The Portland Black Lives Matter protests, which took place in mid-July exposed tensions between Black protesters and their white allies, as well as disagreements between Black residents over what it means. of progress.
“It happens so much that the things we care about are taken over and put on the burner. Neil Anderson, a Black business owner, says that just gets into a big box along with everything else. “We all want the same thing. But so we often drowned. “
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Demetria Hester, a black woman who leads Moms United for Black Lives, says the departure of federal agents and the disintegration of white libertarians has led the protests to refocus. .
“These are the mothers who really want to… help us with our repairs. Make this revolution happen, ”she said.
Seneca Cayson, who has helped lead peaceful gatherings in downtown Portland, believes white protesters whose destructive and mocking law enforcement are distracting from the rally. moderate love.
“What whites have is something we don̵7;t have, and that’s right,” Cayson said as he prepared to lead another dovish protest with some other black men. “We are fighting by their side for … equality.”
Although Portland has a Black population less than 6%, people of color have been disproportionately prevented by gun violence, prompting many activists to call for police extermination.
An analysis released last month found that in 2019, police are more likely to use force against Blacks – especially blacks – compared to other targets regardless of the appeal. Call using less force.
“The whole Portland Police Department culture is fundamentally unmanageable,” said Jo Ann Hardesty, the city’s first Black female councilor and an activist who has promoted police reform in 30 years. and must change. “Thirty years is a long time to require precise reforms. The difference now is that tens of thousands of Portlanders want the same thing. ”
In June, Council cut nearly $ 16 million from the Police Department’s budget, which ended programs such as the gun violence reduction unit, youth service program and auxiliary staff. School responsibilities in three school districts.
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There were 99 shootings last month – more than triple the previous July – and the city has recorded 366 non-suicide shootings this year compared to 388 in the whole of 2019.
According to Sgt police, about two-thirds of the victims in July were black. Derrick Foxworth.
Some Black residents believe that vandalism and violence are appropriate punishment during demonstrations aimed at heightening Black discontent after hundreds of years of oppression, they say.
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Teressa Raiford, head of Don’t Shoot Portland and former mayor candidate, said people are questioning the legitimacy of the rally through so-called “direct action” against the scene. closely is “the reverse side of history”.
“There are people trying to preserve the status quo and the current system even if the results don’t serve us,” she said. “The politicization of the Negro is not only evil, it is violent and we are not heard.”
“Disgusting guys, in my opinion, are people with guns and missions that are attacking protesters,” Raiford said. When we talk about anarchy … you know that we have stolen people who were sent to the stolen land, where they were used as slaves. And I think people are realizing it – white people included.
Associated Press contributed to this report.