Hollywood

Activist Who Won Right to Burn American Flag Burns 3 Flags in Hollywood in Protest of President Trump

The immolation occurred sometime after 12:30 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard near Vine Street, where Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is situated.

Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images

Political activist 63-year-old Gregory "Joey" Johnson, who won the right to burn the American flag in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court 1989 case of Texas v. Johnson took to a Hollywood street Saturday and burned three flags -- a Confederate flag, a Blue Lives Matter flag and a U.S. flag -- to protest the policies of President Donald Trump.

The immolation occurred sometime after 12:30 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard near Vine Street, where Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is situated. The event was organized by the Revolution Club of Los Angeles and Resist Fascism.

Johnson, standing on a stage fronted by a banner reading, "Revolution - Nothing Less," told the crowd that Trump wants to protect the legacy of white supremacy, according to a Facebook video posting.

"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 (yesterday at Mount Rushmore) only added more fuel to my fire to burn
the American flag."

Johnson claimed that Trump wants to overturn the 1989 decision in Texas v. Johnson, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that flag burning was protected speech.

"Trump is the one dishonoring the flag by trying to criminalize flag burning," Johnson said.

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On Wednesday, Johnson met with Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian and told her he was a committed member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, founded in 1975 by Bob Avakian, the group's 77-year-old chairman and theoretician.

The party, he told Abcarian, is organized into Revolution Clubs and "dedicated to replacing our system of capitalism, patriarchy, exploitation, imperialism and environment devastation with something better."

Johnson also told the columnist that he was encouraged by the protests that have swept across the globe, sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. "That horrendous nine-minute video has done more to radicalize
the masses than a million lectures or pamphlets ever could."

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