Tips for BLM Protesters, Firsthand Reports from Portland

On Aug. 18, The Corvallis Advocate hosted a CitySpeak event focused on protester rights and the current state of protests in Portland. Editor Stevie Beisswanger, publisher Steve Schultz, and reporter Cara Nixon moderated the discussion with three guests: Lorena Reynolds, Heather Bishop and Aimee Zink.   

Reynolds is a Corvallis attorney whose work focuses on the interests of impoverished Oregonians and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Bishop is a Corvallisite who has participated in the Portland protests before, during, and after the federal occupation. Zink is a former writer and copy editor at The Corvallis Advocate and now lives in Portland, in a neighborhood where the majority of the protests are taking place.  

Bishop and Zink discussed multiple topics, including their personal experiences with protests, the difference between before, during, and after federal agents occupied Portland, their tips for preparing to participate in protests, and their recommendations for what individuals should not do at protests.  

Reynolds provided a legal perspective, answering questions about what protesters should prepare for, what rights they have, and what to do if you get arrested while protesting.   

Audience questions were also asked and answered – ranging in topics from the question of whether you should bring identification to protests, recommendations for protesters under 18, the minimum of what a person has to say when being arrested, how many people are being prosecuted for protesting, the spread of misinformation in the media, and what classifies as a riot.   

By Cara Nixon