A statue of seventh US President Andrew Jackson that stands outside the White House was vandalized by activists on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with the words “expect us” spray-painted in red onto its plinth.

Indigenous activists protested President Joe Biden’s administration outside of the White House on Monday, where they called for greater protections for the environment and an end to the use of fossil fuels.

On the same day, a statue of former Democratic President Andrew Jackson – which sits directly opposite of the White House – was vandalized with red paint. The words “expect us” were sprayed onto the side of the statue, along with red handprints, and protesters also reportedly chanted “respect us or expect us!”

Jackson statue in front of White House vandalized – protesters chanting “respect us or expect us”

Current View: Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square, outside of White House, Washington DC

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) took credit for the vandalism, claiming in a statement that the graffiti was a “message” specifically for Biden and that the red paint was meant to symbolize blood “to represent the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic all over the statue of the genocidal President.”

The group said the action comes on the heels of “900 water protectors and land defenders arrested trying to stop Enbridge’s Line 3” – a planned pipeline expansion from Canada to the US. The statement warned Biden that indigenous Americans “are older than the idea of the United States of America” and they “will continue to fight for the natural and spiritual knowledge of our Mother who sustains our life-ways.”

“We carry the prayers and intentions of our ancestors and are unafraid,” the IEN concluded. “Another world is possible, may all colonizers fall.”

On Twitter, the group boasted that the statue had been “redecorated.”

“Today is #IndigenousPeoplesDay & don’t get it twisted, colonization is not over,” it wrote, adding that native people are “still fighting settler violence via fossil fuel extraction across Turtle Island!”

Jackson, though celebrated by many Americans as an early supporter of democracy and the father of the Democratic Party, is seen in a much more negative light by indigenous Americans, whose ancestors were forcibly moved by Jackson’s presidential administration in what came to be known as the Trail of Tears, during which thousands of indigenous Americans and their African slaves died.

This year, Biden became the first US president to issue a proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, during which he acknowledged that “for generations,” the US “systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures.”

“It is a measure of our greatness as a Nation that we do not seek to bury these shameful episodes of our past – that we face them honestly, we bring them to the light, and we do all we can to address them,” he said.

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