Rioters in Portland, Oregon, destroyed the historic 120-year-old “Thompson Elk Fountain” on Wednesday night near a federal courthouse.
The rioters “ripped off wood boards protecting the building’s windows to use for firewood and barricades,” Fox News reported. “Protesters threw water bottles and other projectiles as police fired pepper balls and at least one flash-bang at protesters in front of the courthouse.”
Reporter Andy Ngo tweeted out a video of the statue burning, writing: “The elk statue in downtown Portland is now fully engulfed in flames.”
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 2, 2020
Political commentators online ridiculed the rioters for destroying the statue, noting that it had nothing to do with the racial injustices that they claim are the focus of their “protests.”
“Good,” commentator Stephen Miller quipped. “Racist elk had it coming.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote: “The communist revolution will burn anything and everything.”
Australian political commentator Rita Panahi added, “Umm obviously because the elk is steeped in white supremacist symbolism and, umm I got nothing.”
The Oregonian, a local newspaper, wrote about the history of the then-111-year-old statue in 2011, which was named after David P. Thompson, who came to Oregon when he was 19-years-old in 1853:
Having worked as a surveyor in Ohio, he was hired to survey the railroad route around Willamette Falls, then spent 20 years in that profession. Along the way came opportunities in mining, railroads, banking and manufacturing, and a substantial fortune.
Active in politics, he served at various times in the Oregon Legislature as both a Democrat and Republican, as governor of Idaho Territory (1875-76), Portland mayor (1881-1885) and U.S. minister to the Ottoman Empire (1892-93).
In June 1899, from his office in the New Market Theater Block (which he owned) at First and Ankeny streets, Thompson, as president of the Oregon Humane Society, wrote to the mayor and City Council:
“From my office window I have an opportunity see the great benefit the Skidmore Fountain is to Portland by furnishing water for the dumb animals and birds to quench their thirst, as well as the great number of human beings who drink of the pure water which flows from this fountain.”
He went on to chastise wealthy Portlanders for not emulating druggist Stephen Skidmore’s $5,000 bequest.
In that spirit, Thompson said, he would “construct a fountain in the street between the two Plaza blocks in front of the county courthouse” to serve the same purpose as the Skidmore. “This work to be completed on or before July 4, A.D. 1900. The inscription on it to be ‘Presented to the City of Portland by David P. Thompson, A.D. 1900,'” the letter specified. Final cost: $20,000.
Rioters in Portland vandalized the courthouse with graffiti, writing the “f-word” repeatedly and “Stolen Land.”
The rioters also burned an American flag.
— Connor McCarthy (@conr_mccarthy) July 2, 2020
— Shauna Sowersby (@Shauna_Sowersby) July 2, 2020
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