Answering a national call-out by Ferguson organizers to fill the streets with marchers similar to solidarity actions carried out in Washington DC this weekend, Portland organizers were quick to set up their own action Monday. On Saturday, reports coming out of Ferguson via the New York Times and other sources cited a call to shut down freeways on Labor Day in protest of the killing of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson.
A previous Ferguson solidarity march in Portland saw hundreds of protestors amass outside a police precinct, then take over Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. During that march, police stayed well out of sight. Quoted after the fact, Portland’s North Precinct commander Mike Leloff stated, “There’s no good that can come from engagement over a street. No good was to come from saying ‘You all need to leave the street now.’”
A Labor Day of Rage press statement addressed Commander Leloff’s sentiment, “Last month the police decided to ignore the protestors. The organizers are hoping for the same response, which at least speaks to recognition of responsibility. There is no reason for the traditional heavy-handed responses to a peaceful protest. In solidarity with the people of Ferguson and victims of police brutality everywhere, including Portland, a diverse coalition of community members will be taking to the streets as an act of civil disobedience.”