The group trains a new round of peacekeepers after the protest season returns to Portland
by: KOIN 6 News Staff
Posted: May 20, 2021 / 8:27 PM PDT
Updated: May 20, 2021 / 8:27 PM PDT
Protesters march against racial inequality and police brutality in southeast Portland on June 23, 2020. (KOIN)
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland Peace Team is working hard to keep tensions from boiling over during protests, marches and rallies.
The organization, founded by Tom Hastings, a professor of conflict resolution at Portland State University, is training a new round of peacekeepers now that the protest season returns to Portland. Volunteers learn de-escalation tactics like staying calm and listening to people who are upset. They wear blue vests at local events to identify themselves.
The peace team says it is crucial to help the community remember the power of nonviolent protest.
“The Portland Peace Team provides unarmed public safety support for nonviolent organizations or events and has been doing so since 2012,” said Hastings. “The Portland Peace Team wants to join forces with all Portlanders to restore our culture of nonviolence, hatred and activism for justice.”
The City of Portland has partnered with the Peace Team to deliver two-hour, small-group training courses. Interested parties can take part in one of seven training courses, which last until July.
Sign up for the Portland Peace Team training
“We appreciate that the Portland Peace Team is working with the City of Portland to provide de-escalation training to the public,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Portlanders are passionate about exercising their First Amendment rights peacefully, and many want to do their part to keep the events safe. This is an opportunity for community members to learn proven de-escalation techniques that will help achieve this goal. “