Protesters in Portland have torn down statues of two USA presidents in an "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage" event Sunday night organised on the eve of Columbus Day, which marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas on 12 October 1492.
The statues were on the route of a march titled, Indigenous People's Day of Rage.
According to the Associated Press, the rioters assembled for "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage", referring to "Indigenous Peoples Day", an alternative holiday to Columbus Day favored by progressive activists who accuse famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus of committing acts of genocide against Native Americans.
At 9 p.m. they were successful in tearing down Roosevelt's statue, called "Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider".
Oregon Live reported that the Lincoln statue was toppled because he ordered the execution of 38 Dakota men "after the Dakota-U.S".
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The AP noted that President Roosevelt "expressed hostility towards Native Americans, once saying: 'I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are'". The group later turned their attention toward Lincoln's statue, pulling it down about eight minutes later.
After toppling the statues, some protesters began smashing windows at the Oregon Historical Society, unfurling a banner that read, "Stop honoring racist colonizer murderers".
Kerry Tymchuk, the historical society's executive director, told a KOIN News reporter that no exhibits had been damaged. A mural on the attached Sovereign Hotel building depicting the Lewis & Clark expedition was splattered with red paint. Several storefronts were also destroyed.
Anti-racism protests have unfolded across big and small cities across the country, and notably in Portland, as people took to the streets to protest police brutality against Black Americans like George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. The video showed a rope tied around the statue and protesters could be heard cheering when the statue shifted. They continued, "All persons must immediately disperse to the NORTH. Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to tear gas and impact weapons". Moreover, The Oregonian said police did not intervene.
Three people were arrested by police who said in a statement that multiple businesses were damaged, including a restaurant that had at least two bullets fired through its front windows.