Black Lives Matter march draws counter-protest in Pendleton

PENDLETON, Ore. — Hundreds of Black Lives Matter supporters marched around Pendleton late Saturday afternoon, much to the displeasure of counter-protesters.

“Our focus today is to keep things completely peaceful, and demonstrate, and spread our message of trying to root out systemic racism,” said Nolan Bylenga, one of the organizers for the march.

Police were very involved in keeping the two groups separated as counter-protesters waved flags(American, Confederate, Trump 2020) and BLM supporters chanted Black Lives Matter as they marched through town.

A counter-protester told KAPP-KVEW that they were present to prevent harm, and stand up for the rights of Americans.

“We’re out here to make sure that the Black Lives Matter protesters don’t turn into rioters, and defend our local businesses, and stand up for everyone’s constitutional rights including theirs,” said Ryan Chalmers.

The counter-protesters also told KAPP-KVEW that they were there to support the police.

Bylenga told KAPP-KVEW that there are good police, but that they want to change the structure of things and make it better for everybody.

The Black Lives Matter march started at 4:00 p.m. in Roy Raley Park and featured several speakers before taking to the streets to march.

Counter-protesters stood along SW Court Ave. on the opposite side of the street, using horns and sirens to attempt to drown out the noise of the BLM demonstration.

“We drive out darkness and hate with love and light,” said Bylenga.

The march ended at Roy Raley Park just after 6:00 p.m.

Here is a video of part of the march in Pendleton.

WARNING: Video contains graphic language.

HAPPENING NOW: A Black Lives Matter march in Pendleton being met with counter-protesters.

Posted by KAPP-KVEW Local News on Saturday, August 29, 2020