PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York spurred another night of social justice demonstrations in Portland.
A rally kicked off at the Justice Center in downtown Portland at roughly 6:00 p.m., followed by hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Portland chanting the now-familiar anthems of “Whose lives matter? Black lives matter,” “hands up, don’t shoot,” and “no justice, no peace.”
Police presence downtown was scarce, as the group made its way down 3rd Ave., to Burnside St., then back down Broadway St. to Pioneer Courthouse Square.
The group converged with another demonstration that began at the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct at roughly 8:00 p.m, and the hundreds-strong crowd gathered outside the Moda Center during the Trail Blazers game against the Indiana Pacers.
The Moda Center only let patrons out the North exit, as hundreds rallied outside the South exit. A strong police presence moved in, including officers in riot gear.
In a statement, the Trail Blazers said there was never a lock down in the building.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated patrons inside the Moda Center were not being let out during the demonstration, when in fact they were permitted out through the North exit.
“We greatly appreciate the men and women of the Portland Police Department, and our own internal Security, Guest Services and Operations staffs for their professional management of tonight’s events,” Trail Blazers and Rose Center spokesman Mike Lewellyn said in a statement.
The demonstrators, who chanted “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now,” and “I can’t breathe,” dispersed on their own at roughly 9:45 p.m., after some protesters and some Trail Blazers fans had verbal exchanges as fans were exiting the stadium.
One fan said leaving the stadium through one exit was “incovenient.”
Youth forum held at Boys and Girls club
A conversation about social justice spurred by the recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York to not indict police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men filled the Boys and Girls Club in North Portland early Thursday evening.
The panel included faith leaders, black youth, an officer from the Portland Police Bureau and others.
Wednesday night, the group Don’t Shoot Portland gathered in Plaza Del Sol at 187th Ave. and Stark St. in Gresham around 7 p.m. and wove its way in and out of Portland and Gresham, past the Gresham Police Station, even sitting in at a Citizen Review Committee meeting in SE Portland.