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Monuments defaced in four US cities during Thanksgiving Day protests

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Monuments defaced in four US cities during Thanksgiving Day protests

Anti-Thanksgiving ‘decolonization’ protesters vandalize businesses, tear down statues and deface monuments during two-day crime spree across Oregon, Illinois, Washington and Minnesota

  • Vandals targeted at least 10 businesses over the Thanksgiving holiday in Portland, Oregon
  • A memorial in Lone Fir Cemetery was vandalized overnight in the city, according to police
  • A George Washington statue was pulled down and a pioneer monument was defaced in Minneapolis 
  • In Chicago, people tried to topple a statue of 25th President William McKinley and covered it with spray paint
  • A statue of former President Abraham Lincoln was vandalized with red paint in Spokane, Washington

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Vandals targeted at least businesses in Oregon this Thanksgiving holiday and historical monuments in four US cities were defaced amid two days of protests over the holiday.   

The vandals hit in Portland on Thursday as a statue of George Washington was torn down and a pioneer monument was covered in graffiti with phrases like ‘No More Genocide’ in Minneapolis.

In Chicago, protesters attempted to tear down a statue of 25th President Williams McKinley and covered it with red spray paint.

Further north in Washington State, a statue of former President Abraham Lincoln was cloaked in red paint. 

At least 10 businesses in Portland were damaged over the Thanksgiving holiday. The word ‘colonizer’ is seen scrawled across a Bank of America ATM in Portland on Thursday

Graffiti is pictured next a Bank of America ATM in Portland after a call to action on Wednesday which urged indigenous protesters to attack symbols of colonialism, capitalism, and gentrification

Graffiti is pictured next a Bank of America ATM in Portland after a call to action on Wednesday which urged indigenous protesters to attack symbols of colonialism, capitalism, and gentrification

Portland police said they responded to reports of a group of people smashing windows and spray-painting graffiti on buildings

Portland police said they responded to reports of a group of people smashing windows and spray-painting graffiti on buildings

'Land Back' graffiti is pictured on a business on Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland on Thursday

‘Land Back’ graffiti is pictured on a business on Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland on Thursday

A man walks past anti-gentrification messages on Umpqua Bank on Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland on Thursday

A man walks past anti-gentrification messages on Umpqua Bank on Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland on Thursday 

In Portland, where protests against police brutality and racism overtook the city this summer, nearly a dozen storefronts and businesses were damaged. 

Portland police said they responded to reports of a group of people smashing windows and spray-painting graffiti on buildings. 

Businesses hit included banks, an auto service center and a shipping store, police said.

Authorities didn’t provide a cost estimate of the damage, but it’s in the thousands. 

The vandalism was sparked by a call to action via social media on Wednesday , which urged protesters to attack symbols of colonialism, capitalism, and gentrification ahead of Thanksgiving.  

A pioneer monument in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was defaced with red paint over the Thanksgiving holiday

A pioneer monument in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was defaced with red paint over the Thanksgiving holiday

The Pioneers Statue at BF Nelson Park was vandalized with the words 'no thanks,' 'no more genocide,' 'decolonize,' 'all colonizers are b*******,' and 'land back'

The Pioneers Statue at BF Nelson Park was vandalized with the words ‘no thanks,’ ‘no more genocide,’ ‘decolonize,’ ‘all colonizers are b*******,’ and ‘land back’

A statue of President George Washington was torn down in a Minneapolis park on Thanksgiving Day

Pictured: The George Washington statue in Minneapolis that was forced down by protesters this week

A statue of President George Washington was torn down in a Minneapolis park on Thanksgiving Day

Authorities have not made any arrests related to the vandalized George Washington statue or the pioneer monument

Authorities have not made any arrests related to the vandalized George Washington statue or the pioneer monument 

Like Columbus Day, some Americans view Thanksgiving as a celebration of Native American conquest by colonialists. Critics have also noted Thanksgiving Day can come with instances of cultural appropriation and decried what they call a white-washing of history. 

The phrase ‘Land Back’ appeared in some vandalism and referred to the The LandBack movement, an Indigenous campaign against white supremacy. 

‘We must continue to decolonize our minds, communities, and sovereign nations,’ per its mission.

‘The decolonization of our communities and people is directly related to our ability to prosper.”

‘Through the revitalization of our Indigenous ceremonies, culture, languages and life ways we will continue to strengthen our identity, and break free from the oppressive systems that disconnect us from achieving the healing growth and connection to spirit that is integral for us as Indigenous people.’

Meanwhile, three people were arrested after a memorial dedicated to war veterans was vandalized and a statue was toppled.

Videos and images showed red paint sprayed onto the column located in the Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland with the words: ‘F**k USA.’

A statue that was mounted on top of the structure was also toppled and seen on the ground covered in red paint. 

The memorial, which was erected in 1903, honors soldiers of the Civil, Spanish-American, Mexican, and Indian wars, according to the cemetery’s website. 

Authorities arrested 24-year-old Chester Hester, 38-year-old Nicole Noriega and 23-year-old Bailey Willack. One of the group members was carrying a semi-automatic pistol and could face weapons charges.

They were booked into the Multnomah County Jail, and each face 10 counts of first-degree criminal mischief. It’s not clear if they have attorneys.

A memorial dedicated to war veterans was vandalized and a statue was toppled during protests in Portland early Thursday morning

The word decolonize is seen sprayed on the memorial

A memorial dedicated to war veterans was vandalized and a statue was toppled during protests in Portland early Thursday morning

A statue that was mounted on top of the structure was also toppled and seen on the ground covered in red paint. The memorial, which was erected in 1903, honors soldiers of the Civil, Spanish-American, Mexican, and Indian wars, according to the cemetery's website

A statue that was mounted on top of the structure was also toppled and seen on the ground covered in red paint. The memorial, which was erected in 1903, honors soldiers of the Civil, Spanish-American, Mexican, and Indian wars, according to the cemetery’s website

Bailey Willackt, 23

Nicole Noriega, 38

Chester Hester, 24

Authorities said they arrested 24-year-old Chester Hester (right), 38-year-old Nicole Noriega (center) and 23-year-old Bailey Willack (left)

Police say that, based on statements from witnesses, more people were likely involved, and they plan to continue investigating.  

Minneapolis Park Police are investigating after vandals toppled a statue of George Washington and defaced a pioneer monument with anti-colonialist graffiti early Thanksgiving morning.

The Star Tribune reports a statue of Washington was torn from its base in Washburn Fair Oaks Park and splashed with paint.

Several miles away, in northeast Minneapolis’ BF Nelson Park, the large granite ‘Pioneers Statue’ was spray painted with the words ‘no thanks,’ ‘no more genocide,’ ‘decolonize’ and ‘land back.’

The monument depicts three generations of a pioneer family, whose men are holding a rifle, ax and plow.

A woman and her newborn stand at their side. On the back of the statue’s base, an engraving shows an American Indian handing a peace pipe to Father Hennepin.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was aware of complaints about the content and subject matter of the statue, a spokeswoman said.        

In Chicago vandals tried to topple a park's statue of President William McKinley early Wednesday using a rope tethered to a car, police said

In Chicago vandals tried to topple a park’s statue of President William McKinley early Wednesday using a rope tethered to a car, police said 

No one was in custody and Chicago police did not have a description of whomever targeted the McKinley statue on the city's southwest side

No one was in custody and Chicago police did not have a description of whomever targeted the McKinley statue on the city’s southwest side

‘The MPRB is working together with the community to address and respond using a racial equity lens to determine next steps,’ the spokesperson said. 

‘This spring, a sign was placed near the statue stating this information and inviting people to share their thoughts or be part of framing new directions.’

Park maintenance crews have been notified about the vandalism. No one has been arrested.

The destruction comes six months after protesters pulled down a Christopher Columbus statue outside the State Capitol this summer.

In Chicago vandals tried to topple a park’s statue of President William McKinley early Wednesday using a rope tethered to a car, police said. 

The attempt to pull down the statue at McKinley Park failed about 4am, but police said the statue was spray-painted with graffiti that CBS 2 reported included the words ‘Land Back.’

‘There’s no indication that the statue moved at all,’ authorities told The Chicago Tribune. 

A statue of Abraham Lincoln was covered in red paint amid anti-colonialism protests in Spokane, Washington

A statue of Abraham Lincoln was covered in red paint amid anti-colonialism protests in Spokane, Washington

Police said there are no suspects and a specific motive for the vandalism wasn't clear on Friday

Police said there are no suspects and a specific motive for the vandalism wasn’t clear on Friday 

The Abraham Lincoln statue was 12 feet tall and cost a staggering $25,000 when it was built in 1930

The Abraham Lincoln statue was 12 feet tall and cost a staggering $25,000 when it was built in 1930

McKinley was president from 1897 to 1901 and his push for westward expansion is now widely criticized as racist, for pushing Indigenous people off their land.

No one was in custody and Chicago police did not have a description of whomever targeted the McKinley statue on the city’s southwest side.

Protesters have targeted McKinley statues in Buffalo, New York, and Honolulu this year, among other cities. 

An Abraham Lincoln statue in Spokane was also vandalized with red paint. The paint appears to have been applied late Wednesday or early Thursday, the Spokane Police Department said.

Police said there are no suspects and the motive for the vandalism isn’t clear.

The statue erected in 1930 is 12 feet high and cost $25,000 at the time.

The Spokane Historical Society says Sen. John F. Kennedy gave a speech at the statue in 1960 during his successful run to become president.  

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