The President of the United States, Donald Trump, on Monday called “animals” the protesters who the previous day demolished the statues of two former presidents in Portland, the scene of uninterrupted racial protests since May.
About 300 people marched on Sunday night in the center of the largest city in the state of Oregon (west) for the celebration of October 12, which they dubbed “the day of the anger of the indigenous peoples”.
Protesters also vandalized the facade of a university and the history society.
“Put these animals in prison now,” tweeted Trump, who seeks re-election under the motto “law and order”.
“The radical left only knows how to take advantage of a very stupid ‘leadership’. This is (Joe) Biden!”, He said referring to his opponent.
Portland has been the scene of daily protests since the death of George Floyd, a black man who was smothered by a white policeman in Minnesota on May 25.
Sunday’s protest was dispersed with tear gas. Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Monday that the march was “a peaceful opportunity for education, reflection and celebration of the achievements of the indigenous community” and condemned “obscene” vandalism.
“This group was determined to commit acts of violence and criminal chaos,” said police chief Chuck Lovell.
“It was promoted as a day of fury, as an unknown event, participants were encouraged to wear black with masks.”
Videos released by the local press show the group of protesters tearing down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) and Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865).
“Three, two, one … halen!”, One of the organizers is heard in these recordings before tearing down the structure, followed by a shout of celebration after the goal has been achieved.
Both sculptures were stained with paint. Roosevelt was the first to fall.
They criticize their policies of assimilation and reframing of tribal territories. “Stolen land”, they wrote on the pedestal of his equestrian statue.
Lincoln was overthrown next. On its pedestal they wrote “Dakota 38”, for the execution of 38 Indians after a war in 1862.
jt / lda / cc