Monument to Genocide Toppled and Defaced

via Puget Sound Anarchists

Portland: Monument to Genocide Toppled and Defaced

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Occupied Chinook land. Thanksgiving Eve.

A few days earlier, Indigenous anarchist comrades had put out a public call for a night of decentralized attack against symbols of colonialism for the night before Thanksgiving day. For one group of anarchist troublemakers, one target in particular came to mind.

Since 1903, a bronze war memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the Mexican-American, Spanish-American, and American-Indian wars had stood high on a stone pedestal in the Lone Fir cemetery in Portland. This shameless celebration of American imperialism, colonialism, and genocide enshrined the image of a colonizing soldier in a grotesque display of nationalistic pride. This particular bronze colonizer had stood on his feet for far too long, and this night would be a great night to change that.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and cold, wet weather, few are out and about late, making nighttime direct actions all the easier to pull off without accidental witnesses.
The streets glistened wet with the light rain from earlier, and the waxing moon glowed through the clouds as the small crew of young anarchists met long after dark. Masked and dressed inconspicuously, wearing gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints, they carried with them everything they needed and nothing more. Sticking to the shadows of quiet side streets, they approached the cemetery. At a moment when the sounds of cars were only distant echoes, they helped each other over the spiked cemetery fence, and were quickly among the shaded headstones.

The crew moved towards the tall bronze statue that loomed large over the surrounding graves and walked a wide circle around it, ensuring they were alone. Time for action.

As one acted as lookout, others removed cans of spraypaint, and quickly covered all sides of the statue’s base with their thoughts on the monument. “EAT SHIT COLONIZER” in bold red letters was painted across the pedestal. Plaques celebrating the genocidal acts of the enshrined soldiers were covered with paint. Now he would fall.

One troublemaker was helped on top of the tall statue’s base, and they looped a thick, sturdy, 30 foot polyester strap around the metal soldier’s neck.Hopping down, they joined the others, and all began to pull as one. Coordinating with quiet “heave, ho!”s, the statue began to bend at the base. Running around to the other side of the monument, they pulled it back in the other direction. Repeating this, back and forth, back and forth, the statue bent more and more, until with a strong tug against the strap on it’s neck, it was pulled horizontal. Still barely connected to its base, the anarchists pulled against the strap at an angle, twisting the statue against it’s foundation. They pulled it around by the neck until, with a crash, it broke from the pedestal and came tumbling down, face-first into the dirt.

Colonizer DOWN!!

With adrenaline pumping, hearts racing, and the growing satisfaction of a job well done, the colonizer was covered with some red paint as it lay on the ground where it belongs. The strap, its role fulfilled, was removed from the downed soldier’s neck and placed back into an unremarkable backpack. One last satisfied look at a colonizer with his face in the dirt. Seemingly unnoticed, the young anarchists walked from the scene of their mischief, leaving only the destruction of their actions behind.They helped each other back over the fence, and vanished again into moonlit streets, for the city is big and the night was still young…

There are 11 Comments

That's nice. Hope it was entertaining as all get out. Too bad you can't get it together to do anything of relevance to the vast majority of exploited people in the contemporary world.

what kind of action would that be? why is popularity among the exploited a measure for doing anything? most of the exploited are doing boring shit that i don't care about most of the time anyway.

With statues.

Historically, statue-toppling occurs at the END of a revolution, i.e: after a circle of tyrants has been dispersed, not before. It’s supposed to be the final, symbolic “nail in the coffin” of unpopular governments. Examples include Iraq, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and the former Rhodesia after a protracted anti-colonial struggle.

Why do this before? You risk so much for nothing of substance in return save for a cheap, fleeting high. Instant gratification, nothing more. Additionally, these actions take place in highly liberal and cosmopolitan cities, which is another way of saying you’re not communicating anything particularly controversial or mind-blowing to the people who live there.

Toppling a statue because it is a monument to genocide rings hollow when in fact, the very city in which it stands is itself such a monument. Is that what we want? Modern smart cities that remain irremediably colonial and ecocidal in their very structure, but hey, at least we got rid of all the bad man statues?

Wouldn’t that be worse, in a way? You set yourself up for recuperation. All it takes is for some progressively minded politician to order these statues down, and then you’re left with a city, still genocidal in it’s functions, but now with a veneer of post-colonial reconciliation. A nazi is a nazi whether or not he has his uniform on 24/7. Personally, I would prefer that these statues stay standing until civilization itself, and its cities, have been abolished. Let them stand as a reminder to what all cities are all about.

i value that you expressed this, but you’re asking too much.

to see anyone dare to take down any part of the city by their own initiative and direct action is rare in itself. to destroy the modern smart city you mention you’d have to see these people, and you included, take their smartphones and computers and smash them. these people tore down these obsolete and ignored monuments and then took pictures to post it online. as long as that is the goal and the logic, the modern smart cities you mention will be intact. it’s counterdestructive (counterproductive didnt seem fitting) if you depend on modern smart the city (which includes electricity and internet lines, relay antennas) to give you validation and gratification for destroying it.

anyways, these actions weren’t meant to please you. if people can eat turkey (industrialized mass slaughter of animals) as a nonsensical tradition to celebrate genocide, then anyone is more than welcome to do things like this (toppling statues etc) instead.

Larger industrial mass slaughter of animals happens continually in mono-cropping, both from preventative methods and in harvesting. Trillions of creatures. We've also eroded so much topsoil from this method natural gas is used to extract nitrogen to make fertilizers (the phosphorus run-offs from these plants is polluting a lot of streams).

what a bunch of trash talking jackass comments!

except for that one anon who's being too generous to "anything that happens before the end of the rev risks too much and cities are still monuments to genocide" person.

yeah cuz that makes sense? think you revealed your cluelessness with this remark: this is a relatively easy, low risk, clandestine action. perfect for some late night enthusiasm when the rest of the city isn't about it. it's not meant to be anything except a bit of symbolic rejection. of course it doesn't cancel a genocide-in-progress??!! ... ffs ...

even the peanut gallery can have higher standards than this if you want to put effort in to your analysis.

ya cities are still monuments to genocide but idk if tying a rope around them and pulling is gonna work.

it's not meant to be anything except a bit of symbolic rejection.

Excellent point. Your entire subculture isn't meant to be anything more substantive than "a bit of symbolic rejection." Also add, all-entertainment, all-of-the-time, which is not exactly swimming against the stream in a consumer society, and, accrue subcultural capital with your fellow scenesters.

you realize a lot of people besides anarchists have been about targeting the statues lately, yes? It has to do with the underacknowledged legacy of colonialism and slavery, relevant to an awful lot of people besides anarchists.

Don't know if you meant to sound so clueless and out of touch? but I thought I'd offer you the opportunity to improve.

Never shall I forget watching the statue of Confederate and KKK scumbag Albert Pike come down just yards from my face, before a screaming crowd of hundreds holding the police at bay.

Never shall I forget seeing the statue of murderous former US President "Trail of Tears" Andrew Jackson with well-deserved ropes around the neck, another roaring crowd heaving and hoing to bring it down as battle raged at the fence. We lost that battle, but just seeing the ropes on that bronzed criminal was one of the most incredible morale boosts I ever saw as a person of Indigenous ancestry.

For me, seening that Pike statue come down in front of my face may have been the high point of the entire summer, coming as it did just as things seemed to be slowing a bit from the massive, all-out fighting we had in DC May 29-June 3. Flames rose and statues fell as the pent-up rage of 500 years exploded into the night.

Since Pike was also the grand wizard of the US Scottish Rite of Freemasonry plus a known KKK celebrity, these two secret societies of decrepit White racist cucks got pwned badly just with that.

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