Washington: Taking a shot at anti-racial protesters in the US, President Donald Trump vowed to overthrow the ‘radical left’, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters in his July 4 Independence Day address at the White House.
“We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying during his speech at the South Lawn on Saturday.
“We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms,” he said, referring to the removal of controversial monuments following the killing of black man George Floyd by police — an incident that has invoked a national outcry against racial injustice and police brutality in the country.
Ahead of Trump’s speech, peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators held marches and sit-ins across Washington DC to protest against police brutality and the systemic oppression of African Americans in the United States.
The US marked its 244th Independence against the backdrop of a hike of pandemic, a downturn of economy and a nationwide outcry for racial justice.
In his nearly 30-minute speech, Trump thanked the country’s armed forces for their service to the nation. He went on to exalt the 56 signatories of the US’ Declaration of Independence — an official statement adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared freedom of the 13 American colonies from Great Britain.
Trump also came down heavily on the US media outlets, saying that they “falsely and consistently label their opponents as racists”.
“You not only slander me, you not only slander American people, but you slander generations of heroes who gave their lives for America.”
Trump’s comments came after the US witnessed widespread protests against racism and police brutality following the custodial killing of African American George Floyd in May.
Meanwhile, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden put his focus on calling for racial justice.
“There has always been a push and a pull between our founding ideals and the forces of inequality,” said Biden in an online video, adding that “we have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country.”
Despite the United States recording the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, Trump, who is under attack for a shaky response to the pandemic, claimed that it will be ready with a therapeutic and/or vaccine “long before the end of the year”.
The US has the world’s highest number of coronavirus deaths and infections, and confirmed more than 43,000 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The traditional Fourth of July parade in Washington, D.C., as well as firework shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and some other cities, were cancelled due to the pandemic.
After Trump’s July Fourth address, some protesters burned an American flag outside the Lafayette Square near the White House in protest against racial injustice in the country, local media reported.
In Baltimore, Maryland state, a group of protesters tore down a statue of the Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus and threw it into the water on Saturday night.