The Oregon city on the US West Coast has been rocked by months of unrest since police killed an unarmed African American man in Minneapolis on 25 May. The protests have been exacerbated by partisan bickering between Portland’s mayor and President Donald Trump, who sent federal law enforcement officers to the city to protect federal buildings.
Protesters in Portland have torn down statues of two US presidents in an “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” event Sunday night organised on the eve of Columbus Day, which marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas on 12 October 1492.
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) October 12, 2020
The protesters’ targets included a statue of Abraham Lincoln, the US president best known for abolishing slavery, with rioters tearing the statue from its pedestal using chains, daubing the statue’s hands with red paint to symbolise blood, and covering the pedestal with graffiti reading “Stolen Land” and “Dakota 38,” a reference to the number of Dakota Indians executed on Lincoln’s orders in 1862.
Nearby, protesters also tore down a statue of Teddy Roosevelt astride a horse, covering it with orange paint and spray-painting “Stolen Land” on the pedestal.
Protesters were also said to have broken the windows of the Oregon Historical Society during their rampage.
President Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter after seeing footage and images of the defiled statues Monday morning, calling on Portland authorities to “put these animals in jail, now,” and blasting the “Radical Left fools” in charge of the city for not wanting “any help from real Law Enforcement which we will provide instantaneously.”
Put these animals in jail, now. The Radical Left only knows how to take advantage of very dumb “leadership” fools. This is Biden! Law & Order! https://t.co/w0yH3SqnrB
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2020
“These are Biden fools. ANTIFA RADICALS. Get them FBI, and get them now!” Trump added.