March 29th, 2010 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Cops and Courts

While Jesse Jackson Pushes Beyond Police Use-of-Force Issues, Demonstrators Protest Downtown (UPDATED)

Jesse Jackson in Portland March 29

The Rev. Jesse Jackson returned to Portland today to build support for what he called "the bigger picture," a broader platform for social justice that goes beyond issues of excessive police force. And he challenged Portlanders to look at his call for equality "through a door not a keyhole."

"It's possible to be a minority with majority vision," he told reporters at Emmanuel Temple Church in North Portland this afternoon.

Meanwhile, about an hour after Jackson spoke, a previously scheduled protest of Portland police began in the Park Blocks and went through downtown streets. Shortly before 6 pm, bike cops and a couple hundred demonstrators clashed when police officers tried to get protesters on to the sidewalk.

One of the protesters threw a rock at a Bank of America window, putting a large crack in the window. And a glass door at the bank was also shattered.

UPDATED at 6:25 pm: A couple dozen protesters later went into Portland State University's student union while demonstrators outside the campus building chanted "Whose Streets? Our Streets" and "All Cops Are Murderers."

UPDATED at 7 pm: At least one demonstrator has been arrested. And police are now trying to clear protesters from SW 12th and Jefferson.

Jackson's appearance earlier today was much calmer. His remarks about social justice came at the end of a measured and wide-ranging talk that touched on the federal bailout ("the banks must be restructured, not just fortified"); the "massive crisis" of increasing poverty; some Americans' "violent reaction" to Obama's health care bill (he called the bill "morally right, necessary and economically feasible"); the need for more bus drivers ("transit jobs are green jobs"); the disproportionate rates of punishment among minority students in America's public schools; the inability of institutions of higher education to graduate more minority students ("they can recruit us to play ball but not to be teachers"); and, finally, the low numbers of minorities within the Portland Police Bureau's ranks.

Jackson, who wants to increase the visibility of his Rainbow PUSH Coalition in Oregon, also told reporters today that the group's supporters would buy stocks in 25 Portland-area companies in order to promote just hiring practices. He listed Nike, Weyerhaeuser, Freightliner, Intel, Columbia Sportswear, Tektronix, Adidas and Nabisco as companies that he would target.

Jackson came to Portland last month following the fatal police shooting of Aaron Campbell, which Jackson then called an "execution." In response to a reporter's question about last week's fatal police shooting of Jack Dale Collins, Jackson said Campbell and Collins were both victims of "excessive force."

(Reporting on the downtown protest by Ott Tammik)
 
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