Springfield Activists Rally Against Guns & White Supremacy

Aug 7, 2019

Cooper Brinson, one of the speakers at the Stand Against White Nationalism rally in Springfield, talks about the rise of white supremacy and its historic presence.
Credit Melorie Begay/ KLCC News

A crowd gathered outside the Springfield Public Library’s plaza Tuesday, they want the local government to pass tougher gun laws, and to stand against white supremacy.

Johanis Tadeo with the Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect, said the event was spur of the moment and he appreciated the turnout of close to 80 people. He said when he heard about the shootings he couldn’t believe this was happening in 2019.

Johanis Tadeo standing with his nephew Alexander Tadeo after the rally. Johanis says he fears not only for his life, but also for his family including Alexander.
Credit Melorie Begay/KLCC News

“It’s escalating and it’s getting bigger and bigger and the first thing that I did was contact my family because  you know this can happen anywhere, now we know for sure this can happen anywhere,” Tadeo said. He said he fears for his life, but as someone in a leadership position he has to be brave.

Other speakers included Samantha Alcantar of City-wide MEChA.  

"There is not a day where I can go out and feel safe anymore, one not knowing if I'm the next person who will be a victim of someone with white supremacy ideologies, or even an ICE officer confusing me for an immigrant," Alcantar told the crowd. She said she can't remember what it's like to not live in fear.

Eugene-Springfield NAACP and Beyond Toxics representative Pablo Alvarez also spoke out against hate and bigotry. 

"I'm tired of media saying "oh these poor people they probably have some mental illness," it is not a mental illness," Alvarez said, "We're not going to put that stigma on people with mental illessness, [white nationalism] is a hateful and dangerous ideology that has to be addressed straight on."

They called on the Springfield City Council to listen to their concerns and pass stronger gun control while also addressing white supremacy and white nationalism.

Johanis Tadeo said the event was not planned as a response to the God, Guns, and Trump rally on Saturday. But, he said the rally does add fuel to his concerns.