Marchers protest surge of murders in Portland
Nearly 200 people marched against the increase in murders in Portland on Saturday, May 22.
The afternoon march started at Peninsula Park and wound through the streets of Northeast Portland, stopping at Woodlawn Park for more speeches.
Organizers said the march was against violence in all forms and the intentional killing of another person as a form of conflict resolution.
The march was organized by community leader Royal Harris and featured speakers from all walks of life, including faith leaders and members of the community impacted by violence or gun violence themselves.
Harris said Black, white or Brown, his vision was to bring everyone together as a community with the collective goal to end the violence.
"My greatest hope is that I inspire someone to do their part. There is no one voice that's going to solve this problem. If we all come at (it) with our individual perspectives, we can make an impact for change," Harris said.
Oregon State Sen. Lew Frederick, who represents North and Northeast Portland, added that he thinks it's important to recognize the problem of gun violence in order to solve it.
"We keep not acknowledging the kind of impact that guns, the incredible number of guns, have on our community and our nation. And until we acknowledge that, we aren't going to get very far. We have people who come in from other places just so that they can show off their guns, their toys … that's outrageous," Frederick said.
March participant John Blake said he joined the event to try to stop some of the violence that's been going on.
"You know, as an elder, just trying to stop and do my part. That's about it," he said.
"It's all about uniting the community, trying to stop the violence — that's all we are," added another participant in the march, Lateef Lucas.
The marchers went past a memorial set up for a young woman who was shot and killed near Northeast Dekum Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard a couple of weeks ago. The group stopped and chanted her name, Nae Nae, to remember her. Her mother told KOIN 6 News that she appreciates people paying attention.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
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