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'March Against Murder' in North Portland calls for solutions to gun violence

The organizer said Saturday's march aimed to "make the statement that Black men and the Black community are against premeditated taking of life."

PORTLAND, Ore. — A "March Against Murder" bought about 100 people to Peninsula Park in North Portland Saturday afternoon. 

"I've been the victim of gun violence, I've lost siblings, family members, I've lost friends to gun violence," said organizer Royal Harris. 

Harris says the goal of the march was to make a statement that Black men and the Black community are against premeditated taking of life. 

"I really believe if you want to be part of the solution, you have to become engaged," said Harris. 

The march comes at a time of increased gun violence in the city. More than 30 people have been killed on Portland's streets this year. That's eight times as many homicides compared to this time last year.

Credit: CK
'March Against Murder' started at Peninsula before heading to Woodlawn Park

"We're here today to find out what we can do to help with the community " said Anthony Blake, who attended the march. "My main concern is the community and our young Black kids being killed in the streets by the hands of Black kids."

Another participant, CJ Robbins explained why he showed up to the march Saturday.

"Part of the reason that I'm here is to be shoulder-to-shoulder with Black men who believe that we can do something about the problems that we see in our community," he said. 

A group of Black men at the march told KGW the community needs to come together to find solutions.

"How do we get young people to see themselves in the next 10 years? Because if all you see yourself in is that 10-block area or gangbanging, then we failed," said Kamau Rogers. "So we're trying to give them the opportunity to see themselves in a light." 

Several speakers took the stage Saturday before taking their message to the street. Organizers were joined by community members on the march to Woodlawn Park about a mile away.  

They say the first step to solve the problem is conversation. 

"All of us listening to the people most affected, and then it's a conversation," said Rogers. "And then it's a start to find what their problems are so we can address them."

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