The two Pioneer statues that protesters toppled Saturday will not be returned to their pedestals on the University of Oregon campus. UO President Michael Schill made the announcement in a letter to the campus community Monday.
Unidentified activists tore the Pioneer Man and Pioneer Mother down Saturday. They also dragged the Pioneer Man across the street and up the steps of Johnson Hall.
The statues have been the subject of protest for their symbolism of Oregon’s history of racism and white supremacy. Groups had previously urged the UO to remove them. Schill said while he believes in the power of peaceful protest, he condemns, quote, “these acts of destruction.” Last week, he announced he wanted to move forward with a process to evaluate the value of monuments on campus, including the Pioneer statues. President Schill also recommended re-naming Deady Hall, who’s namesake espoused racist views. For now, the statues are in storage.
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