Portland protesters pull down statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln
A group of protesters toppled statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in Portland's South Park Block late Sunday, October 11, 2020 ((The Associated Press)).
Portland protesters knocked over the statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on Sunday when President Donald Trump claimed the protesters were "Biden fools".
Protest organizers named the event "Indigenous Peoples' Anger Day" in response to Monday's federal holiday, Columbus Day, which CBS News says is named after 15th century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus.
Activists who have campaigned for the removal of monuments to Columbus in the United States in recent months argue that the Italian explorer mistreated the indigenous peoples upon his arrival on the American continent.
At around 9 p.m. on Sunday, protesters in Portland, Oregon toppled the statue of Roosevelt titled Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider, before throwing red paint on the memorial and using a blowtorch on the base.
The Associated Press reported that Roosevelt, president from 1901 to 1909, expressed hostility to Native Americans, once saying, “I don't go so far as to believe that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I do believe nine out of every 10 are. "
Eight minutes later, the protesters pulled down a statue of Lincoln.
They sprayed "Dakota 38" on the base of Lincoln's statue, inspired by the 38 Native American men whom the former US president approved as hanged after a conflict with white settlers.
In recent months, following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, there has been growing talk in the United States about the location of the symbols of the Confederation and the perpetrators of racial injustice.
Numerous memorials to Confederate officials and soldiers, as well as statues commemorating Columbus, were overturned in the United States.
Protests against Black Lives Matter also took place across the United States, while Portland residents held demonstrations for more than 100 days this summer after Floyd's death.
On Monday morning, Mr. Trump videotaped the protests without evidence: “These are Biden fools. ANTIFA RADICALS. Get them to the FBI and get them now! "
Mr Trump, other high profile Republicans and Fox News presenters have criticized protests in the past few months, highlighting incidents of violence and vandalism at demonstrations across the country.
However, at the end of September, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) analyzed more than 7,750 protests against Black Lives Matter in the US and found that 93 percent of the demonstrations were peaceful.
Although the fall of statues and vandalism were counted as part of the project report, the analysis found only 220 cases of violent protests between May and September.
President Trump has also repeatedly claimed that Antifa, an umbrella term for various anti-fascist groups, is behind violence at various protests in Portland. However, the federal prosecutor's office has not linked any demonstration arrests for federal crimes with the loosely organized group.
After the protesters toppled the statues on Sunday, the group broke windows of the Oregon Historical Society and Public Safety Bureau on Portland State University campus.
Police later declared the event a riot and said anyone involved in "criminal behavior, including vandalism" would be arrested. No arrests have been announced so far.
The Portland Sheriff says he will never support Donald Trump.
Fred Perry urges the Proud Boys to stop wearing their T-shirts
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