In downtown Portland at the U.S. federal courthouse protestors gathered to show solidarity with a young activist called before a grand jury hearing. Expressing their disapproval for secret trials, and political intimidation of innocent activists, approximately 50 people wore T-Shirts stating "Stop the Grand Jury" and carried signs. Some of the signs read "FBI=SS", and "No justice just us". Despite the crippling haze of sleepiness there was some cheering and shouts from the crowd. Activists played the drums to raise awareness of the situation.
Unfortunately no flyers or information was on hand to inform pedestrians, and one man merely met confusion when asked what the grand jury was doing. Despite this set back some activists decided to work on printing information for the next event.
Protestors from the Solo auction sale will remember two of our favorite friends who pepper sprayed those gathered there. They were seen at the site of the grand jury standing inside the building and lingering on cell phones. With the exception of all but retired federal marshals calmly patrolling, no other federal agents were outsides the building, at least none who cared what we were doing.
The woman called to testify returned shortly after entering and said "Grand juries are the tools of state oppression, and we're not going to take it". She recounted the story as follows: The grand jury was concerned about letting anyone other than the lawyer and inquired in. They did not want people to try and storm the place and would not allow the "defendant's" mother in. First they spoke with the lawyer and then with the activist and told her there was no need to speak with her at this time. The possibility of being recalled to testify is still open, as it is with the girl's mother who was called in on an earlier date.
After the success, activists lingered. The group of protestors then decided to march in the street blocking traffic and upsetting the upperwardly mobile. Apparently no one received any jaywalking or other tickets and returned to the courthouse safe. At that point (about 10am) I left.