Portland, Ore. – Protesters in Portland vandalize statues of former U.S. presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and destroy the Oregon Historical Society in declaring “anger” over Columbus Day.
Protest organizers called the event “Indigenous People’s Day of Rage” in response to Monday’s federal holiday in the name of 15th – century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, the polarizing figure of centuries’ carnage against the Native American population.
The group threw chains around the Roosevelt statue on Sunday night, officially “Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider”. They sprayed red paint on the monument and used a blowtorch on the base of the statue, news agencies reported.
The statue was dragged away by the crowd before 9 p.m. The team then focused on the Lincoln statue, which was pulled down eight minutes later.
Historians once said that Roosevelt was hostile to Native Americans: “I do not go as far as to think that only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe that there are nine out of every 10 …”
Protesters spray “Dakota 38” on the base of a Lincoln statue, referring to 38 Dakota men who agreed to hang Lincoln after violent clashes with whites in Minnesota.
After the statues were demolished, spectators smashed windows at the Oregon Historical Society and then proceeded to the Portland State University Campus Public Safety Office.
Kerry Timchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society, said in a statement Monday that a quilt was sewn by 15 black women from Portland in the mid – 1970s.
Every square of the African-American Heritage Bicentennial Quilt honors a black man or a moment in history. The quilt given to the museum for safety was found a few blocks away and the damage is being assessed, Timchuk said.
“When we make plans to clean broken glass, scrub paint and ensure safety in our building, we, as always, welcome criticism on our work,” Timchuk wrote. “We are grateful to have a constructive feedback from all those who are willing and able to assist OHS in fulfilling our vision of an Oregon story that is understandable to all Oregonians.”
Three people were arrested by police, who said multiple businesses were damaged and at least two bullets were fired through its front windows, including a restaurant.
Monuments removed following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 and landmarks that landed in a wave of protests.