An estimated 1000 people came together today to rally for justice within the Portland Police system. Jose Mejie Poot didn't have justice, but we summoned him, made him present, and told him that all the people of the world were with him fighting for justice.
Bright red posters loomed over the heads of all. "Katz got your tounge?" and "Police Brutality" were bold sights for bystanders to see. With loud chants in english and spanish, marchers were successful in getting their message across, "One to the head, one to the chest; We want justice, we won't rest".
The marched headed through downtown along Naito Park Way past the Cinco de Mayo festivities. It also stopped in front of city hall for a speech by Dan Handleman of Copwatch about the need for civilian review. Dave Mazza, editor of the Portland Alliance and chief petitioner of Pac2002, spoke of the lack of justice present while standing outside the justice center.
The march culminated at Terry Shrunk Plaza. Such a variety of people spoke at this gathering, all very heartfelt. JoAnne Bowman addressed the crowed very powerfully, demanding people work for civilian review. Tarro O'Sullivan spoke of his own experiences of having his nationality questioned because he originally came from Tokyo. As long as people continue to ask him "where are you from", he says, "we are still not american". Together, he said, all people will rise up together for true change, but it must be done together.
The powerful words on posters and even more powerful voices of march leaders carried the message through the march, but even more so, it was the powerful spirit of all those who participated. It was an example of people of all colors stading together. It is only a tragedy that on the festive day of Cinco de Mayo we were not celebrating, we were mourning the death of a brother at the hands of those who are supposed to protect us.