Sustaining more than four months of continual protests against police brutality takes determination, dedication, and most importantly, community. That’s what the residents of Portland, Oregon, learned as they created an autonomous, collaborative network to support the ongoing protests in defense of Black lives after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
While every movement is distinct, and each city faces its own challenges, Portland’s protest movement offers some key lessons for other activists and organizers who may be hoping to build similar networks to sustain community-led direct action.
In this video, co-produced for YES! Media by Erica Edwards and Joshua Berman, Portland organizers and volunteers offer an inside look at the infrastructure that supports the city’s ever-evolving movement for Black lives. Reporting for this video comes from YES! solutions reporter Isabella Garcia’s three-part special report, Anatomy of a Protest Movement.
Sunnivie Brydum is the managing editor at YES! An award-winning investigative journalist with a background covering LGBTQ equality, Sunnivie previously led digital coverage at The Advocate, Free Speech TV, and Out Front Colorado. Their writing has appeared in Vox, Religion Dispatches, them., and elsewhere. She has a degree in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and is a co-founder of Historias No Contadas, an annual symposium in Medellín, Colombia, that amplifies the stories of LGBTQ people in Latin America. They are based in Seattle, speak English and Spanish, and are a member of NLGJA, SPJ, and ONA.