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Don't Shoot PDX protesters angry that meeting moved from City Hall

COURTESY PHOTO: NATHANIEL TORRY-SCHRAG - Mayor Charlie Hales talked with Black Lives Matter protesters Tuesday evening outside City Hall. Hales agreed to talk with protesters after a protest Friday afternoon.Black Lives Matter protesters went to City Hall Tuesday to meet with Mayor Charlie Hales, but were told the meeting Hales promised on Friday had been set for a Northeast Portland church instead.

That upset some of the protesters, who were angered that the meeting wasn’t going to be in City Hall.

The mayor’s office said the meeting would be held at the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church. According to Don’t Shoot PDX organizer Teressa Raiford, no one from the mayor’s office told them it wasn’t still set for City Hall.

Then, in the early afternoon, City Hall was locked.

“Mayor Hales is a liar,” Raiford said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 27, outside City Hall.

Another organizer said the non-communication and City Hall lockout feeds into the same reason “why black people get shot.”

Asked why they didn’t just meet with the mayor at the Baptist church, Raiford said they had told people to meet at City Hall, convinced them to come, and felt disrespected by the lack of communication. She also said Hales hasn’t spent time with the community that wanted to meet.

The group leaders said they have no intention of leaving City Hall until the mayor comes back. “Eventually he has to come here,” protester Greg McKelvey said.

Later Tuesday, Hales met with the protesters at City Hall, answering questions from the crowd.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Don't Shoot PDX organizer Teressa Raiford, center, called Mayor Charlie Hales 'a liar' after a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Black Lives Matter protesters was moved from City Hall.

List of demands

McKelvey said that during the Sept. 23 march through downtown, some protesters “were assaulted, hit, pepper sprayed and/or had some form of bullets fired at their feet. Video evidence of these events exist and has been reviewed by Don’t Shoot Portland.”

When he met with the group in the City Hall atrium, Hales heard reports of what he called inappropriate reactions from members of the Portland Police Bureau during the protest, and encouraged anyone who experienced excessive force from police to file a complaint. On Tuesday, Hales said Marshman would be able to talk about those complaints.

But McKelvey said “general meetings will not change anything if not prefaced by reasonable demands.” Among those demands:

• Stop the new Portland Police Association contract until Ted Wheeler takes over as mayor

• Make all bargaining sessions with PPA public

• Change the binding arbitration clause so those who are fired stay fired

• Move deadly force incidents to a civil service board so a judge, not an arbitrator will make the decision

• Stop sending PPB gang officers to protests

The Sept. 23 march was in response to recent police shootings in Tulsa, Okla., and Charlotte, N.C. The Portland march began in Northeast Portland, weaved its way through streets and bridges and wound up inside City Hall, where Hales stood for several minutes talking with protesters.