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Anti-Inaugural Protest in Portland, Oregon

Portland's anti-inaugural protest yesterday drew over 2,000 people, despite short notice, conflicting times and locations and no clear organizational leadership. People took it upon themselves to come together in anger and hope and demand the return of democracy in America.
Both the Portland Oregonian and Portand Indymedia far underestimated the immense crowd that gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square yesterday to protest the Bush inaugural. A tightly packed crowd filled more than a quarter of the square, which can comfortably hold 10,000 people. Therefore a rough crowd estimate puts Portland's demo crowd between 2,000 and 4,000 people (not the 500 reported). Considering the lack of resources (and expectations) of the handful of Portland organizers, it was a powerfully successful event, many people energized with intelligent insights to offer over the meager bullhorn. This was the largest and most successful impromptu demonstration I've participated in since the Persian Gulf War. A democratic open mike allowed a wide range of diverse people to express mostly articulate and well-thought out analyses of what is happening to democracy in this country, and what actions we must take to get our country back. A woman with blue hair led the crowd in an anti-inaugural oath that vows protection of human and non-human rights for every person, animal and plant on the planet. The radical cheerleaders energized the crowd with hard-hitting chants and jeers and people hung out in the cold for nearly two hours, engaged in community-building as well as movement building as we enter a new era of protest.

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