Utah man charged with damaging memorial at National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is pictured. A Utah man has been charged with damaging a memorial at the National Gallery of Art.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is pictured. A Utah man has been charged with damaging a memorial at the National Gallery of Art. | Massimo Pizzotti, Adobe.com

A Utah man who is a member of the Declare Emergency climate group was taken into custody after it’s alleged he damaged an African American Civil War soldiers memorial.

The indictment, unsealed on Nov. 14, 2023, alleges Jackson Green, 27, of Sandy, smeared the words “Honor Them” in red paint on the wall next to the memorial. “The attack was videotaped by supporters of Declare Emergency and released online,” a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He was taken into custody on Tuesday, per the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Shaw’s 54th Regiment Memorial is located in the National Gallery of Art’s West Wing.

American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens commemorates Col. Robert Gould Shaw and the soldiers in the 54th regiment.

“The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was raised shortly after Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863,” a post on the National Gallery of Art website said. “Recruits came from many states, encouraged by such African American leaders as the great orator Frederick Douglass, whose own sons joined the 54th.”

July 18, 1863, marked the day when the 54th launched an attack against Fort Wagner. Nearly 300 out of the 600 soldiers “were captured, declared missing, or died from wounds they received that day.”

“The steadfastness and bravery of the 54th were widely reported, providing a powerful rallying point for African Americans who had longed for the chance to fight for the emancipation of their race. By the end of the war, African Americans composed 10 percent of the Union forces, contributing crucial manpower to the final victory of the North,” the post continued.

The release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that Green “is the third member of Declare Emergency charged in relation to attacks on the National Gallery of Art.”