Portland police declared a riot after protesters turned violent and broke windows and toppled statues of former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

Police declared a riot shortly before 1 a.m. early on Monday morning after rioters began vandalizing and destroying property in downtown Portland. The destruction and chaos came out of an event that organizers had dubbed “Indigenous People’s Day Of Rage,” according to fliers that were handed out at the gathering.

“Indigenous People’s Day Of Rage” was scheduled on the night before Columbus Day, a federal holiday meant to honor the famed explorer Christopher Columbus. In recent years, activists have questioned Columbus’s place in history over his treatment of Native Americans.

Organizers signaled their intent to turn the protest violent by warning away photographers, reporters, and others who usually attend such protests with taking part, according to The Oregonian. Videos surfaced later on Twitter of destruction caused after rioters tore down two statues and shattered the windows of the Oregon Historical Society Museum.

Statues of Lincoln and Roosevelt can be seen broken, laying on the ground, and covered in graffiti.

Police sent out a warning on Twitter just before midnight that rioters vandalizing property may be arrested.

“A mass gathering has formed at Southwest Park Avenue and Southwest Madison Street, where some are trying to pull down a statue with a chain. To those taking part: anyone involved in criminal behavior, including vandalism, is subject to arrest or citation,” the Portland Police Department said.

About an hour later, the department sent out at pair of follow-up tweets announcing that the demonstration had been declared a riot.

“We have gotten reports of windows being broken in numerous buildings. The gathering has been declared a riot,” police said. “To those marching downtown: this has been declared a RIOT. All persons must immediately disperse to the NORTH. Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including, but not limited to tear gas and impact weapons.”

Portland’s Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is running behind his even more liberal opponent in a tough reelection fight, has overseen a city in tumult for months over nightly protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May. At one point, federal forces were deployed to the city to protect federal property from the violent unrest.

Violence in the city reached the front steps of the building where Wheeler owns a two-bedroom condo, forcing him to move last month in an effort to protect himself and his neighbors from rioters who had shot fireworks at the building attempting to set it on fire.

“I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position,” Wheeler told his neighbors in an email. “It’s unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration.”

Author: Tim Pearce

Source Daily Wire: Portland Rioters Topple Statues Of Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt During ‘Indigenous People’s Day Of Rage’