MARCH TO PROTEST THE KILLING OF JOSE MEJIA POOT SET
FOR CINCO DE MAYO
PORTLAND-Local community activists are holding a march
and rally on Saturday, May 5 to protest the killing of
Jose Mejia Poot. The march will begin at the North
Park Blocks on West 8th and Burnside at 11:00 and will
end with a rally at 1:00 p.m. at the Terry Schrunk
Plaza at SW 3rd and Madison. Poot, a 29 year-old
Mexican national, was shot and killed by the police
while in psychiatric custody on April 1, 2001. The
march and rally will call for an end to police
brutality and to hold accountable the systems and
people responsible for Poot's death.
Significantly, these actions are scheduled for Cinco
de Mayo, an historically important day for Mexicans
and Mexican-Americans. On that day in 1862, a small
group of ill-equipped Mexican soldiers successfully
defeated a French army twice their size in Puebla,
Mexico. Last week a Grand Jury found no criminal
wrongdoing in Mejia Poot's death. "In a broader
sense, having this march and rally on Cinco de Mayo
symbolizes that outnumbered and marginalized people
can still successfully defend their rights against the
systems which brutalize and oppress them," said Martin
Gonzalez of the American Friends Service Committee.
"Cinco de Mayo is a day of struggle and celebration.
We want to convey to the public who will be out
celebrating that day that its significance goes
beyond the festivals—in this case it is a call for the
community to join together and demand an end to police
brutality and institutional racism."
The rally following the march will feature speakers
as well as live music by local musicians.