Black Unity Faces Opposition During March
After a significant hiatus from marching in the streets, Black Unity—with a depleted roster since their last march—led a solidarity march for George Floyd and Daunte White on April 17.
With people beginning to arrive at 1 p.m. the parking lot of the Dew Drop Inn filled with music like N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police,” Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture,” the Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love?,” and Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It.”
The group of about 50 people began to march around 2:15 p.m.
Similar to a previous protest in December 2020, the same houseless man attempted to stop the protest from continuing. He was eventually blocked-off allowing the leading cars to pass through. He continued to shout at the protesters as they marched, but stopped trying to directly interfere.
While walking south on Blair Boulevard in-between 4th and 5th Avenues, a white man came out of an alleyway behind the Community Alliance of Lane County building holding a rifle similar to an AR-15 — that has a military-style ACOG scope and barrel modification such as a flash compensator or reducer. Intimidating the crowd, he shouted “All lives matter!,” as he paced back and forth before retreating back through the alley.
At another point, while walking past 7-11 on W. 7th Ave., a security guard stared down the group of people chanting “every city, every town, burn the precinct to the town.
Further along the march, around 2:30 p.m., the group stopped at an intersection. Speaking about police brutality against marginalized and oppressed groups, BU leader Tyshawn Ford said “the police are not going to get better, there’s no reform, it’s just gonna keep on getting worse.”
He added that “Police are going to keep on killing people and, this is going for not just Black people. This is for all oppressed groups. Portland Police just killed a homeless white guy yesterday.”
The protest continued to the Lane County Adult Corrections facility where another BU leader, Morgan Henley, spoke about the ineffectiveness of the majority of trials regarding instances of death at the hands of law enforcement.
Another speech by Ford, announcing future plans and a possible Juneteenth event, followed some more marching before the group ended back at the Dew Drop Inn around 3:50 p.m.