Roosevelt, Lincoln statues knocked down in protests against Columbus Day

Roosevelt, Lincoln statues knocked down in protests against Columbus Day”

Portland absorbed another night of riots on Sunday that resulted in the toppling of two statues in the city and reports of numerous buildings with their windows smashed in, including the Oregon Historical Society.

The Roosevelt and Lincoln statues were dedicated in the 1920s as gifts to the city from Dr. Henry Waldo Coe, who operated the Morningside psychiatric hospital in East Portland near what is now Mall 205.

OregonLive reported that almost 200 people made up the crowd marching through downtown Portland, most dressing in head-to-toe black and some wielding melee weapons.

Throughout the night, the Portland Police Department tweeted out updates about the riot and warned participants that they would be penalized if caught breaking the law. The crowd erupted in cheers as dance music played on a large portable speaker.

Historians have said Roosevelt expressed hostility toward 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". Roosevelt has been accused of supporting policies that pushed Native Americans off their ancestral lands, RT reported.

Protesters spray-painted "Dakota 38" on the base of Lincoln's statue, referencing the 38 Dakota men Lincoln approved to have hanged after the men were involved in a violent conflict with white settlers in Minnesota.

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He said the protesters had used a vehicle to first topple Roosevelt's statue before turning their attention to Lincoln's statue.

"As we clean up broken glass, scrub paint, and make plans to ensure safety in our building, we also, as always, welcome critique of our work", Tymchuk wrote.

In the announcement of the protest on Saturday, organizers Generational Resistance called on social media for an "end to colonialism" and the abolishment of the police in a post where they also asked for no photos or video to be taken.

In Portland, several statues that appeared possible targets were preemptively removed as the protests wore on.

The protest, which was held a day before Columbus Day, comes in the aftermath of months of demonstrations in the city against racial injustice following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd in late May, an unarmed black man. The video showed a rope tied around the statue and protesters could be heard cheering when the statue shifted.

Police later declared the event a riot and ordered the group to disperse. Police said they arrested Malik Muhamad, 23, of Portland; Justin Bowen, 25, of Portland; and Brandon Bartells, 38, of Washington.

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