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Blackout America protest headed to downtown Portland

Blackout PDX,in solidarity with the nationwide Blackout America protest, will take place at 11 am, Saturday Aug. 15, downtown Portland. The protest will be peaceful, and will be followed by a rally.
Aug.10, 2015 was the 1-year-anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown by former Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, and the discussion of police brutality and racism in America has been reignited — though really the conversation never stopped. To increase awareness for these issues a national protest movement called Blackout America has recently emerged. Its goal is to help "educate the public on racial issues in the United States as well as pressure authorities to respond to the cry for racial equality," says the Blackout America founder who goes by Indigo(@_indigomoon on Twitter). The movement has branches in at least 27 cities, including Portland and even London. The different Blackout America branches will hold simultaneous protests on Aug. 15 with Portland's Blackout PDX protest joining in. Blackout PDX's Aug.15 protest will consist of a rally and march that is going to be "very peaceful", says organizer Jason Shelley. Shelley, 30, lives in Olympia, Wash. but got tuned into the Portland Police and their history of violence and racism from his girlfriend who lives in Portland. Blackout PDX has faced some criticism from local protest group Black Lives Matter Portland for having white people involved in the planning process. An Aug. 2, 2015 tweet from Black Lives Matter Portland to the Blackout PDX twitter account suggested there was a "disconnect" with having white folks organizing a "black unity" direct action. Indigo says she has spoken to Black Lives Matter Portland regarding the issue and no public comment will be made. Madi Hinze, an organizer of Blackout PDX who is white says,"I understand the concerns that others have had with me being on the leadership team since I'm white. Hinze, an 18-year-old Portland State University student, says,"I think it's been forgotten that this is an event to raise awareness and that all races and ethnicities have been invited to attend to stand up for the victims of police brutality." Hinze adds that Indigo supports having her as an organizer. Shelley says he doesn't think having white people helping to organize Blackout PDX poses a problem. "As a black person it is incredibly inspiring to see people who are white, who this literally doesn't affect — it's great to see those people realize the struggle black people go through and be able to be empathetic," Shelley says. Attendees will meet at the Battleship Oregon Memorial at 11 am and march to O'Bryant Square for the rally. The event should last about 90 minutes, Shelley says. Local protest group Don't Shoot Portland also supports the event and will be attending. Black Lives Matter Portland did not respond to an inquiry seeking comment. .

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Info on FB page 15.Aug.2015 09:30

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This event is cancelled