‘Don’t Shoot’ rally honors MLK Jr.’s legacy in NE Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Don’t Shoot Portland, an Oregon-based accountability group, and students in northeast Portland led a march Wednesday to honor the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.
“We shouldn’t be called out by the color of our skin, we should be proud,” 12-year old Jasmine Adams of Portland said.
Adams, along with roughly 100 protesters, marched south on MLK Boulevard, telling others to stand up for justice and carry on King’s legacy.
People of all ages and all races met in the street, blocking traffic and buses.
“Keep his dream alive!” a young protestor said.
The group marched for miles, covering about 33 blocks and ending at “The Dream”, a statue honoring King outside the Convention Center.
Protestors shouted throughout the march.
“Whose street? King’s street! Whose street? King’s street!” some marchers yelled.
Kelis Hightower, an 11-year-old at the march Wednesday, said she and her friends have felt discrimination first-hand in Portland.
“Like being called the n-word,” Hightower said. “We get referred to as the black kid, we don’t have any names, apparently.”
Maria Barahona, another marcher, said she was there to celebrate King’s memory.
“I’m here to honor a man of conscience and his message of equality freedom and justice,” Barahona said.
Another young protester, Daniel Adams, said he wanted to get the language right, “so that everyone will cry out, ‘yes, I’m black and proud of it,’” Adams said.
The kids said they wanted to turn anger into action.
“In the end, we’ll remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,” Barahona said. “We need to speak up when there’s injustice.”
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