Youths, educators lead Portland Black Lives Matter protest

2020 Protests

Demonstrations continue in the Rose City after six straight weeks

Demonstrators in a youth-led Black Lives Matter march that started at Roosevelt High School. July 10, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Black Lives Matter protests continue in Portland Friday evening after more than six straight weeks of demonstrations.

A few hundred people gathered at Roosevelt High School for a march through the St. Johns neighborhood that started at about 7 p.m. The event was touted as “The Last Generation Protest,” according to the website PDX Black Lives Matter Events.

Organizers said the event would be led by Black students and NOPO educators and would be centered around being the last generation to bear the weight of systemic racial oppression.

Demonstrators in a youth-led Black Lives Matter march that started at Roosevelt High School. July 10, 2020 (KOIN)

“We were organized by a large group of young people, specifically Black young people,” protest organizer Taji Chestimet, 18, told KOIN 6 News. Partnering organizations included Fridays for Freedom, Don’t Shoot PDX and Snack Bloc, he added.

“We all put this together in order to talk about how we’re going to be the last generation to really face the repercussions of racial oppression in this country. We’re talking about education and reinvesting in our communities and I think that’s an essential forefront topic that should be in the conversation,” Chesimet said.

Asukulu Songolo, 17, and Amira Tripp Folsom, 18, were some of the other co-organizers of the event.

Asukulu Songolo (from left), 17, Taji Chesimet, 18, and Amira Tripp Folsom, 18, are the organizers of a march from Roosevelt High School to James John Elementary in North Portland. .July 10, 2020 (KOIN)

Demonstrators young and old chanted slogans like “fund our schools, not the police” and carried signs as they marched to James John Elementary School. They stopped and listened to speeches, stories and spoken word poems at the school.

A “Car Caravan Protest” was also scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Demonstrators were expected to meet at the Portland Community College Cascade campus behind Student Services Building. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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