In the midst of political tensions in the United States, new restrictions on refugee resettlement, bans on immigration from some Muslim-majority countries and an attack this week on protesters in North Carolina, thousands gathered Sunday to march in support of Oregon’s Immigrant and Refugee communities.
“There is no longer any room to pretend that we aren’t living in a country that is fractured,” Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith told the crowd gathered at Knott Park in Northeast Portland. “But it is not a time for us to turn off the news or put away the newspaper. Instead it is a time in our country when, as a community, it is our duty to find our voice and own that voice.”
Smith was joined by Commissioner Lori Stegmann, City Councilor Amanda Fritz and other elected officials, refugee resettlement agencies, community organizations, Christian church groups and Islamic leaders.“It is very important for us to walk for justice,” said Wajdi Said, cofounder of the Muslim Educational Trust. “We want to heal, to go beyond the color of our skin. And we have to be united to heal and fight the bigotry and hate.”