PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Government leaders from around the region met with a small group of young black men Tuesday to discuss peace and change.
The theme at the meeting was clear: a lot of learning and listening needs to happen among government leaders and also among people in the black community. The four men–who all provided only their first names–didn’t even know each other until Friday night’s protest. They all admit that despite their limited background in activism and politics, they all have a deep concern for the prosperity of the black community.
Andre: “I think most people are scared right now with all that’s going on. So I think poise is necessary. Self control for our own people is very much necessary.”
Lyfe: “Last night’s demonstration […] was so peaceful. That is the goal. I understand some people fight fire with fire and we cant control that. But, if you listen to the words of George Floyd’s own brother, he does not want any violence.”
Xiaa: “The people walking through the streets are not the same people burning the city. The people burning cars trash cans–that is not us. We are here for peace, love, compromise and change.”
A few longtime leaders of Portland’s black community like Tony Hobson also attended the meeting. The young protesters said they appreciated learning and working with civil rights leaders and want to spread a message of peace. They all stressed the importance of not getting lost in the anger and destruction that has splintered off several recent protests.
Watch the full meeting:
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