March and Rally at PSU

The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Portland Tuesday to address the police shooting of an unarmed African-American man. His words prompted protests, rallies and marches—one of which will take place on Portland State’s campus tomorrow.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Portland Tuesday to address the police shooting of an unarmed African-American man. His words prompted protests, rallies and marches—one of which will take place on Portland State’s campus tomorrow.

During the day’s events, a public meeting led by Oregon’s attorney general will be held to discuss the state’s new civil rights unit.

Oregon Sen. Avel Louise Gordly, also a PSU adjunct associate professor, called for justice and action along with Jackson and others in the case of the police shooting of 25-year-old Aaron Campbell on Jan. 29.

The march planned for Friday will be from Pioneer Courthouse Square to PSU, followed by a rally and peaceful demonstration on both sides of Broadway Street in front of Smith Memorial Student Union.

Gordly, Jackson and other leaders spoke Tuesday night to a packed house at Maranatha Church of God, located at 4222 NE 12th Ave. The crowd chanted “justice, justice, justice,” with lifted fists in response to Gordly and Jackson’s calls of “what do we want?”

Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and longtime civil rights activist, said, “police are called to protect and serve, [and to] arrest—not to be judge, jury and executioner.”

When Jackson called out, the crowd responded, “All colors, all genders. Red, yellow, brown, black and white. Stop the violence. Save the children. Keep hope alive.”

“I think people in Portland are all fired up tonight, holding hands and singing. Some of us will still be fired up in the morning—some might let go of the passion but we need to keep the fire,” said Sharay Solomon, vice president of planning for the NAACP at PSU.

Associate Pastor Renee Ward of Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church in Portland distributed a flyer outlining the route of the march and rally scheduled for Friday.

Attorney General John R. Kroger will hold a meeting at PSU during the daylong event to address the concerns of stakeholders and to identify and prioritize agendas for the newly formed civil rights unit, Ward said.

A public letter signed by Kroger reads, “With your input we will create a civil rights unit that is responsive, easily accessible and actively pursuing litigation against the state’s most egregious and pervasive violators of civil rights,” according to the Disability Rights Oregon Web site.

The Friday meeting with Kroger will be held at 3:30 p.m in the Urban Center, room 350, to introduce Assistant Attorney General Diane Schwartz Sykes, head of the new civil rights unit created by the Oregon Legislature last year, and to discuss “more about the civil rights unit’s priority areas of casework,” according to the Disability Rights Oregon Web site.

Tony Green, director of communication and policy for the Oregon Department of Justice, invites PSU leaders and students to attend the meeting.

“Space is the only limitation,” Green said.

Erica Lee-Johnson, vice president of operations for NAACP at PSU, said, “[I} liked that Jackson talked about equality for all people and building community not just around the Aaron Campbell case, but in general.”

Joshua Griggs, director of professional development for NACCP at PSU, said “the time is now to act. We cannot afford to wait.”

Rudy Soto, former ASPSU president and current candidate for the Portland City Council, said “I am deeply disturbed by the recent shooting involving a Portland police officer and the tragic death of Aaron Campbell. The entire situation does not sit well with me and his death was uncalled for. We must unite and work to restore trust between the Portland police and the community as a whole.”

Public meeting with Attorney General Kroger
Fri, Feb.19, at 3:30 p.m.
Urban Center, room 250

Fri, Feb.19
3 p.m., convene at Pioneer Courthouse Square
3:30 p.m., march southbound on Southwest Broadway to PSU
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., rally and demonstration on both sides of Southwest Broadway in front of SMSU
For more information, call 503-962-9607 or 503-548-7537.

Tuesday evening at Maranatha Church of God, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for a protest at noon if Officer Ronald Frashour, of the Portland Police Bureau, returned to work at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

“[If] he returns to work [Wednesday],” Jackson said “[Frashour] discredits the entire police department.”

Frashour did return to work yesterday and Portland residents heeded Jackson’s suggestion.

Hundreds of protesters gathered, according to The Oregonian.

“We stormed City Hall,” said Lyn Kirby, former PSU student orientation leader with a degree in Black studies and social sciences.

According to Kirby, protesters walked peacefully in a nonviolent manner down Portland sidewalks to City Hall and into Mayor Sam Adams office.