PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of people joined a protest march in Southeast Portland Friday afternoon outside Revolution Hall, while a second crowd gathered outside of the Justice Center downtown in what has been more than two weeks of consistent demonstrations in the city.
On the east side of the river, hundreds of people joined the Rose City Justice Coalition for a march from Revolution Hall to Grant Park to deliver a message of unity and to elevate Black voices.
“This is a real thing with real meaning,” said Co-organizer Devin Boss of Rose City Justice. He said that there have been about 20 people who have been helping with the organization of these massive, daily protests. “It’s beautiful. I think there’s something to be said about being able to establish an emotional connection with your base.”
Boss said due to COVID-19, organizers are also emphasizing safety for the huge crowds that have come out to join in their events.
“Making sure the masks are on, there is sanitizer everywhere, making sure that there aren’t that many hands touching the food,” listed Boss.
“Dad” Rico was also among those who joined in Friday’s Black Lives Matter march. He said he wanted to be there to represent those who have special needs who have been killed by police.
“The people who can’t represent themselves. The cops killed some of the mentally handicapped,” said Rico.
He shared his very personal reason for being there.
“I have my son here. who’s special needs. I want him to be represented.”
Rico said he hoped these protests will make a difference and that his message will be elevated along with so many others who have called for change.
On the west side, a rolling protest moved through the streets surrounding the Justice Center around 8 p.m. as Portland police entered the park on foot and tried to talk to those who were already standing in Chapman Square.
The second protester that we saw trespass through the Justice Center fence taunted law enforcement and Portland Police officers responded. #PortlandProtests #protests2020 #koin6news pic.twitter.com/kElvGuHWJb— Matt Rashleigh (@Matt_KOIN) June 13, 2020
After hours of mostly peaceful activity, a civil disturbance was declared at 12:26 a.m. (Saturday morning) after demonstrators began throwing road flares, glass bottles, marbles and metal pipes over the fence in front of the Justice Center.
PPB said the crowd was given ample time to disperse and were warned of legal ramifications if crowd members ignored calls to leave the area. In a report, PPB said “several” arrests were made following its announcement, but did not provide a specific number.