric of this society. How do we get beyond it? How can we live in a world without this horrific oppression of Black people?
Johnson spoke about being part of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Founded in 1975 by theoretician Bob Avakian, the party is organised into Revolution Clubs which aim to ‘replace ‘our system of capitalism, patriarchy, exploitation, imperialism and environment devastation with something better’.
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