Coalition Opposes Surveillance of Protesters

07/27/2020 1:38 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

The Coalition for American Heritage, of which ACRA is a founding member, has issued the following statement regarding surveillance of protesters at historic monuments:

The Coalition for American Heritage opposes the Trump Administration’s dangerous decision to implement the Executive Order on Protecting Monuments, Memorials and Statues by conducting surveillance on Americans who are protesting to remove some of these historic period monuments, and by characterizing potential damage to monuments as a “significant threat to homeland security.”

Our organizations are committed to preserving and showcasing America’s complex and sometimes painful history. Government surveillance of mostly peaceful protesters undermines an essential element of historic preservation—constructive dialogue about our country’s complex history. In our work, this dialogue occurs, and is shared with the public, at our country’s historic sites. In seeking to remove certain monuments, protesters challenge us to question which historic figures we choose to honor, and whose stories merit inclusion, in the public square.

We believe that the protests occurring across America are part of an important re-examination of our collective history. We welcome this national conversation about America’s past, including difficult topics such as segregation, enslavement, genocide, and disenfranchisement. It is our sincere hope that an open dialogue about America’s multifaceted past will guide us in creating a more just, equitable, and inclusive future for all.

We strongly oppose the President’s unwarranted characterization of civil rights protests focusing on heritage sites as a national security threat and his use of Department of Homeland Security personnel to collect personal information on protesters. We ask him to immediately revoke this new and dangerous policy.

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