A statue of George Washington, the first president of the United States, was toppled and burned Thursday night by Antifa in Portland, Oregon.
The statue is located on the front lawn of Portland's German American Society and is almost 100 years old. It is believed to have been first erected around 1926 and is considered part of the City of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection. It was maintained by the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Notably, vandals spray-painted "1619" on the torso, a reference to "The 1619 Project"?—a New York Times project that attempts to recast America as a nation founded on the institution of slavery. Historians have dismissed the project as revisionist, citing factual errors.
About 30 to 40 demonstrators were present at the time it was taken down. It was brought down using rope and a U.S. flag that was lit on fire can be seen burning over the statue. Prior to its removal, vandals spray painted the words "genocidal colonist" among other writing. The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front promoted the riot online, asking for "more bodies" to show up.
"The George Washington statue on NE Sandy in #Portland #Oregon has been pulled down and vandalized. Portland Police officers inspected the damage. Someone left a note and a few dollars on it next to the spray painted bronze. #koin6news," tweeted Matt Rashleigh, a local news photographer for Portland's KOIN.
The Post Millennial's Andy Ngo tweeted, "Antifa rioters on Sandy Blvd. in Portland draped a US flag over a George Washington statue & set it on fire. They then toppled the statue. 'Genocidal colonist' & 'f— cops' are sprayed on monument. Rioters have began to build another autonomous zone nearby."
Ngo added: "Additionally, one of their comrades urinated on head of the toppled George Washington statue. There is also a substance all over the statue that looks like human diarrhea or possibly tomato sauce."
The toppling of this statue only marks the latest in a string of monuments and other statues that have been taken down in recent weeks in the wake of George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in response to police brutality which has led to reexamining the country's history and historical figures.
In June, several statues have been taken down in Virginia, such as a Confederate monument that was made up of four statues in Richmond, Virginia's state capital. Also in Richmond, a statue of Jefferson Davis was toppled down by protesters.
A statue of Christopher Columbus was also taken down by force in downtown Richmond last week as well. Protestors spray-painted it and set in on fire before dragging it into a lake. Also a statue of Confederate leader Williams Carter Wickham was taken down off its pedestal by angry protestors in Richmond's Monroe Park.
Portland police never showed up to the scene and there were no arrests.