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12 Oct, 2020 08:05

Portland police declare riot after mob topple Lincoln & Roosevelt statues during ‘Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage’ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Portland police declare riot after mob topple Lincoln & Roosevelt statues during ‘Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage’ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Police cleared the streets of central Portland after rioters pulled down the statues of two US presidents and carried out other acts of vandalism in the city, as part of an “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” protest.

Demonstrators targeted statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln as they marched through downtown Portland on Sunday night. 

Footage shows a crowd cheering as the statue of Roosevelt mounted on a horse is pulled down. The statue was then covered in orange paint and “stolen land” and “murderer” were painted on the base of the sculpture. Roosevelt has been accused of supporting policies that pushed Native Americans off their ancestral lands.

Protesters then turned their attention to a nearby statue of Lincoln, which was toppled several minutes later. Demonstrators spray-painted “Dakota 38” onto the statue’s pedestal, apparently a reference to 38 Dakota men who were accused of attacking settlers and later executed during the Dakota War of 1862.

After vandalizing the two statues, demonstrators smashed the windows of the Oregon Historical Society and displayed a banner that read, “Stop honoring racist colonizer murderers.” The rioters also attacked local businesses.

The unrest was part of a “Day of Rage” held in defiance of the Columbus Day holiday on Monday. The US holiday commemorates the landing of Christoper Columbus in America in 1492. 

Police intervened later in the evening, declaring the gathering a riot and ordering people to leave the area. Several arrests were made, according to local media. 

Portland has seen months of near nightly demonstrations, with many descending into violence. Numerous monuments and statues around the city have been attacked since the unrest began in the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. In June, Portland protesters toppled a statue of US president and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. Protesters also attacked a statue depicting a family of pioneers, and a sculpture of an elk. 

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