Several dozen rioters showed up to tear down the large bronze statue of the Founding Father located on the lawn outside the German American Society building in the Northeast Portland neighborhood. A news crew from KOIN 6 found the statue lying face down on the pavement, covered in graffiti. Videos taken during the toppling show a large group of rioters cheering as the statue was pulled from its base.
The crowd that ended up taking down the statue started gathering around it at 9:30 p.m. They started with a small group of around 20. It was around this time when one rioter wrapped an American flag around the still-standing head of the statue and set it on fire.
They did it, they really did it. Sucks to be George Washington right now… #Portlandprotest #statue #blacklivesmatter #PDXprotests #pdx #oregon #blm #acab #pdx #georgewashington #flagburning #StatuesMustFall pic.twitter.com/uwbTFoLUuq
— Garrison Davis (Teargas Glutton) (@hungrybowtie) June 19, 2020
By 11 p.m., the group, which had grown to include several dozen other rioters, were able to bring down the statue and vandalize it with graffiti. They spray-painted messages on the statue, such as “BLM.” One person even placed a sticker on the fallen head that said “You are on Native land.” The rioters also spray-painted the statue’s pedestal.
The vandals left quickly after tearing down the statue, running off into the surrounding neighborhoods. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) arrived on the scene shortly after the statue was destroyed. Nobody has been arrested in connection to the brazen act of vandalism.
Other demonstrations occurred on that night all over Portland. One demonstration in North Portland of several hundred people was regarded as generally peaceful. A second group, which had congregated around the city’s Justice Center, was a lot rowdier. PPB reported that they were “throwing projectiles such as hotdogs” at the Justice Center and tried to cut the fence authorities put up to protect the building
Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report, a podcast by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks about how it has never been clearer which groups in the United States are good and which groups, like the violent rioters, are evil.
Caretakers of toppled George Washington statue unsure what to do next
The statue of George Washington is the second statue in Portland to be torn down by rioters. The first was a bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson that used to stand in front of Jefferson High School, North Portland. Both former presidents and Founding Fathers may have been targeted because they were slave owners. (Related: Vandalism is POP now: Popular Mechanics under fire for science-friendly advice on ‘how to topple statues’…)
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), the non-profit organization that is in charge of maintaining the statue, made plans to remove it and place it in storage the morning after it was torn down. According to Heather Nelson Kent, RACC Communications Manager, the council has yet to decide whether the statue will be reinstalled or replaced.
The RACC’s director of public art, Kristen Calhoun, said that she and the council understand that there are many statues in Portland that some people might find offensive. The council is currently in dialogue with Portland authorities as to what to do about them, and where to place the statues that rioters have already torn down.
By noon on the day after the statue of George Washington was torn down, the Portland Bureau of Transportation brought in a tow truck to remove the 1,920-pound statue.
As of June 12, at least several dozen statues of historical figures across the United States have been either vandalized, damaged, torn down by protesters or officially removed by authorities due to pressure from violent mobs. This statue of George Washington in Portland has become just another victim to the widespread rioting that has gripped the nation.