Portland sit-in marks George Floyd’s birthday

Protests

First major demonstration since Sunday, when crowds toppled statues and damaged

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People gathered Wednesday evening near Portland’s Revolution Hall to honor George Floyd on what would have been his 47th birthday.

Floyd died on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his neck to the ground for 9 minutes and 30 seconds, according to court documents cited by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 9.5-minute figure now alleged by prosecutors is longer than previously reported timelines.

Derek Chauvin, the officer charged in Floyd’s death, was released on $1 million bond earlier this month and is awaiting a March 8 trial date. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting.

Revolution Hall has been the site of frequent protests over the summer. Around 150 people gathered there Wednesday night, some lighting candles and leaving flowers beneath a portrait of Floyd—others listening to speeches and artistic performances.

The night marked the first major demonstration planned since people overturned statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln Sunday night, during an event dubbed “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage.” The Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University campus public safety office, a jewelry store, multiple restaurants, a coffee shop, a bank and a phone store were among several buildings damaged.

An “eviction blockade” is also planned for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in North Portland. The event will be in-person and via Zoom, providing “an overview of eviction blockade tactics, along with a review of footage from blockades across the nation,” according to posts online.

Demonstrators have recently taken to gathering near the home at N Mississippi Avenue and N Albina Avenue to protest evictions with many holding signs that read “Evictions Hurt Everyone” and “Stop the Foreclosure.” More than 50 people held a sit-in demonstration on October 7 to support a family they say is facing imminent eviction.

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