‘Monument Removal Brigade’ Takes Credit for Roosevelt Statue Defacement

An anonymous individual or group called the Monument Removal Brigade took credit for Thursday’s vandalization of the Teddy Roosevelt statue in front of the Museum of Natural History.

Police have not yet arrested anyone, but are reviewing all the video cameras in the area, including residential cameras. Police believe the red substance thrown on the statue is paint.

The Monument group say on a one-page website that they are acting “in solidarity with the Second Annual Anti-Columbus Tour that took place on October 9th,” but that they’re using different methods. “Without any disrespect for those organizers, our tactics must be different.” They call Teddy Roosevelt a “white supremacist and imperialist” who believed in eugenics. The statue, installed in 1940, shows Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American and a black man standing next to him.

“This damage is being done as we speak. In response, we choose to act immediately with the means at our disposal: artistic expression. Against an artwork that does real damage–the Roosevelt monument–we offer a counter-monumental gesture that does symbolic damage to the values it represents: genocide, dispossession, displacement, enslavement, and state terror.”

The site also has images from other times the statue was vandalized, including a New York Times article from 1971 about Native Americans defacing it with red paint.

Photo by Guy Mascioli.

NEWS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Mark Moore says:

      Dear Monument Removal Brigade,

      You are feeding the culture war in a way that helps Trump and the GOP. Please stop.

      – UWS Liberal

    2. Mark says:

      I have no opinion on whether this statue merits removal or not because I have not done the research or reflective (not reactive) thinking to support such opinion.

      However, if there are groups that want the statue to be removed – they should first try to seek its removal through engagement, not vandalism. I highly doubt they have.

    3. ST says:

      Instead of the statue how ’bout focusing on how thr museum and a corporate bigwig are stealing Teddy Roosevelt Park from the people?

    4. Slashes vandals says:

      If you really want to attack TR’s legacy, let’s pave over the National Parks system. These vandals are modern day book burners from the opposite side of the political spectrum. They are an embarrassment.

    5. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      This is not simply vandalism but rather politically motivated iconoclasm. The perpetrators are ideologically consistent and are acting on the ideas taught at the universities. I hope that this movement does not gain more political power than it already has. As I and other posters have noted, this behavior is reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution that took place in China.

    6. ScooterStan says:

      So, one reason these self-appointed ‘Protectors of the Oppressed’ object to the statue is that Roosevelt, our 26th President, sits higher than his Native-American and African-American aides.


      And being on horseback places one higher than anyone NOT on horseback…which is why the NYPD places its highly-trained Mounted Officers on horses for crowd-observation.

      Does his being higher up than his companions signify that T.R. was subjugating the people symbolized by his aides to lesser status?


      To the rest of us, it’s just a statue of the 26th President riding a horse, accompanied by his faithful aides.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        Scooter STan says:

        “To the rest of us, it’s just a statue of the 26th President riding a horse, accompanied by his faithful aides.”

        It’s interesting that in your mind, TR’s “faithful aides” included a half naked native American in ceremonial tribal garb and a completely naked and barefoot African or African-American.

        (TR actually was progressive for white politicians in his time, although not for today, on race issues. On Native Americans: not so much.)

        there’s little doubt that this is a racist and demeaning statue. in saying that, i’m not saying it should be taken down.

        however, it seems like at the very least it could be supplemented by a plaque or something that admits this and gives more of the history. And maybe another statue that maybe gives some honor to the groups demeaned in this statue.

    7. Scott says:

      I bet there isn’t one Native American in this outfit. But of course that’s the smug white left for you. Always acting on behalf of others when no one asked them to.

    8. Shirley Ariker says:

      Every time I ride by the MNH on the number 10 bus i am offended by the Roosevelt statue. An almost naked African-American (a slave?) and a partially dressed Native American lorded over by the imperious Roosevelt are truly way out of date. Leave Roosevelt, who did indeed accomplish some good things, and remove the other two figures, or–better still–start all over and think whom we should honor in the 21st century for what the museum holds. Just for the record, I am a white woman.

      • Chris says:

        New York was stolen from the Indians so you may have to move.

        • Thank you, Chris. These smug people are ridiculous but, now, becoming dangerously annoying as well. My Caribbean island was colonised by the Spanish. I appreciate the lifestyle and health the Europeans brought to my family of natives despite the aggression since, as humans, we were doing that to each other before the Spanish showed up. No civilisation in history has done more to help others out of poverty. But, apparently, the Left would prefer that I’d still be running around uneducated and half naked while hunting/gathering and losing my children and my own life at an early age due to lack of sanitation and vaccination. The Left is racist IMO.

    9. mark says:

      You can only take “CREDIT” for an achievement– you take responsibility for a crime.