Protesters knock down Roosevelt, Lincoln statues in Portland.
Protesters knock down Roosevelt, Lincoln statues in Portland.

Protesters overturned statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in Portland, Oregon, in a declaration of "rage" toward Columbus Day.

Protest organisers on Sunday night dubbed the event "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage," in response to Monday's federal holiday named after 15th-century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, a polarising figure who Native American advocates have said spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.

The group threw chains around Roosevelt's statue, officially titled "Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider." They threw red paint on the monument and began using a blowtorch on the statue's base, news outlets reported. The crowd pulled down the statue just before 9 pm.

The group later turned their attention toward Lincoln's statue, pulling it down about eight minutes later. After toppling the statues, the crowd began smashing windows at the Oregon Historical Society and later moved onto the Portland State University Campus Public Safety office.

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