Thursday, October 06, 2011

Occupy Portland - Photos from the rally

Filled up and overflowed Pioneer Square
The party is still rockin' as I write. Initial estimates put the crowd at 3,000-5,000. Not bad for a weekday, especially considering that there is no focal event (the pending invasion of a sovereign nation, for example) to draw in the numbers. It was a big crowd.

Cheering bystanders
One protester with whom I spoke told me that he and his family are underwater on their mortgage.  Said he:  "I should have listened to the credit union.  They told me I was trying to borrow too much."  Instead, he listened to the fast-talkers at Wells Fargo.  A lot of people did.  And here we are.

Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith
I spotted Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith.  I've met him before, and frankly I wasn't inclined to vote for him.  But seeing him at the protest has me reconsidering (which he no doubt hoped might happen).

Uncomfortable message for Christian Tea Party folks
As usual, the crowd had a good share of hippies and urban hipsters.  There were suburban folks, too.  But not as many as there were at the huge rallies against the Iraq War

Do you like my hat?
On the other hand, if the crowd was not quite as suburban, or middle-of-the-road as in previous rallies, I also noticed that there was no significant anarchist element.  That's unusual for Portland protests.  I didn't see many kids with the black and red bandannas causing trouble with the cops. 
Legal support
And I sure didn't hear a lot of support for President Obama at this rally.  Nor would I expect such.  Disappointment with Obama is what drove a lot of these folks out into the streets today.  At least, that's what I think.
Two ways to do it:  Gandhi's way, or Robespierre's.
As I said yesterday, I continue to hope that these popular movements will stir people into awareness of a better way.
Accordion-playing protester
I'll end with a quote from A Walk on the Wild Side, by Nelson Algren, whom I refer to as "the anti-Ayn Rand:"
"Nobody goes hungry" said Little Round Hoover, wiping chicken gravy off his little round chin.  A man with the right stuff didn't need government help to find work.  That would make him lazy.  He might even get sick.  Self-reliance for the penniless and government help to the rich, the Old Guard was in again.  Hoover patted the chicken inside his own pot.  "I got it made," said Little Round Hoover. --Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side


Dan Binmore said...

That looks like it was lots of fun.  From what I have seen Portland had by far the biggest crowd show up at around 5,000, and by far the greatest proportion of the metro area showing up of any of the protests at 0.5%.

Heidilawrencedesign said...

Maybe a 20% flat tax would equalize us? Why not everyone would be paying their fair share. Now would we split with the feds(5%) and our state (15%)?.