PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A man and his truck spreading messages of hope and kindness around the country made their way into Portland's protests on Monday.
A different kind of energy led the way across the Burnside Bridge during portions of Monday's demonstration against the death of George Floyd.
Driver Curtis Reliford calls it the Peace Train.
This truck got Portland protestors moving & grooving yesterday. I met the driver today! Curtis Reliford is a pretty colorful character, and him and his rig have been all over the country spreading messages of peace the last 16 yrs. story on @fox12oregon at 6:30 pic.twitter.com/TieCCC9bif— Camila Orti (@CamilaOrtiTV) June 3, 2020
Reliford told FOX 12 he drives his rig and trailer emblazoned with messages of peace all over the nation and beyond to help those in need. He says he happened to be in Salem helping somebody move when he saw what was happening in downtown Portland on the news.
"I said 'woah,' and it just woke me up, I said 'woah, I need to be there,'" Reliford said.
Just like his heart led him to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and to Standing Rock to join the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Reliford says his heart lead him to demonstrators downtown.
"I didn't know what was going to happen I was just following my energy and my spirit and I just pulled in there and I felt good talking to the young people," Reliford said.
Reliford blasted feel-good music from his truck and invited protestors to dance with him in the streets. He says he wants demonstrators to focus on unifying and enacting change in a peaceful way.
"That's the tone I want to set, let's push love and compassion," Reliford said. "Racism needs to stop, I grew up on a plantation."
Reliford said all of the love he tried to send into the crowd he felt was reciprocated back.
"It was just magic," Reliford said.
Reliford said his journey began after getting touched by the people and stories he encountered in New Orleans as he helped families who lost everything in the hurricane.
"I don't wanna do nothing else, I gave up everything," Reliford said.
The Santa Cruz man said he has driven the Peace Train and dedicated himself to his organization, the Follow Your Heart Action Network, full-time for the last 16 years. He relies on donations to continue his travels.
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