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Social Justice

Activist-Artists Emphasize: BLACK LIVES MATTER Outside Federal Courthouse

BLM_Courthouse01.jpg
Brian Bull
/
KLCC

Friday morning, activists with Eugene BIPOC Artists Collective painted "BLACK LIVES MATTER" on the 8th Avenue side of the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse.

A BIPOC representative says she's delighted they got permission from the City of Eugene to paint the letters across 8th Avenue, just in time for the 155th Juneteenth observance.  This was the day in 1865 when a federal order declared the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas. 

WEB EXTRA: Video of the slogan being painted today:

Today also marks three straight weeks of BLM activism in this Oregon city, in response to high profile cases of police brutality and violence against People of Color nationwide. 

In March, forgery suspect George Floyd died after a Minneapolis Police Officer knelt against his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring Floyd's pleas and cries of "I can't breathe".   Riots ensued across the Twin Cities, while the four officers involved in the incident remained free and uncharged for days.

BLM_Courthouse02.jpg
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
View of the BLACK LIVES MATTER slogan from the steps of the federal courthouse.

Weeks before, police in Louisville, Kentucky shot and killed Breonna Taylor.  The Black medical technician was sleeping in her apartment when officers burst in, using a so-called “no-knock warrant” for a drug investigation. Her boyfriend -saying he thought someone was breaking in - shot an officer, prompting return fire that killed Taylor in her own home.

And while police were not involved in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in southern Georgia in February, months passed before charges were pressed against the two white men who had stalked the black man as he jogged through a neighborhood, then shot him after a scuffle.  Critics says this shows a double-standard in how black suspects are treated compared to white suspects.

Black Lives Matter protests, marches, and rallies have been held globally since Floyd's death.  In Eugene, the majority have been passionate, but peaceful.  Activists have highlighted Oregon's racist past as well as current issues related to multiculturalism and equality.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

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