By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
No justice, no peace.
That’s what more than 1,000 people chanted today in Downtown Bend during a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.
Protester Maxwell Friedman says, “They want to bring us down, they want to show us that we’re violent. We are not. We are not thugs. We are protesting an unjust system.”
Protesters also included former police officer Doyle Smith, who says he wants nothing more than equality.
“Being a cop in L.A. for a career, I saw a lot of inequality,” Smith said. “And I’m not trying to play the hero, but I hope a lot of cops stand up … stand away from just using violence to solve something.”
While the protest was peaceful, many in attendance did express their frustration.
Protester Ryan Cooper says, “People are getting shot every day in the streets, and it’s important to change now before things get out of hand and change for the worst.”
However some say the fight doesn’t end, it only begins with a protest.
“It’s not about, you know, just standing on the corner with signs and stuff like that,” former police commander Clifford Evelyn said. “You know, they’ve got to get to the polls, they’ve got to vote, we’ve got to get the right people in office. And the thing that these young people got to understand is that the people that’s doing all this are public servants. They work for us.”
Protester Ashley Smart hopes that nationwide protests bring enough awareness to make a change.
“It’s really really sad what’s going on right now, and I don’t think that it’s okay for this to still be happening,” Smart said. “We need a revolution.”
According to Bend Police, only one person was cited for careless driving for nearly striking a person in a crosswalk.
Otherwise, drivers were very patient with the protesters.