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Janelle Monae Rallies Alongside Don't Shoot Portland

Kids making signs in the park for the 'Don't Shoot PDX' rally.

Kids making signs in the park for the ‘Don’t Shoot PDX’ rally.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

R&B singer Janelle Monae rallied in Portland Monday in memory of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. She taught several hundred attendees, some associated with local group Don’t Shoot Portland, a new protest song.

The lyrics list names of African-Americans killed by police and others, followed by the phrase, “Say his or her name.”

Protesters sang out names, including Brown and Sandra Bland of Chicago, who died in police custody three days after she was pulled over for a traffic stop in Texas. They added the names of local people killed, like Kendra James and Aaron Campbell.

Evelyn Murray supports the 'Don't Shoot PDX' rally.

Evelyn Murray supports the ‘Don’t Shoot PDX’ rally.

Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB

Evelyn Murray, who has lived in Portland since 1969, said she’s witnessing a new chapter of the Civil Rights movement.

“Harriet Tubman was the first one to do it,” said Murray. “Then after her came Fredrick Douglas, then Martin Luther King. And now it’s time for us to take a stand before it becomes a racial war.”

The rally comes after a series of Don’t Shoot Portland events. Leader Teressa Raiford was arrested earlier this month and the next day, the group shut down the street in front of Portland’s City Hall.

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