Protesters walk up the mall to the Capitol after marching through downtown Salem on Saturday, June 6, as part of a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Two new rallies are planned for Saturday, July 11. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
Two rallies with opposing goals are planned in Salem Saturday. One aims to support law enforcement while the other wants to highlight local police failings.
Saturday’s event is one of many “Back the Blue” rallies planned across the country meant to counter earlier calls for defunding the police.
The rally, organized by politician Joey Nations, starts at 2 p.m. and will include a march from the Capitol to Salem City Hall and back. City officials said no street closures are planned.
There will be speakers, a gun raffle and a fundraiser to benefit cops. More than 100 people have marked “going” to the event on social media while another 718 have said they’re interested.
The other event, called “War on Racism,” aims to highlight what event organizers call inadequate actions of Salem police and the Oregon State Police following an event last weekend where a trooper was seen flashing the “okay” hand sign, which has been appropriated by hate groups to signal “white power.”
The state police said the officer was using the hand gesture to make sure a man chanting “all lives matter” was unhurt after being shoved to the ground by a protester.
That event, organized by Gregg Simpson, who organized the June 6 March for Floyd, is planned for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Capitol and will offer petitions and voter registration. More than 100 people have marked “going” to the event on social media and another 600 have marked interested.
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