George Washington Comes Down in Portland

Messages left behind include 'You are on native land'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2020 2:22 PM CDT
George Washington Comes Down in Portland
A statue of George Washington, which was erected in the 1920s, is shown on the ground with a sticker that reads "You are on native land" in Portland, Ore.   (Mark Graves/The Oregonian via AP)

George Washington no longer stands outside the German American Society of Portland in Oregon. Hours before the Juneteenth holiday dawned, a group of about 20 people met at a bronze statue on the organization's lawn and, after more people arrived, pulled it down, Time reports. The protesters wrapped the head in an American flag and lit it. Spray-paint left the messages "Genocidal Colonist" and "You are on native land" on the monument to Washington, who was a slave owner, as well as "1619." That was the year slaves were first brought here. "BLM" and "Big Floyd" also were painted on the statue, per CNN, on the 21st consecutive day of the protests that began after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Earlier in the evening, a few hundred people attended a sit-in rally at a high school to discuss their experiences with racism, per CBS. Other statues have been toppled in the past week in Oregon. Thomas Jefferson was torn down Sunday night outside a high school in Portland. At the University of Oregon, statues of pioneers with ties to white supremacy were pulled down Monday. No arrests were made Thursday night at the demonstrations or the statue. In Boston, a petition calls for removing a statue of Abraham Lincoln, who's depicted standing over a freed slave, per the Hill. "It's supposed to represent freedom," the petition says, "but instead represents us still beneath someone else.” (The US House removed four portraits this week.)

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