Marchers Shared Community Values

What causes the human herd to turn? I was at the incredible Black Lives Matter march protesting the death of George Floyd on May 31 when a group of about 20 people pursued a different tactic than the organizers had planned. “Come On! Let’s block the bridge! Come On!”

A few minutes’ pause, and some people headed in that direction, then a voice rang out, “Go home!” Another voice joined, “Go Home!” And then a choir. I visibly saw the herd turn, as a result of the community voicing its values in solidarity and number.

Believe me I am not against civil disobedience. But it must be planned, people must be trained and safety agreements be stated, agreed to and practiced. To spring an action of “Hey, let’s all block a street and get arrested,” especially when led by white people at a Black Lives Matter march, was not a value the community held. It was not respectful of the BLM movement and message. I am glad to be in Eugene as we navigate this journey to becoming an anti-racist community.

Patricia Hine