DC protesters vandalize St. John’s Church, set up “BHAZ” near White House

The St. John’s Church has been vandalized again, with spray paint reading BHAZ (Black House Autonomous Zone.)

Fox News reports protesters on Monday tried toppling a statue of Andrew Jackson near the White House, while sealing off an area in an act of defiance similar to events in Seattle by declaring off-limits an area dubbed the “Black House Autonomous Zone,” or “BHAZ.”

Police intervened as chants of “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Andrew Jackson’s got to go” were heard while a rope was put around the bust of the seventh president riding a horse, the Washington Post reported. Hundreds of protesters locked arms around the statue before police officers removed the crowd in a chaotic scene.

U.S. Park and D.C. police used a chemical irritant to disperse the crowd and officers were hit with objects. Jackson, who has faced ire in the present day for his severe treatment of Native Americans, was the latest historical figure targeted by protesters demanding monuments and memorials to those with racist pasts be taken down.

Fox News has confirmed that the U.S. Secret Service asked reporters to leave the White House grounds nearby. The specific reason wasn’t clear.

Nearby, videos circulating online showed people around Lafayette Park carrying wooden boards and fencing in an attempt to declare the autonomous zone. Orange and white barricades — originally erected by police — were moved from a church and added to others to make them longer.