Rioters Take Down Roosevelt, Lincoln Statues in Portland
Rioters in Portland on Sunday toppled statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
The rampage in a portion of downtown also saw the criminals smash windows at Portland State University’s police office, the Oregon Historical Society, and a number of businesses.
“We have gotten reports of windows being broken in numerous buildings. The gathering has been declared a riot,” the Portland Police Bureau said around 10:30 p.m. local time.
Many people in the mob were dressed in all-black, wearing masks that obscured their face, in a style favored by the far-left, anarcho-communist Antifa network. Several known Antifa members were present. The PNW Youth Liberation Front, an Antifa-linked group, said on social media, “hey portland. THAT is how we [expletive] do it. didn’t that feel wonderful?”
Video footage showed rioters using chains and harnesses to pull the Roosevelt statue off its pedestal to the ground. Police had said that some people were trying to pull down a statue with a chain.
The “Rough Rider” bronze statue depicted Roosevelt, America’s 26th president, on top of a horse. It was donated to the city by Dr. Henry Waldo Coe after its completion in 1922.
The Lincoln statue was in the same area, Southwest Park Avenue and Southwest Madison Street. It showed Lincoln on foot, looking down. The statue was also donated by Coe.
A Black Lives Matter group, the Portland Sound Bloc, said the statue of Lincoln was toppled “because it was Lincoln who ordered the largest mass execution in American history.”
The riot was dubbed the “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” by organizers.
After toppling the statues, the crowd smashed windows at the Oregon Historical Society, a Wells Fargo branch, and a small business called Heroes American Cafe.
“So sad. The damage at the park with the statues being removed, damaged over there, and the damage here, this is not what Oregon is all about,” Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the society, told KOIN-TV.
“To the business owners and the people, hang in there. We are all in this together. This type of violence makes no sense. It only hurts the small guys like myself. We are just here providing a service to the community,” added John Jackson, the cafe’s owner.
A spokesman for Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
It wasn’t clear if any arrests were made.
Few pictures and videos were available from the scene. Organizers of the event had urged people not to film what happened. Even credentialed press have increasingly avoided snapping pictures that show the faces of rioters after being threatened in recent months.
Police and independent reporter Andy Ngo would be “[expletive] there were no cameras tonight,” the Liberation Front said on Twitter. “Proof of what we’ve been telling y’all for a moment: less cameras, safer protests.”
“That Portland self-identified video journalists followed Antifa instructions to not record a pre-planned violent criminal riot tonight tells you what you need to know about the previous information coming from those sources. They prioritize protecting Antifa over truth,” Ngo responded.
Unrest in Portland started in late May and has continued nearly every night since, save for a 2-week period when wildfires were looming.
The Portland Police Bureau spent nearly $7 million on overtime alone in June and July as officers struggled to respond to the protests and riots and maintain normal police functions.
“The Bureau strongly supports free speech rights, and we encourage citizens to protest peacefully. But we have a responsibility to respond to criminal activity and violence, and it’s regrettable that this money couldn’t be spent on other important community priorities,” Sgt. Kevin Allen, a police spokesman, told The Epoch Times via email last week.
The Department of Justice last month declared Portland a jurisdiction that permits anarchy, violence, and property destruction because of policies and measures put in place by city and county officials, including the cutting of $15 million from the police bureau’s budget.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt has rejected 666 charges related to the unrest in part because of a new policy that sees prosecutors presumptively decline to pursue charges in some cases.
A spokesman for Schmidt didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry.
Vandals in Portland toppled a statue of America’s first president, George Washington, in June. No one has been arrested for that crime.
Local officials have repeatedly refused offers of assistance from President Donald Trump’s administration in dealing with the mayhem.
Trump on Monday morning shared a video of Sunday’s riot on Twitter, writing: “The Radical Left fools in Portland don’t want any help from real Law Enforcement which we will provide instantaneously. Vote!”