Today, June 6, 2020, was a great day for Salem, Oregon. Thousands of people took part in a rally and march protesting the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for nine minutes while Floyd pleaded, "I can't breathe."
After my wife and I learned about the Saturday afternoon protest (which followed days of previous smaller protests in Salem), we had to decide whether it was worth the risk to go. We're in our early 70's. Laurel has asthma. We're at high risk if we got COVID-19.
But it didn't take long for us to decide that absolutely, we had to go to the protest. Black people have taken hugely larger risks just to go about their daily lives in a nation where sadly, black lives often don't matter as much as they should to police officers.
Thanks much to the protest organizers. I was deeply moved by the rally and march. I've been to many other protests at the Capitol. This one was the first that directly involved life and death. Having it come in the midst of the coronavirus crisis added a certain poignancy.
Here's photos that I took at the protest, plus a video of part of the march. I've added a few captions where they were needed. Otherwise, I'll let the photos and video speak for themselves.
Laurel, my wife, as we arrived at the protest.
Jerry Moore, Salem Police Chief. Great to see Chief Moore at the protest.
It rained really hard for a while, with some hail. My wife's sign survived.
Salem City Councilor Tom Andersen, chatting with a friend of ours.
Loved seeing this child with fist raised on an adult's shoulders.
After the rally, a march through downtown Salem.
A stop for kneeling during the march.
Leaving the protest, a sign perched in a beaver sculpture caught my eye.
Here's a short video I took during the march. Laurel and I were at the beginning of the march, since we got to the protest fairly late, and felt that our senior citizen selves would have a lesser chance of breathing in the coronavirus if we were at the start of the march rather than in the midst of it.