A local artist illustrated the Portland Year of Protest. Here is their guide to some of the most important scenes.
“Portland: Year of Protest is a map illustrated through the lens of local protests between May 2020 and May 2021. The community that formed in Portland around the uprising following the murder of George Floyd shared a whirlwind of profound moments that have reshaped the way we see the city. Many neighborhoods, intersections, and buildings took on new associations as they became the backdrop for severe trauma and deep camaraderie. I created this piece as a way to process and contextualize my own vivid memories, as well as the stories of other people who have stood out to me. It is an expression of gratitude to each person who has come forward for the fight, in whatever way they may have done so. Hopefully this will help the protesters connect with their shared experiences and better communicate those experiences to people who were not present. “—Luka Grafera
Below, Grafera describes some of the notable individual scenes, in the order in which they occurred:
Steps of the Revolution Hall
Throughout the month of June, marches from Revolution Hall drew crowds of thousands, who walked various routes, holding up signs, singing and drumming. Although the marches sometimes ended in the city center where clashes with the police took place, they most often ended with speeches in the parks. At the edge of many steps, teams of bicycle corkers protected the demonstrators from vehicles at intersections.
Beginning in July, federal agencies began making appearances downtown near the American Mark O. Hatfield courthouse. Although the first groups of protesters to confront them were small crowds of dedicated nightly protesters, growing public awareness of violence and kidnappings by federal agents has resulted in a massive wave of renewed engagement.
Support the blue counter-demonstration
Tensions between anti-fascist protesters and various white supremacist groups escalated into a scuffle outside the Multnomah County Justice Center on August 22. to its end when the anti-fascists victoriously advanced to push their disjointed opponents out of the area.
On September 5, to celebrate the 100th consecutive night of protest in Portland, protesters gathered for speeches at Ventura Park. When they left to walk to the east side of the Portland Police Office, police quickly responded with tear gas, impact munitions and violent bull runs. Protesters responded with fireworks and knocked over Molotov cocktails. By the end of the night, 59 demonstrators had been arrested.
Support networks have been essential in supporting the protests and starting to build the kind of world many protesters are fighting for. Community members have come to depend on these groups for food, medical care, protective equipment, mechanical work, prison support, firewood, clothing, prescription glasses and much more. other specialties.
Mass arrest in the northern district
As the number of crowds began to decline and the remaining community became more connected, opportunities arose for new protest tactics. On October 10, a group coordinated through secret canals to march silently towards the North Quarter. Information about the plan was released publicly and police were ready to attack protesters as soon as they arrived. The group members struggled to hold onto each other as they were pepper sprayed, violently separated and arrested.
Indigenous Peoples Rabies Day
On the night of October 11, a Native-led march from Waterfront Park to the Boulders of South Park resulted in two statues being knocked down. The first, a statue of Theodore Roosevelt, an expansionist who sought to erase Native Americans from their ancestral lands, and the second, a statue of Abraham Lincoln, who signed the mass execution of 38 Dakota men.
On the night of October 27, protesters marched to the home of Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan to urge him to vote in favor of cutting the police budget by $ 18 million. Despite the heartfelt stories the protesters shared with him in support of their fundraising appeals and a previously declared interest in reallocating police funding to other programs, Commissioner Ryan voted against the cut, prompting protests. subsequent protests at his home.
Red house eviction defense
Early on the morning of December 8, after months of community gatherings facilitated by the Kinney family to resist their eviction from the Red House, police launched a long-awaited raid. Despite several arrests and efforts to make the Red House uninhabitable, the community responded by building their own barricades to defend the house and the surrounding encampment. Protesters occupied the fortifications for several days until an agreement in principle was reached to allow the Kinney family to keep their home.
On March 12, a group of more than 100 protesters moving through the Pearl District were indiscriminately detained in a kettle by Portland police. Press and legal observers have been urged to leave before the protesters are chosen to be photographed and identified as a condition of their release. Many resisted and several were eventually arrested.