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Seattle Protester Killed In Hit & Run Remembered In Eugene

Melorie Begay/KLCC News

A group of at least 100 protesters gathered at Peterson Park in Eugene on Monday in remembrance of Summer Taylor, who was killed during a hit and run at a protest in Seattle over the weekend. 

Taylor, 24, from Seattle was killed on July 4 after a driver plowed into a group of nightly protesters on a closed stretch of Interstate 5, according to the Seattle Times. Livestreamer Diaz Love, 32, from Portland, was also hit by the same driver at the protest and is in serious condition.

At Monday's protest in Eugene, members of Black Unity led a moment of silence in honor of Taylor, who identified as non-binary. Protesters recognized them as an ally and also voiced support for Diaz, who is currently hospitalized.

With recent hit and run's fresh in their minds, including one involving fellow Black Unity member Isiah Wagoner, protesters seemed to take extra precautions.

"They keep using this justification that 'oh they're jaywalking, they're playing in the street," Black Unity member Midas Well told protesters before giving a brief history of jaywalking laws.

"Now we have this pervasive mentality that if you're walking on the street you deserve to be hit by a car," he said as the crowd booed in response.

In previous Black Unity protests, marchers relied mostly on bicyclists to block traffic. On Monday, at least a dozen vehicles, including a motorcyclist, strategically positioned themselves as barriers all along the route. Some blocked the road in front of protesters, while at least six followed from behind.

"Whose Streets?" was the theme for the march with attendees chanting "Whose streets? Our streets." Black Unity members also stated their commitment to continue protesting.

Several vehicles that were rerouted by protesters sped off away from protesters. It's unclear whether this was done out of intimidation or frustration. Most redirected vehicles turned away without incident with some offering support.

Two pick up trucks seemed to "roll coal," or emit black smoke from their tailpipes after cutting accross a dirt lot on the corner of Roosevelt and Highway 99. Protesters had overtaken the intersection leaving motorists with the option of either making a u-turn or driving through the dirt lot.

Aside from some arguments between marchers and a few motorists, the protest remained largely peaceful.

Copyright 2020 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.
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