We Pulled Down The Statues: Pioneer Statues Come Down Following an Evening of Education

By Dionysus June 14, 2020

By Dionysus

June 14, 2020

What promised to be a radical, relaxed teach-in transformed in a moment of revolutionary furor. The event planned for the day, “Community Teach In: Oregon’s Racist History,” began at a comfortable few minutes past 6pm. A series of three speeches were given, all touching upon colonialism in the United States, Oregon’s extensive and frankly shockingly racist history, and exploitation under capitalism. At around 7pm, the speeches drew to a close, and the crowd was told to disperse or do as the please – two tables full of free food and revolutionary literature were set up on location. However, the revolutionary ferver could not be contained, and so a group of comrades unaffiliated with the Bipoc Liberation Collective (BLC) organizers, stood up and reminded the crowd of the presence of racist statues not but 20 yards from their current location.

Immediately the majority of the approximately 250 people joined in a march from Deady Hall to the “Pioneer Father,” which was erected to celebrate the strength of the “race.” The mass of anxious yet eager radicals formed a semi circle around the statue as the ropes wrapped around the torso and neck of the statue. Moments later, they formed two lines and began to pull. The ropes tightened, and then, silence. In this odd tranquility there rose the question: what will happen? The reverie evaporated with the clanging of metal and concrete giving way. The statue plunged into the sidewalk below with a horrid screech. 

The crowd erupted in a moment of adulation, which then crystallized into a single message: “Let’s drag it to Johnson Hall.” The crowd quickly reassembled under the chant “stay together, stay tight” and dragged the statue across 13th Ave. and up the stairs to the door of the seat of power at the University. 

The spirit of history was felt by all who there present, such that there was only one option: to tear down all symbols glorifying exploitation and embodying hate. The other statue at this location was a partner statue to the Pioneer Statue, the “Pioneer Mother.” And so too it fell, with the sparks of pickaxes flowing as they removed the metal epitaphs and engravings from their marble mountings on the base of the statue. With this moment of triumph, the mass marched off together, into the alleys of Eugene. With so many years and entire generations of local residents campaigning for the removal of the statues, the deed is done at last. This has been a victory, but we have not won. The struggle continues. 

East-campus Housing Mold

…up, thus yielding less than rent. Meanwhile, multiple construction projects on campus have built new facilities, amenities and luxuries all over campus during the past several months. A lawsuit filed…

Time to Strike: Democratize the Board

…establish systems of excellently-democratic representation on campus. Together, we can build campus communities actually capable of achieving the dreamy scenario laid out in my introduction. Nothing about us, without us….

Angela Davis Is Coming To Campus

…activism, and second wave feminist movements, continues with her contemporary activism. Friday April 30th, 4-6pm. Located at the University of Oregon campus in Straub Hall room 156. View campus map…

GTFF Speaks Out Against UO’s Back to School Protocols

…classes on campus:Proper on-campus protectionSufficient HEPA filters in every classroom, office, & labOnly holding classes in rooms with sufficient ventilationN95s for every student and how to wear them (they already…

Reclaim UO update

campus, in the Eugene/Springfield community, and at the State Capitol in Salem. Our message resonated deeply with UO students, faculty, staff, and community members who see the effects that the…

ASUO Burns Down Athletics Contract and helps out students during the pandemic

…attendance for any athletic events, why was the administration focusing on a $1.7M ticket contract ASUO had with the athletics department? It was becoming nakedly obvious what the priorities were…

Pulling down white supremacy

…run, down 11th onto campus. As we approached the statue, hundreds of our comrades streamed out from in front of Deady Hall, most dressed in black with bandannas over their…

Vaccine Privilege in the United States

…again at full capacity, and many people are under the impression that the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all on campus students. However, the university is much more lenient…

Reclaim UO Movement Update

…and direct-action strategies with the primary goal of overturning the current UO Board of Trustees structure under Oregon Senate Bill 270 and replacing it with a democratic campus community model….

Chairman Chuck Lillis Assaults Protesters Before Trustees Meeting

…opinion known in protest. With medical coveralls, surgical masks, and standing together, you could read across the protester’s torsos in stenciled spray paint, “CAMPUS CLOSED.” The intent in their actions…

Drop Out, Stay Educated

Al Lehto (they/them/theirs) I live near the university. The day I write this, all I can hear outside my windows are students returning to campus. This year, I will not…

Students for Sustainable Development: ACTION PRESS RELEASE

…Equity Promises,” and “Universities with Budget Crises Shouldn’t Waste Money,” peacefully calling attention to the money and resources the university has put towards numerous new construction projects on campus that…

Drop the Mike

…Olympic stadiums at the behest of Nike? Is it by moving the historic Collier House so we can endure another three years of construction directly in the middle of campus?…