The Black, Indigenous, People of Color, or 'BIPOC, Liberation Collective led roughly 300 protesters in a silent march through Eugene last night. Supporters walked through the city to protest police brutality and systematic racism.
One of the leaders of BIPOC Liberation Collective says the goal of the march was to create space for people to mourn.
“A lot of our initial responses to state and police violence is oftentimes anger and that’s really valid. But, it’s also really important to recognize that some of the underlying feelings beneath that anger is really deep and profound sadness.”
The leader, who has asked to remain anonymous, went on to quote a Langston Hughes poem because he wants to provide the community with the hope and strength to dream in order to fight for a better world.
“Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.”
Protesters wore all black and held lit candles as they followed a truck carrying an altar honoring victims of police violence. The several hundred people marched the entire route from the Lane County Jail to Alton Baker Park, and back, in complete silence.
The evening ended with leaders reminding protesters of Eugene’s own racist history. From forcing black citizens to live outside the city limits to demolishing the community they created, called Ferry Street Village.