Rioters in Portland, Oregon, toppled statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln Sunday night, declaring a “day of rage” in anticipation of Columbus Day.
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.
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.'”
OregonLive reported that nearly 200 people made up the crowd marching through downtown Portland, most dressing in head-to-toe black and some wielding melee weapons. The organizers of the event prohibited video livestreaming and photographs of their criminal activity and harassed individuals who attempted to film. One apartment resident reportedly had lasers shined at his eyes and liquid thrown in his face for attempting to take video of the riot from his terrace.
The rioters defaced the statues with paint and used chains and a blowtorch to topple the monuments. The words “Dakota 38” were spray-painted on the base of Lincoln’s statue, a reference to the 38 Dakota tribesmen whose hangings Lincoln approved after a violent conflict with white settlers in Minnesota.
At 9 p.m. they were successful in tearing down Roosevelt’s statue, called “Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider.” Several minutes later they pulled down Lincoln’s statue.
After pulling down the statues, they moved on to commit more acts of vandalism, smashing the windows at the Oregon Historical Society and then doing the same at the Portland State University campus police office.
Journalist Andy Ngô covered the protests and shared video taken at the event Sunday night.
Tonight the “indigenous” faction of antifa held a “day of rage” riot in Portland. They banned video recording as the criminal acts were planned ahead. They’ve toppled the statues of Roosevelt & Lincoln so far using chains. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/PkTqxeCLIj— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) October 12, 2020
“F— all you colonizers!…Everyone of you that’s against Black Lives Matter can f— the f— off.”— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) October 12, 2020
Antifa rioters in the process of toppling the Portland statue of Roosevelt. They were soon successful in pulling it down. Video by rioter Tracy Lynn Molina. pic.twitter.com/D5XgfX3slR
According to OregonLive, the police declared the demonstrations a riot and ordered the rioters to disperse but did not directly intervene until nearly an hour after the first statue was torn down. Police said anyone involved in “criminal behavior, including vandalism,” would be arrested.
The crowds did not disperse until police cruisers flooded the area and officers in tactical gear began making arrests.
President Donald Trump on Monday called for law enforcement to act and “focus their energy on ANTIFA.”
In June, rioters in Portland toppled a nearly 100-year-old statue of George Washington, painting the words “BLM” and “genocidal colonist” on the statue.