The protests in Portland, Oregon, that have have gone on for more than 100 days, often turning violent, may continue for years if issues of racial injustice aren’t properly addressed, the president of the city’s NAACP chapter says.
Though the protests stopped during the serious smoke from the raging wildfires in the West, they have resumed now that the smoke has subsided. They began in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers on Labor Day.
Protests across the country over Floyd’s death have largely dissipated, but they have continued in Portland, with some protestors setting fires and spraying graffiti.
Rev. E.D. Mondainé, president of Portland’s NAACP chapter, told KATU it isn’t surprising protests resumed, adding they’ll likely go on for years unless “extraordinarily unapologetic and deliberate actions” are taken to begin to “root out systemic racism,” Newsweek reported.
“We’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” he said, adding that Portland “has been chosen” to head up to fight against racial injustice.
“Fire’s not going to smoke us out. Flames are not going to smoke us out. COVID is not going to snuff us out. The time for equality and justice is upon us,” he said.
Protests can take up to two years to get results he explained.
“I hope it doesn’t take us that long, but if that’s what it takes then that’s what it’ll be,” he said. “It’s not going to stop.”