MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Protesters in Portland, Oregon, toppled a statue of George Washington, America’s first president, who led the country from 1789 to 1797, CBS reported Friday.
The bronze monument was installed near the building of the non-profit German-American Society. According to the report, the vandals who attacked the statue, first draped it with a US flag, and then set fire to it. Then, they toppled the statue, smeared it with red paint and wrote "1619" on it. This is the year the first African slaves arrived in the United States.
According to the report, this is at least the fourth monument damaged in the state during the last week. On June 13, two sculptures to the first English settlers were torn down on the campus of the University of Oregon and on June 14, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the third US president, was demolished in Portland.
George Washington is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. During the American War for Independence, he led the Continental Army; later, he was appointed the President of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. In recent years, a number of black activists criticized Washington for being a slave owner.
A wave of hostility against monuments to political figures of the past began in the US amid mass protests over the death of George Floyd, an African American from Minneapolis. On May 25, a police officer used a choke hold during Floyd’s arrest, later he died in the hospital. All four involved police officers were fired and charged.
Many nationwide protests turned violent and descended into riots and looting. In some cases, vandals damaged monuments to figures of the Confederacy, which united the the slave-owning Southern states during the American Civil War. Besides, several monuments to explorer Christopher Columbus were toppled as well.