Protests against police brutality continue in Portland

Protests

BLM demonstrations continue in Portland for the third consecutive week

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several arrests were made in the early morning hours Sunday as protests continued throughout the night.

On Sunday morning, police reported five arrests made from the previous night’s demonstration. Two people were arrested and charged with interfering with a police officer and the “unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer.” One person was charged with trespassing, and two others were charged with interfering with a police officer.

More than a hundred demonstrators formed a group around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and marched from Downtown Portland up Vista Avenue towards Jackson Street. According to responding officers, one member of the group threw mortars and fireworks at one officer.

Because the group had moved into a highly-residential area and commercial grade fireworks were being set off, Portland Police said they focused on moving the group back in to the Downtown area.

Police were able to get the group to finally disperse at about 2 a.m.

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Protests continued into the third week across Portland on Saturday, as protesters have demonstrated that, rain or shine, they will continue to march for Black lives and demand an end to police brutality.

The majority of protests on Saturday remained peaceful, but the nightly demonstration outside of the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland was declared an unlawful assembly just after 10:45 p.m. KOIN 6 News witnessed law enforcement officers clear out the park outside of the Justice Center.

Meanwhile, Zane Sparling, a reporter for media partner Portland Tribune, witnessed authorities use flash bangs and smoke to clear out protesters.

In a press release just before midnight, Portland Police Bureau said at least one arrest had been made, and that several items, including food and glass bottles, had been thrown over the fence surrounding the Justice Center, in addition to demonstrators cutting through and climbing over the fence.

Police said they were also investigating an incident involving a vehicle and marchers near Southeast 31st Avenue and Powell Boulevard.

Early in the afternoon, a demonstration featured youth voices in the Lents neighborhood. Students spoke to protesters and implored them to listen to the experiences they have been sharing for years. Outside Revolution Hall, the nightly Black Lives Matter protest organized and marched to the Cleveland Community Field.

Nightly marches from Revolution Hall

Speakers took to the stage set up outside on the lawn to address the crowd before the march. One call to action that organizers have asked protesters to participate in is a text messaging campaign to get the state of “Oregon to stop allocating cannabis tax dollars to police departments.”

There was a new addition to the art featured outside Revolution Hall Saturday afternoon: a floral mosaic. It was arranged on the steps of the hall so that everyone walking in to the space was greeted by it.

“We love people doing art stuff here,” said Linnease Boland-Godbey.

Flowers create a natural design outside of Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland. June 13, 2020 (KOIN)

On Saturday, protesters marched from the hall to the Cleveland Community Field in Southeast Portland. Previous destinations for marches have included downtown Portland, Irving Park, and the Alberta Arts District.

“It just showcases that we are willing to march anywhere,” said Boland-Godbey.

Although the protesters participating in the nightly marches still number in the hundreds, this weekend’s crowd was slightly smaller compared to last weekend. But this doesn’t matter to organizers.

“It doesn’t matter if there are 50 of us here or 10,000—we’re here to make a difference.”

Organizers said they are working to involve new supporters by marching to new locations daily.

“That’s why it draws people in because we aren’t going the same route—we are going into different neighborhoods,” said Boland-Godbey.

“I think it’s really important that we show support for the Black community, our Black peers, our brothers, our sisters, our non-binary loves, and let them know we are here for them,” said Regie Abriel who was marching on Saturday.

A protester’s encounter with police

Jonathan Langvin was hit with a less-lethal round during a protest outside the Justice Center 11 days ago.

“Hit me directly in the thigh from roughly two-three feet away,” recounted Langvin. “They’re in full riot gear and I’m literally wearing this.”

He stood in shorts and a t-shirt outside of Revolution Hall Saturday evening. On his thigh, he wrote in marker “PPB shot me” and the number of days it has been since he first got the injury. He said he reported the incident to the police but has not heard back.

Jonathan Langvin was hit with a less-lethal round during a protest outside the Justice Center 11 days ago. June 13, 2020 (KOIN)

Langvin speculated that police have changed their tactics over the past two weeks when it comes to dealing with protesters.

“The day after I approached the leaders of these peaceful marches and asked them what I could do, I kind of showed them my leg—and it was really bad then—and they told me to show as many people as I can what’s happening.”

‘Hear us’: Lents BLM protest features youth speakers

People gathered for a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland’s Lents neighborhood Saturday afternoon. Speakers were invited to share their stories before the march started.

The demonstration was organized as a safe space to amplify the voices of younger Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as Black and brown LGBTQ voices. Students said that those in the Black and brown community have been speaking out about this for so long that this is nothing new. They said that people are only starting to pay attention to it now because protests are underway, and they plan to keep speaking out as they have in the past.

“The government we need to get the message to, those upper-class people who are really making the calls in this country, they need to really hear us, so however long that takes for them to get the message, then we have to keep doing it,” said Quincy Boyd who spoke at the protest.

Protesters at the Lents rally said that hopefully, they won’t have to keep doing this for years into the future.

Left: Quincy Boyd. Middle: Paris Prevost. Right: Deleah Boelter. Three young speakers at a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland’s Lents neighborhood. June 13, 2020 (KOIN)

“Did you guys listen? Did you guys use your ears? Because we have been talking and using our voice and speaking out about this. And you are just realizing now because everyone is protesting?” said Paris Prevost, another student speaker.

Students said that they shouldn’t have to keep doing these protests, that the disparity and inequality should stop already, but they think that the public will likely need to keep pushing the message.

“I would definitely like to have more teachers because our African drum teacher is the only Black teacher at that school and the Black kids, we really need him because we are at an all-white school with an all-white program and it needs to happen—diversity needs to happen,” said Daleah Boelter, who also spoke at the protest.

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