Portland Advocate_1981-05

·(Vo1. r, No.1 S BUF Takes To The Street The Portland Chapter of the Black United Front conducted a "March Against Racism" on Saturday, April 4th. The p~)ose of the march was to protest the ever-increasing incidents of rac– ism in the State of Oregon and across the United States. The Portland march was one of 37 marches held that same day in most major cities. In addition to high strung emotions, there was furor; pure anger at the in- by Pam Smith cidents which led to the demonstration. On the other extreme, there was joy and excitement at the unity of it all; people were happy to share with each other in corrm:m concerns; happy to be actively joining together in an eff– ort to increase public/community awareness of racism. No one was afraid to show their emotions. Everyone was loose, and very for real. It was al– most as if you were acquainted with FOR AND BY BLACK PEOPLE May, 1981 the person next to you, and you may not have even known them. There was a silent bond holding everyone together. It was obvious from verbal comments and demonstration signs, that the major concerns on the minds of protes– ters were the deaths of Black children· in Atlanta, unemployment, v.elfare cuts, and of course, the opossum incident where police placed four dead opossums in front of a Black owned restaurant, here in Portland. The chants appropriately described the emotions of the protesters: "We're all fired up! We don't want it no more, we don't need it no more! We're all fired up! ! !" The crowd marched from Alberta Park to - ~he King Neighborhood Facility, on N.E. 7th, a distance of about 2 miles. And as they proceeded down NoEo Kill– ingswortl' , more members from the comn– unity joined in. It was a great day for a march. The weather was warm, the skies were sunny, and spirits were high, as the chanting · crowd of approximately 1500 people, young and old, gathered together, with an estimation of 7Wo Black and 3Wo white participation. Ronnie Herndon, Co-Chairman of the Portland Chapter of the Black United Front explained that the ultimate pur– pose of the march was to get people back into the streets, visibly pro– testing acts of racism" The march ended with a rally at the King Neighborhood facility where key– note speaker Ronnie Herndon addressed the attentive crowd. He expounded on four major issues: 1) Unemployment, 2) Black male/female relationships, 3) Crime, and 4) Quality Education. He was cheered during the entire address. Mr. Herndon proposed that community patrols be set up to protect our communities. He stated two reasons for such a cooperative patrol effort: 1) the increase in violence being per– petrated against Black people all a– cross the U.S. , and 2) because of the anticipated rise in crime due to eco– nomic conditions. At least 40 men signed their names as potential patrol marshals. Hundreds arriving at King Facility ending 1st "March Against Racism" April 4, 1981,