Silent marchers protest racism, bigotry, xenophobia

In Vancouver, candlelight vigil held after weekend of protests

Hundreds marched silently to Pioneer Courthouse Square to "stand in solidarity with all those who stand to be marginalized and silenced by the incoming administration," January 22, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On the heels of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, members of Portland’s faith community came together Sunday for a silent march in protest of racism, xenophobia and bigotry.

Congregation Beth Israel organized the Healing Our Beloved Community March to “stand in solidarity with all those who stand to be marginalized and silenced by the incoming administration.”

Speakers opened the event at Congregation Beth Israel on NW Flanders Street by discussing resources available for those who have experienced hate crimes.

“I’m here to register my protest to Donald Trump. I feel a lot of things he’s been saying are totally inappropriate,” Francois Raynall with the Dharma Rain Buddhist Group said. “We are a melting pot and we need to recognize that.”

At 4:30 p.m., a group of about 200 protesters began marching silently to Pioneer Courthouse Square. Leaders of the march discussed the significance of silence, explaining that it symbolizes solidarity with those who have been silenced.

“Our silence is one of power, our silence is one of which we hope will shine to the world and show the need for peace, justice and the integrity of all creation,” retired minister Hector Lopez, who helped organize the march, said.

An hour of silent prayer and meditation was scheduled after the march at 5 p.m., followed by a closing prayer in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Across the river in Vancouver, those who participated in an energetic rally earlier in the day came together for a candlelight vigil to decompress Sunday night.

“There is so much chaos and negativity that’s out there that I want folks to remember this community,” author Anjela Ford-Glueckert said.