Activists and Oregon officials urged people at Saturday night’s protest in Portland to re-center the focus on Black Lives Matter, three days after the Trump administration agreed to reduce the presence of federal agents in Oregon.
The nightly protests – that for weeks had ended with tear gas, fireworks shot towards buildings, federal agents on the street and injuries to protesters and officers – have recently ended with chanting and conversations. Federal, state and local law enforcement have been seemingly absent from the events Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Groups gathered Saturday evening in various areas around downtown Portland to listen to speakers and prepare to march to the Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.
One of the more popular events, “Re-centering why we are here – BLM,” was hosted by the NAACP. Speakers included activists as well as Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
As a couple hundred protesters began to march Saturday,