Portland Protesters Topple Lincoln, Roosevelt Statues

POLITICS & POLICY
Police officers stand guard during a rally against police in Portland, Ore., September 26, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Protesters toppled statues of former presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in Portland on Sunday night and smashed the entrance of the Oregon Historical Society during another night of violent protests that demonstrators dubbed the “Day of Rage.”

The Roosevelt statue was reportedly pulled down shortly before 9p.m., and the Lincoln statue in Portland’s South Park Block fell about eight minutes later.

Afterwards, about 200 protesters ventured into other areas of downtown Portland and smashed storefronts. Many wore all black and carried various weapons, including night sticks.

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Police declared the activity downtown a riot and ordered demonstrators to disperse. Police cruisers and officers in tactical gear responded to the protests, which were promoted on social media by organizers as the “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage,” coming as they did the evening before Columbus Day on Monday.

Protests and rioting have been ongoing in Portland since the police custody death of George Floyd in May.

Over the summer, protesters also toppled statues of U.S. presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom were slaveowners.

Last month, Democratic Governor Kate Brown announced a plan to quell the nightly violence while still allowing peaceful protests, saying state police troopers and officers from several surrounding areas will be called in to assist Portland’s police force. Meanwhile, the FBI and federal prosecutors will commit more resources to prosecute criminal offenses that arise from the demonstrations, she said.

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