Portland protestors deface, knock down Roosevelt, Lincoln statues in ‘rage’ against Columbus Day

Dubbing the day as the ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Rage’, protestors smashed windows at the Oregon Historical Society and damaged a quilt sewn by 15 Black women in the 1970s

The Associated Press October 13, 2020 08:28:52 IST
Portland protestors deface, knock down Roosevelt, Lincoln statues in ‘rage’ against Columbus Day

A group of protesters toppled statues of former presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in Portland's South Park Block. AP

Portland: Protesters in Portland overturned statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and vandalised the Oregon Historical Society in a declaration of “rage” toward Columbus Day.

Protest organisers dubbed the event "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage,” in response to Monday's federal holiday named after 15th century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, a polarising figure who Native American advocates have said spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.

The group Sunday night threw chains around Roosevelt's statue, officially titled “Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider." They splashed red paint on the monument and used a blowtorch on the statue's base, news outlets reported.

The statue was pulled down by the crowd just before 9 pm. The group later turned their attention toward Lincoln’s statue, pulling it down about eight minutes later.

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 ...”

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.

After toppling the statues, the crowd smashed windows at the Oregon Historical Society and later moved onto the Portland State University Campus Public Safety office.

A quilt sewn by 15 Black women from Portland in the mid-1970s was among the items damaged, Oregon Historical Society executive director Kerry Tymchuk said Monday in a statement.

Each square of the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt honors a Black individual or moment in history. The quilt that had been given to the museum for safekeeping was found a few blocks away and will be assessed for damage, Tymchuk said.

"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. “We would be grateful to have constructive feedback from all those who are willing and able to aid OHS in fulfilling our vision of an Oregon story that is meaningful to all Oregonians.”

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.

In New Mexico, protesters on Monday tore down a historical monument as part of demonstrations in the state and in neighboring Arizona meant to mark Indigenous Peoples Day. Protesters used a rope and chain to topple an obelisk in Santa Fe long a point of contention for its references to the “heroes” who died in battle with “savage Indians.”

The monuments are the latest statues to come down in a wave of removed monuments and protests sparked by the 25 May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Updated Date:

also read

NA: Demar DeRozan, Zach LaVine help Bulls beat Raptors for fourth straight win
Sports

NA: Demar DeRozan, Zach LaVine help Bulls beat Raptors for fourth straight win

Nikola Vucevic scored 17 points and Lonzo Ball had 15 as the Bulls won their fourth straight meeting with Toronto. Ball shot 5 for 9 from 3-point range.

T20 World Cup 2021: Quinton de Kock refuses to take knee, withdrawn from team
Sports

T20 World Cup 2021: Quinton de Kock refuses to take knee, withdrawn from team

De Kock refused to take a knee in South Africa's Test series in the West Indies earlier this year.

Temba Bavuma says Quinton de Kock's withdrawal 'did kind of take us back as a team'
First Cricket News

Temba Bavuma says Quinton de Kock's withdrawal 'did kind of take us back as a team'

Following CSA's directive to its players to take the knee in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, de Kock withdrew from the Super 12 game, laying bare the growing internal tension on the matter.