‘Day of Rage’ in Portland sees statues toppled, windows smashed, riots declared

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Police in Portland declared another riot on Sunday as protesters pulled down statues and smashed windows in a “Day of Rage” ahead of Columbus Day on Monday.

Videos posted by Portland-based journalist Andy Ngo, the editor-at-large for the Post Millennial, show a statue of Abraham Lincoln toppled, as well as windows smashed at several buildings including the Oregon Historical Society.

Local reports noted that a statue of Theodore Roosevelt was toppled, as rioters moved downtown and began destroying storefronts and breaking out windows of businesses, The Oregonian reported.

**Warning: Strong language

Police ordered protesters to disperse after declaring a riot, but they did not directly intervene until the first statue was toppled. Crowds of protesters began to disperse after several police vehicles filled with officers in tactical gear swarmed in and began making arrests.

“To those marching downtown: this has been declared a RIOT,” the Portland Police Bureau tweeted. “All persons must immediately disperse to the NORTH. Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to tear gas and impact weapons.”

Protest organizers promoted it online as the “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” ahead of the traditional Columbus Day federal holiday. Several Democrat-run cities have changed the name of the holiday to “Indigenous People’s Day,” claiming that Columbus was responsible for bringing about centuries of violence against people native to the continent.

Organizers telegraphed their intentions by calling for “direct action” while demanding that live-streamers and videographers who normally attend such protests keep their distance, noted The Oregonian.

“People in the crowd were repeatedly admonished not to film,” the outlet added. “Passersby who happened upon the group were ordered by demonstrators to stop filming or delete photographs, including an apartment resident who had lasers shined at his eyes and a liquid thrown in his face as he appeared to shoot video of the scene from his terrace.”

In toppling the Roosevelt statue, rioters first threw chains and ropes over it, then began rocking it back and forth as others took a blow torch to its base. The crowd cheered and played dance music after the statue fell over, while some threw red paint on it to symbolize blood.

The two statues were dedicated in the 1920’s. They were gifted to the city by Dr. Henry Waldo Coe, who ran the Morningside psychiatric hospital in East Portland, which is no longer in operation.

As for the historical center, Kerry Tymchuk, its director, told a reporter for KOIN that no exhibits were destroyed or disturbed.

Riots have occurred in Portland since the spring, following the George Floyd incident in May. Much of the rioting, for a time, was directed at a federal courthouse downtown, which led the Trump administration to deploy more federal officers to protect it.

The deployment enraged Antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrators and drew criticism from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Gov. Kate Brown, both of whom are Democrats.

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Jon Dougherty

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