Protesters by the thousands gathered at the Capitol for the March for Floyd on Saturday, June 6. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
For Natascha Antes, patriotism and protest go hand in hand.
Antes, 20, was tired of seeing the American flag used by people opposing the Black Lives Matter movement, like when counterprotesters showed up to Salem’s March for Floyd on June 6 carrying American flags and standing in front of the Oregon State Capitol to make a statement.
She decided to host an event at the Oregon State Capitol Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. to “reclaim the Fourth” in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ people.
Antes said it will be a picnic-type event with event participants helping draw a large chalk drawing of “Black Lives Matter” on Court Street.
On the event’s Facebook page, it says “please join us for a peaceful and family friendly celebration and a demand that our country take the steps necessary for real systemic change against discrimination. Bring your sidewalk chalk and your creativity as we transform the street in front of the Capitol into a community mural in support of BLM.”
Court Street from 12th Street to Cottage Street will be closed during the event and is expected to reopen at 5 p.m.
“It is a holiday and we do want to mourn but we do want to still celebrate the lives, everyone who’s still alive and still fighting,” Antes said.
Antes, who is Black and has albinism, wanted young people of color’s voices to be heard and a focus on the female perspective at the afternoon event.
Destinee Magnum, one of the girls targeted by Jeremy Christian on the MAX train in Portland, will speak at the event. Linfield University basketball coach Jon Willis will perform a spoken word piece and Antes will share her own experiences.
People attending are asked to wear masks and bring hand sanitizer.
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Have a story tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.