Portland, OR—Around fifty people gathered at the North Park Blocks in
downtown Portland today to protest police brutality and the recent
death of James Chasse who died in police custody. The event was held
in conjunction with similar events around the country to highlight
police abuses, but was organized autonomously of the national
coalition. Most participants dressed in black to show support for the
families of people killed by police.
People started banging on plastic bucket drums and a parade formed
behind the banner "Cops and Klan go hand in hand." People paraded
through downtown streets chanting against police abuse and the system
that fosters it. Portland police remained mostly out of sight except
for a few plainclothes officers videotaping the crowd.
The parade ended in Pioneer Square where people unrelated to protest
held signs reading "free hugs." Many people accepted the free hugs.
People soon gathered again to talk about police abuse and why they
were there. The names of people killed by the police in the Portland
area were announced over the megaphone. One man spoke in detail about
how his cousin Fouad Kaady was murdered by police. These speeches
attracted more people from the square who were curious what was going
The event ended without incident. Some participants expressed the
need to do more outreach and education to get more people involved in
the future. Others expressed the continued importance of people
standing in solidarity with the families and friends of people
victimized by the police.