More than 115 days after the protests first broke out in Oregon in the wake of the George Floyd incident, criminal riots continue, and the city’s liberal leaders have failed to get the activity under control.
On Sunday night, the rioters destroyed statues depicting Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Some antifa militants were reportedly heard cursing what they termed “colonizers” and opponents of Black Lives Matter as they pulled the Roosevelt statue off of its base with chain pulleys. The statue also had the words “stolen lands” written on it.
A similar chain pulley system was used by the leftist militants to dismount the Lincoln statue. The base of the Lincoln statue was defaced with graffiti referring to Dakota 38, a group of Dakota warriors who were executed by American troops in a territorial conflict that took place in 1862. The tribe had killed five American settlers who were living in the Minnesota territory, prompting Lincoln to send in federal troops to provide security to the American settlers living there.
Onlookers reported that there were no police in sight when the attack on these symbols of America took place, despite law enforcement breaking up an antifa riot the night before.
The statues were situated outside of the Oregon Historical Society Museum commemorating Pacific Northwest heritage and those who went on the Oregon Trail. Rioters also tried to burn the Society down, breaking several windows and throwing three lit flares inside the building that thankfully extinguished themselves. According to the Historical Society’s executive director, a treasured African-American quilt was stolen from the museum.
Two men have been arrested and charged with felony offenses over the incident. Malik Fard Muhammad and Brandon Bartells allegedly participated in a riot that was organized by a Portland antifa organization. Neither of them appear to have Native American roots, nor are they from Portland or even Oregon.
Bartells reportedly drove the truck that was used to dismount the Roosevelt statue. The 38-year-old is being charged with first-degree felony criminal mischief as well as felony riot. Bartells, who is from Washington state, was booked into a Washington jail for his refusal to comply with a riot dispersal order in the Kenosha riots this summer.
Muhammad, meanwhile, has been charged with possession of a loaded firearm in public, felony riot, unlawful possession of a firearm and first-degree felony criminal mischief. Muhammad is from Indiana.
According to the Oregon Historical Society, damages from the rioting on Sunday exceed $20,000 and a historical exhibit was also looted. The statue of Lincoln will cost $20,000 to repair, while Roosevelt’s statue will cost $10,000.
The destruction took place on what is known as the Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage, a day on which activists issued a call on social media for people to start marching in the evening; videotaping was not allowed. Many participants dressed entirely in black, including helmets, body armor, masks and shields.
President Trump ordered the FBI to investigate the attacks, which is not surprising considering how little the city seems to care about what is going on there.
The day of violence also saw two shots fired through the window of a restaurant. Windows were also broken at a bank, jewelry store, coffee shop and other restaurants.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said: "These events late at night, they purport to have a racial justice nexus, but they're not that. They're about violence and criminal destruction. They're really hurting our community and we all deserve better."
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