Portland State University Library Vandalized by Protesters, Forcing Extended Closure Until Fall


Barbarians have always destroyed the symbols of culture and knowledge. When the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410, they took or destroyed priceless artifacts.

In recent years, the Taliban, who took control of Afghanistan, destroyed the culturally important Buddha sculptures Salsal & Shahmama, declaring them “un-Islamic”.

Portland State University Library does not represent Rome, nor is it “culturally important.” The same desire to destroy things of value drove the anti-Israel demonstrators who occupied this library for three consecutive days to completely trash it.

A facilities manager from Portland State University told reporters Thursday that the damage was extensive.

A sign that hangs over the mural welcoming visitors to the library reads: “WELCOME THE REFAAT AlAREER MEMORIAL LIBRARY.” This sign is a reference to a prominent Palestinian poet, who died in December last year after an Israeli attack.

Oregon Live:

The ground floor of the library was covered in orange, yellow, and red paint. Empty water bottles were scattered about.

The elevator doors are blocked by file cabinets and other furniture.

The glass-covered displays have been smashed.

The walls of the white stairwells had been painted red, with an arrow pointing to a makeshift medical station on the 2nd floor. There were also anarchist symbols such as an “A” inside a circle along with messages like “BURN YOUR HOMEWORK” or “CIVIL DISSOBEDIENCE DOESN’T MAKE US CRIMEANS.”

Destruction of property does not constitute “civil disobedience.” It is not civil disobedience to break windows or display cases.

A Catholic fifth grader could have explained to the sign maker how “civil disobedience”, is more than just disobeying an unjust law. Accepting responsibility for an illegal act, and accepting the punishment that is given, is also part of civil disobedience. So, the rule of the law is maintained and the protests against unjust laws are upheld.

According to the university, some rare manuscripts have been stolen. The library will close until September next year due to the damage.


The occupants also left behind tents as well as pillows, blankets, and large quantities of food, toiletries, and water. This suggests that they may have been able to stay inside the building for a long time. Video shows that the protesters even marked off areas in the building to meet different needs. The library was marked with signs for “lounge space,” “medic,” and “safe rest area.”

The building’s entrances were also covered with stacked wooden pallets, traffic barriers, and other construction materials. The cost and time to clean the library are not known. According to PPB Bike Squad’s Instagram page, crews had already started clearing some of the debris on Thursday afternoon. The campus is still closed.

Christina Osborn is a senior at PSU. She said, “I wish people wouldn’t feel entitled to damage something that has nothing to do with the protest.” “I feel violated personally because this place is a resource that I use frequently.”

Osborn complained that she would no longer be able to use the library since she is a senior.