BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- More than 1,000 people gathered in Bend on Saturday for a protest walk, gathering and vigil called the "Bend Walk for Justice," the third such event in Bend in recent days, among hundreds nationwide sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Organizers of Saturday's gathering promoted it as a "peaceful demonstration against the violence, death, racial discrimination and social injustice of black men, women and children."
The gathering began at Farewell Bend Park for a walk through the Old Mill and through downtown to the Deschutes County Courthouse, where the crowd of protesters knelt in silence and heard from speakers, before an evening vigil at Troy Field.
The walkers carried signs with a variety of messages, including to "Defund Police" and "White Silence Kills," with one holding aloft a simple, large red heart. They chanted "Black Lives Matter" as they walked along the Deschutes River to downtown Bend.
Another peaceful protest has been called for noon Sunday at Bend's Drake Park, organized by the new local group, the Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly.
The event is being called "in solidarity with demonstrations nationwide over racial inequality, police brutality and the death of George Floyd." Organizers have asked participants to bring protest signs and also to wear face masks to protect against the COVID-19 pandemic