Protesters marched through one of Portland’s most affluent and white suburbs to call for racial justice. They were met with praise, counterprotest and police presence.
Organized by the group Moms United for Black Lives, protesters in support of racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement marched through Lake Oswego, a wealthy suburb of Portland that is 86% white and 0.7% Black according to census data. The protesters gathered and marched for three hours on Sunday, Oct. 25, chanting in time with drums about the need to abolish the police and vote out United States President Donald Trump.
The protesters started at Rossman Park and then marched in a square to Millenium Plaza Park, where they listened to Demetria Hester and others speak about the need “to make Black lives matter all the time” and the troubling racial history of Lake Oswego. “Lake Oswego’s nickname is Lake No-Negro!” Hester announced over the megaphone.
Attention was drawn to the march a week earlier, when a flyer for the event stating “we are going to fuck shit up in Lake Oswego” was widely circulated on Nextdoor, a neighborhood-based social media app. Lake Oswego police received calls from residents concerned about violence in the streets of the secluded suburb. In reality, the march did not cause any property damage or result in any arrests.
The protest was opposed by several small groups of right wing counter-protesters and militants. A white van containing approximately eight men in combat gear with large guns trailed the protest by about a block, while other people wearing Trump and QAnon paraphernalia got closer and engaged with protesters directly.