Just another fun day in Portland!
I got up bright and early and drove to the shul in the Southwest Portland neighborhood where I used to live. The weather was nice, and we had a good turnout.
After davvening, I headed back home to downtown. Some studying, housecleaning, laundry - and then it was time to head down to the waterfront for today's rally.
I met up with a friend from our political community - she was standing near the great big flag and was easy to spot. We had a good turnout and I think morale was very high.
The folks from the other side were there too, of course - many of them wearing masks, banging on drums, or tooting those noisemaker horns to drown out conversation. And of course there were the obligatory chants of "Nazis go home!"
Today's demo was a logical continuation of the June 4 event. But there were some important differences. The June 4 rally was held at a park, on Federal land. (The Mayor would have liked to deny us a permit, but he has no jurisdiction over Terry Schrunk Plaza, so it wasn't up to him.) The event went well, but it was a bit claustrophobic: we were surrounded by a phalanx of law enforcement keeping us separated from the counter-protestors, who greatly outnumbered us.
This afternoon we met in the open, in public space, at Waterfront Park. There were no battalions of police officers, maybe only one or two cops in sight. And it was not a static rally, but a march - we walked north along the waterfront and back, being seen and heard. So I think in those ways it was a much stronger statement.
And the oppo weren't there in nearly the same numbers as before.
We got maybe a few hundred yards down the waterfront when we had to stop and pull back - the antifas were hitting us with pepper spray, and two or three people went down. Some of our security people served as medics for the affected folks. Eventually we regrouped and kept moving.
I didn't stay for the whole thing because I don't have unlimited endurance for these kinds of things - and I was hot and tired and I've got a job to go to Monday morning. But I was glad I went, and I was very encouraged by the high morale and the sense of momentum. Also I was moved by the number of people who'd made the trip from their homes in the more conservative, rural parts of the state to make an appearance in uber-liberal Portland.
I took a few photos which I'll try to post later. Meanwhile, the Oregonian has a decent write-up on the event, with lots of photos.http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/08/altercations_shouting_at_dueli.html