One week of Portland protests

Portland protesters sing happy birthday to Breonna Taylor

At midnight on the seventh consecutive night of protests against police brutality, protesters sang happy birthday to Breonna Taylor—a Black EMT who was shot to death in her home by police in Louisville, Kentucky—on what would have been her 27th birthday.


Protests continued at the Tom McCall Bowl and the Justice Center in Southwest Portland on June 4, 2020. According to Willamette Week, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was in attendance, marching with protesters across the Morrison Bridge from the city’s east side. The gathering on the waterfront featured several speakers such as Marva Campbell, mother of Aaron Campbell, who was shot to death by Portland police on Jan. 29, 2010, and a speaker who told protesters the popular chant “peaceful protest” was being changed to “nonviolent resistance.”


“We do not have justice, so we do not have peace,” the protester said through a donated microphone and speakers to the gathering. “We can be nonviolent, but we cannot be peaceful.”


Around 8:30 p.m., Campbell shared her story of how both her sons died on the same day—Aaron Campbell’s brother died while waiting for a heart transplant. While she still wants a reform of police departments and for those police who kill people to face “consequences” for their actions, Campbell also practices forgiveness.


“In all of this, I’ve learned to forgive,” Campbell said. “That doesn’t mean be passive…but I am saying we have to let the empty and the hurt and the pain go away, so we can move forward and be better people.”


In front of the Justice Center, protesters pressed against the chain link fence that separated them from Portland police, as they’ve done on previous nights. While anger toward police never subsided, the atmosphere was almost party-like as some protesters drank beer, smoked marijuana and played music. One protester carried a large speaker like a backpack, playing music as they walked through the crowd.


Around 11:30 p.m., some of the Justice Center crowd broke off to march through downtown Portland, eventually marching past the Apple store. Many of the store’s windows were shattered by looters when the protests first began, but now boarded up with black plywood, the storefront has become a long mural to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans killed by police brutality.


While some aggressors in the crowd threw eggs and water bottles over the fence at police, fellow protesters quickly stifled them, and the protest remained peaceful for much of the night.

Early in the morning on June 5, Portland police declared the gathering a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly as some protesters continued to throw things at police, including glass bottles and fireworks, according to The Oregonian. Between 1:30–3:30 a.m., 12 people were arrested.