Saturday, August 16, 2014

'All we wanna do is take the chains off'

Cities across the country held a National Moment of Silence for Mike Brown and Ferguson, Mo. on Thursday night. Portland had two. The one I attended -- outside a Portland Police Precinct -- grew louder as the night wore on. Here are some photos I made for The Oregonian.

Portland protest for Ferguson

Portland protests for Ferguson 15

Portland protests for Ferguson 30

Portland protests for Ferguson 3

and an excerpt of the story:

Portland protesters stayed mostly on the sidewalks near the Portland Police Bureau North Precinct as the first wave of rush hour traffic traveled up and down MLK. But as the crowd grew, so did the tension.

An offshoot, led by Ionatana Iese of North Portland, formed a barricade in the crosswalk. Business owners from the Vanport Plaza rushed into the street, begging Iese to move out of the sidewalk.

"Open the street up," he yelled. "You're asking for violence. We ain't asking for them to shoot us."

Shareef pointed to the precinct.

"If they come, it's going to get violent, trust me," Shareef said. "It's not us against us. It's us against them."

"People have been singing and marching for years," Iese said. "Right now, we are undirected chaos. This is old. This is archaic. We need to do something that will affect the money. Sitting in traffic is something different."

"You can't fight all the time," Shareef said. "Sometimes you have to be smarter than your oppressors."

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Black Boy Speech

My coworker Beth Nakamura and I made a series of videos recently featuring mothers whose sons are Black, Latino or biracial. The mothers talked about their family's experiences with police and explained "The Black Boy Speech," a talk they've given their sons about how to interact with police. We made six individual videos, which you can watch on The Oregonian's website. But here's the main video, which includes several of the mothers.

The Black Boy Speech: Mothers of color give advice to their sons about interacting with police from Casey Parks on Vimeo.