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Destroyers burning flags on flagpoles at the free market at Heartland Institute

Vandals burned two flags flying on a flagpole outside the headquarters of the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank known for its climate skepticism.

Heartland spokesman Jim Lakeley said the remnants of a blackened Stars and Stripes flag and a yellow Gadsden flag that read “Don’t Step on Me” were found Thursday morning on a damaged flagpole in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Stated.

He said no one had claimed responsibility for the attack, but blamed it on “radical leftists” who oppose the mission of conservative nonprofit advocacy groups.

“I always knew this day would come. Some radical left took their hatred of the Heartland Institute and its mission of promoting freedom and decided to turn it into ‘direct action’. day,” Lakeley said on his website Thursday. director.

Since Heartland moved to the Chicago suburbs in 2015, two flags have flown over the building.

Laclely said she had reported the arson to the police, but “I knew it because the kind police officer who came out said it was unlikely they would identify the culprit.” The building’s security cameras point at the door, not the flagpole.

“The idea that this is just ‘random’ vandalism or arson is not valid,” he said.

“Heartland was targeted because of our public standing as a conservative think tank and the world’s most prominent organization fighting climate change concerns and the insidious spread of socialism around the world.” said. Mr. Lakeley said.

Organizations associated with conservative ideas have been hit by a wave of vandalism in recent years.

More than 80 pro-life offices and pregnancy centers have been attacked since the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade in May 2022. Some of the attacks are credited to the radical choice advocacy group Jane’s Revenge.

catholic vote tracker There have also been 318 attacks on Catholic churches since May 2020, ranging from graffiti to arson, and massive Black Lives Matter protests and riots following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Occurrences are also listed.

Heartland was targeted by climate change protesters when it was in downtown Chicago, but the burning of the flag marks the first attack on the Arlington Heights location.

Lakeley said the two flags that have been flying outside the building since 2015 will be replaced soon.

“This will not deter us in the slightest. In fact, we have already ordered a replacement large flag and it should arrive next week,” he said. “If someone burns it, we’ll replace it too. The flags of America and Gadsden will forever fly above our world headquarters in Heartland.”

• Editor’s Note: Jim Lakely is a former reporter for The Washington Times. Destroyers burning flags on flagpoles at the free market at Heartland Institute

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