Anti-thanksgiving protests turned into looting and vandalism in multiple US states on Thanksgiving evening, with vandals causing damage to storefronts and toppling memorials.
Portland, Oregon, experienced some of the worst protests in the country on Thanksgiving night. At least 10 businesses in the city, including a Chase Bank branch and the New Seasons Market along Hawthorne Boulevard, had their windows broken and storefronts defaced with messages like “Pequot Massacre,” “Land back,” “1637” and “F–k thxgiving.”
The messages were spray-painted across the walls of the buildings, and they each referenced indigenous history and activism. The message “Land back” likely referred to The LandBack movement, which describes itself as a Native American movement against white supremacy.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 26, 2020
The Pequot Massacre referenced by the vandals took place on May 26th, 1637. In the massacre, Connecticut colonists killed hundreds of native adults and children on the banks of the Mystic River.
Protest organizers said Thanksgiving represents colonization, capitalism, and gentrification, according to Oregon Live.
Also in Portland, protesters toppled the Soldiers Monument in the city, a 1903 statue created to honor soldiers of the Civil, Spanish-American, Mexican and Indian wars.
Three people in Portland were arrested and each is now facing 10 counts of criminal mischief. Police estimate that the damage caused in the city on Thanksgiving night was several thousand dollars.
Bailey Willack, 23, Chester Hester, 24, and Nicole Noriega, 38, were each charged with 10 counts of criminal mischief in relation to vandalism that took place during the Portland protests.
Bailey Willock Wiki – Bailey Willock Biography
Antifa extremist Bailey Willock, 23, was arrested at the violent anti-Thanksgiving riot in Portland where businesses were smashed. She's charged w/10 felony counts of criminal mischief in the 1st degree. https://t.co/tIs0dVfcdL pic.twitter.com/nPfu8wtzmH
— Wikitrusted (@Wikitrusted1) November 27, 2020
Protests rocked other cities throughout the US including Chicago, where vandals attempted to topple a statue of President William McKinley by tying a rope around it and attaching the rope to a car.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, a George Washington monument was toppled and splattered with yellow and red paint. A “Pioneer Statue” in the city was spray-painted with the words “no thanks,” “no more genocide” and “land back,” according to CBS Minneapolis.
In #Minneapolis' BF Nelson Park, the Pioneers Statue was vandalized.
A statement said: "The ‘Pioneers’ statue at BF Nelson Park (donated by the capitalist Pillsbury family), memorializing the invasion of Dakota lands, redecorated to reveal its true purpose. It must fall." pic.twitter.com/RJVtFE82b0
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) November 27, 2020
In a press release, police said that, “Some of the damage was sufficient to provide access to the interior of retail stores so officers contacted responsible parties and stood by while contractors or employees boarded up windows. Grocery stores, banks, an auto service center, a package distribution and mailing center, and local business storefronts were damaged.”
The statement went on to say that police found one adult in possession of a semi-automatic pistol.
“Based on witness statements, it is likely that more people were involved in these crimes and police will try to determine their identity through further investigation,” the statement read.
Thanksgiving was a more controversial issue this year than it ever has before, with conversations of colonialism fresh in everyone’s minds from the many protests that took place throughout the year.
Many in the United States have called for a national day of mourning on thanksgiving, out of respect for the natives who lost their lives in the colonization of the country.
Meanwhile, conservatives like Tom Cotton and Donald Trump have pushed for an adherence to the traditions that they grew up with, where the nasty parts of the country’s history aren’t prominently highlighted.