Protesters topple Roosevelt, Lincoln statues in Portland
The protesters overturned two statues of former U.S. presidents in the western state of Oregon and prompted President Donald Trump on Monday to demand that the protesters be locked up and federal intervention.
"Put these animals in jail now," Trump said in a series of tweets after learning how the statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were felled on Sunday night.
"The radical left only knows how to take advantage of very stupid 'leadership' fools," he added. "This is Biden! Law & Order!"
The protesters, estimated by the police at around 300, had gathered in Portland - the place where anti-racism protests had taken place almost every night for more than four months - to celebrate a "Indigenous Peoples Day" Columbus Day on Monday.
Similar nationwide protests in recent months sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, have left statues of Confederate leaders and other U.S. presidents linked to the story America's been associated with slavery.
Police said the Portland protesters marched to the Oregon Historical Society on Sunday, where they broke windows and threw three burning torches into the building, which did little damage.
In a tweet, Trump said the protesters were "taking advantage of fools" and urged the city to "call the Fed!"
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler denounced the violence as "obscene" and said it distracted attention from the symbolism of Columbus Day, which is a painful reminder of oppression for Native Americans.
"It is unfortunate that yesterday a group of people who acted under what they termed" Indigenous Peoples' Anger Day "provided an otherwise peaceful opportunity for education, reflection and celebration of the achievements of the Indian community and The US has instead engaged in criminal activity, "Wheeler told reporters.
Portland police chief Chuck Lovell said three people were arrested in connection with the riot.
He said protesters used a vehicle to first overthrow Roosevelt's statue before turning their attention to Lincoln's statue.
Statues of two other former presidents were previously felled by protesters in Portland.
One was from Thomas Jefferson, who enslaved more than 600 people in his lifetime, and another was from George Washington, who also owned slaves.
jz / ft
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