Sandy, Mount Hood residents plan rallies against racism
On Friday, June 5, more than 140 people converged on Centennial Plaza to call for change in the wake of George Floyd's death. Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, Minn., was killed May 25 by a white police officer.
Organizer Tracy George plans to host another rally at 5:30 p.m. this Sunday, June 14. Following last Friday's march, George started a Facebook page for what she's calling the "Sandy STAND UP Movement," with which she's keeping supporters of her Peaceful March Against Racism informed.
"There isn't even a question as to if another protest is necessary," George said. "At our last event, we had a lot of support. With that support also came vocal opposers that yelled at us, pointed fingers, and told us to leave. Those are the people that give us the fuel to keep going. To keep sharing our message. To keep fighting this fight and to keep the movement going strong."
George hopes Sunday's event will be even more highly attended than last week's, given the number of people who were unaware of the march before it happened.
"This Sunday, I am expecting our numbers to be higher, energy to be higher, and have our impact be higher," George said. "This Sunday, there will be more speakers from our community that have expressed interest in speaking their truth and that is exactly what I am here to do: amplify the voices of the oppressed. We will have a space for anyone who has not yet registered to vote, we will have room for them to register before they leave. Our message is still to remain peaceful while sending an important message. The STAND UP Movement is just getting started."
A similar group has been formed on Mount Hood called Welches Walks. The group has hosted a few small rallies in the past week and plans to host a march and rally at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 13. The group will meet at the intersection of Highway 26 and Welches Road, Welches, and then march up the highway toward the field outside Welches Schools, where they will rally with signs to show support.
"Welches Walks is a resource for Oregonians who are interested in starting or continuing their education on racism in the United States and more specifically, the state of Oregon," organizers wrote on the group's website. "Our aim is to provide tools to help you learn about, support, and participate in the movement for racial justice. We acknowledge the importance of learning about racism on a national level but encourage you to educate yourself on the racism that occurred and occurs in the town down the road, in the house next door, and around the dinner table you eat at."
The group has created a website — welcheswalks.weebly.com — to inform and give a voice to those involved in the movement of "addressing the issue of racial justice in the United States."
Those who attend these events are encouraged to wear a mask and remember to distance for public safety.
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