A statue of George Washington in Portland, OR was toppled on Thursday night by members of Antifa, who had covered it in a United States flag and set it on fire. It joins a string of statues and monuments that have been toppled in recent anti-police riots and protests.
Amid the ongoing protests to defund the police in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minnesota Police Department, members of the anti-government group Antifa pulled down a statue of George Washington. The rioters vandalized the statue with a host of anti-police slogans and the numbers “1619,” a reference to the New York Times’ 1619 project, an ahistorical document that claims that the American Revolution occurred as a defence of slavery and not independence from the British Empire.
Other words graffitied onto the statue include “Big Floyd,” “Genocidal colonialist,” “You’re on native land,” and “F**k cops.”
According to Tim Dickinson, a writer for the Rolling Stone who took photos of the damage, the statue was located outside the German American Society in Portland.
“There were maybe four police SUVs and a passel of cops when I arrived, plus a few looky-loo's taking in the scene. The agents of the toppling weren't in sight,” he said.
The statue is nearly 100 years old and was first erected in 1926. It was a part of the City of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection.
Portland-based journalist Tuck Woodstock captured footage of the statue as it was draped in the American flag and set ablaze prior to being toppled. Around 30 to 40 people were present when the statue was pulled down.
Journalist Andy Ngo suggested on Twitter that a group of rioters had also begun to construct another so-called “autonomous zone” near the statue.