Ashland, Oregon – Communities work together to restore a memorial honoring victims of racial violence in America after it was destroyed overnight.
The fence along the railroad park was destroyed overnight, according to the Ashland Police Department. T-shirts hung on fences to symbolize black lives lost to racial violence in America were ripped out and left on the ground.
Hilary Larson, a member of a local racial equality group called Ashland Together, said, “First, people stood here crying and crying and feeling angry. It’s anger that it can be done,” he said.
This is not the first time a monument has been destroyed. Just two months after being installed in June 2020, the shirt was stolen. Kathy Preskennis helped repair the memorial for the first time, and she returned again Wednesday to redo the whole thing.
“This was originally posted by a group of white activists in June 2020 and then, as I said, came back again in August and was processed by the community,” Preskenis said. said. “It’s something people have continually added to and contributed to.”
Community members gathered at the park at 10:30 am on Wednesday to collect all the shirts. By 4:30 p.m. that same day, the shirt had been washed and hung on the fence.
Ashland City Councilor Gina Duken showed up to help hang up the shirts on Wednesday and said it was inspiring to see everyone come together to support black and brown community members.
Ashland Police Department is investigating the incident and asks anyone with information to call (541) 488-2211.
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