One activist is determined to light up more than barbecue and fireworks this Independence Day.
Communist activist and flag-burner Gregory “Joey” Johnson is set to protest President Trump’s July 4 “Salute to America” event by lighting the American flag ablaze.
Johnson, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party who is best known for winning a 1989 Supreme Court case that invalidated state laws against flag burning, said “that rag of empire and oppression is going to burn” in Washington on July 4.
The statement comes less than two weeks after the president tweeted that he would support a constitutional amendment to ban burning of the nation’s flag.
All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2019
President Trump will appear at the Lincoln Memorial at 6:30pm before the firework show begins at dusk. The president has claimed “Salute to America” will be one of the largest events ever held in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has not said how many other activists will join him or where they intend to carry out their protest.
In 2016, he and a dozen other members of the Revolutionary Communist Party caught media attention with flag burnings at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Johnson and his associates chanted “burn that rag” during their demonstrations.
Enraged veterans attempted to stop Johnson at those gatherings. He was arrested while protesting then-candidate Trump’s nomination, but was awarded a $225,000 settlement for that arrest this month.
Johnson considers himself an internationalist who supports global communism. He slammed the president’s planned Fourth of July celebration as a “fascist extravaganza of ‘make America white again,’ xenophobia, jingoism, and American chauvinism.”
“And this is all dangerous to humanity,” Johnson added.
Johnson said he will be in Washington, D.C., to “help expose Trump’s fascist agenda with the message that America was never great. America was built on slavery, genocide, and war.”
“Instead of trying to go back to some dreamland America that never existed,” he continued, “we need to go forward to a world without America and everything it stands for.”
Johnson decried the American flag as “the flag of this shameless fascist jackal Trump,” which he said is flying over the “thousands of refugees in dog pens” — referring to migrant shelters.
According to Johnson, he first became drawn to radical activism as an Army brat in the ’60s, when he met anti-Vietnam War veterans in West Germany.
“Vets are not all of one mind,” he asserted.
Despite his communist ideology, Johnson does not support the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic Socialist vying to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. He is also unimpressed with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), another self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist.
“Bernie contributes to and backs up American chauvinism,” Johnson argues. “Bernie or AOC, when you are talking about the [Democratic Socialists of America], you are talking about sharing the spoils of imperialism.”
Johnson will not be the only one protesting President Trump on July 4. Feminist anti-war group Code Pink has been granted a permit to fly their well-known “Baby Trump” blimp just blocks from the White House before the president’s address.
It appears that in the nation’s capital, sparks will fly this Fourth of July.