Activist Gregory Johnson and protesters burn a flag outside the White House

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A fiery start to Trump’s Fourth of July celebrations: Activist Gregory Johnson and protesters burn a flag outside the White House as cops swoop in to arrest the demonstrators in front of a crowd chanting ‘USA’

  • Gregory Lee ‘Joey’ Johnson was one of the people taken away in handcuffs during the demonstration outside of the White House two before the president’s celebration is set to kick off on Thursday 
  • Johnson is a longtime member of the Revolutionary Communist Party which organized the flag burning 
  • The group tweeted photos of its members standing around the flag engulfed in flames before the arrests 
  • Johnson famously set fire to an American flag outside the 1984 RNC in protest of Ronald Reagan’s policies
  • He was arrested and later charged under a Texas law that made it illegal to destroy or desecrate a venerated object – including the flag
  • He appealed the decision before the Supreme Court in the landmark case Texas v Johnson, which ruled that flag desecration is protected by the First Amendment as ‘symbolic speech’ 
  • Hundreds turned out to protest the July 4th festivities with anti-Trump signs and a giant ‘Baby Trump’ balloon

Two people have been arrested during a flag burning protest ahead of Donald Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC. 

Political activist Gregory Lee ‘Joey’ Johnson was one of the people taken away in handcuffs during the demonstration outside of the White House two before the president’s celebration is set to kick off, someone confirmed on his Twitter account. 

Johnson famously set fire to an American flag outside the 1984 RNC in protest of Ronald Reagan’s policies. He was arrested and later charged under a Texas law that made it illegal to destroy or desecrate a venerated object – including the flag.

He appealed the decision before the Supreme Court in the landmark case Texas v Johnson, which ruled that flag desecration is protected by the First Amendment as ‘symbolic speech’. 

Johnson is a longtime member of the Revolutionary Communist Party – also known as RevCom – which organized Thursday’s protest outside of the White House, where the group chanted: ‘Imagine A World Without America. Fight For A World Without America!’ 

RevCom tweeted a photo of its members standing around a flag engulfed in a ball of flames, writing: ‘Gregory Joey Johnson, of Texas v. Johnson which established the right to burn the flag, was arrested today in front of White House for burning the U.S. flag. ‘

Johnson’s account also tweeted that another member had been arrested along with him, but that person was not identified.  

Law enforcement officials have not confirmed either arrest and it is unclear whether the demonstrators were specifically arrested for burning the flag or for some other crime, such as disorderly conduct.  

Hundreds of other protesters unaffiliated with the RevCom turned out for the Independence Day festivities, armed with anti-Trump signs and a giant ‘Baby Trump’ balloon. 

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Two people have been arrested during a flag burning protest in front of the White House ahead of Donald Trump's 'Salute to America' Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC, on Thursday

Two people have been arrested during a flag burning protest in front of the White House ahead of Donald Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC, on Thursday

Political activist Gregory Lee 'Joey' Johnson was one of the people taken away in handcuffs during the demonstration outside of the White House two before the president's celebration was set to kick off

Political activist Gregory Lee ‘Joey’ Johnson was one of the people taken away in handcuffs during the demonstration outside of the White House two before the president’s celebration was set to kick off

RevCom protesters chanted: 'Imagine A World Without America. Fight For A World Without America!' as the flag burned

RevCom protesters chanted: ‘Imagine A World Without America. Fight For A World Without America!’ as the flag burned

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