Gresham marches for Black Lives Matter
Hundreds of community members of all ages and backgrounds gathered in downtown Gresham for a peaceful march that declared with a single voice — "Black Lives Matter."
The march, organized by Gresham's Shemar Lenox, began Wednesday evening, June 3, in the Center for the Arts Plaza, 401 N.E. Second St., and wound its way through downtown to Gresham City Hall.
"We are all out here today fighting for justice and fighting for change," Lenox said.
The demonstration was sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, and came on the heels of a long series of African-American deaths at the hands of police across the nation. The nation has witnessed a cascading series of angry protests over institutionalized racism, interspersed with criminal bouts of looting and vandalism in Portland and other major cities.
But in Gresham the marchers stayed focused on spreading their message. They chanted: "Black Lives Matter," "Say his name — George Floyd," "I can't breathe" and "No justice, no peace."
The organizers said they were cognizant of the safety of everyone involved. While most protestors had anti-virus masks, there were extras on hand for those in need as well as water to combat the heat of the setting sun. They also reached out ahead of time to the city of Gresham and Gresham Police Department, sharing their route so that police could watch over things and block traffic as needed.
"Gresham Police supports the right of our community to peacefully and safely protest," the department shared on social media ahead of the march.
Wednesday's march was the latest in a series of peaceful gatherings that have taken place in Gresham the past few days.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.