One gathering, at the park itself, prepared to directly confront the Tualatin Valley Skins who had announced in December that they would be at the park on this date in order to distribute literature. The white power recruiting drive, failed to materialize. This gathering drew in about 350 people, and finished off with a rally which perservered despite occasional rain and hail showers.|
Another group met at the Multnomah Center, about a mile away from Gabriel Park. This Unity Rally, as it was called, drew a crowd in excess of a 1000 people, I would estimate. The main hall where the speakers and music were located overflowed even before the event began. An gymnasium adjacent to the hall also was filled to capacity, and people were standing, walking, milling around seeking to find a place from which to participate in the event. I'm certain a fair amount of people left, and perhaps many others had such difficulty parking that they too were unable to attend.
The Multnomah Center event featured numerous speakers, including the new mayor Tom Potter and County Commissioner Serena Cruz, ministers and members of minority communities, as well as a few musical interludes. Each event provided people the opportunity to protest racism and hate in a manner more in harmony with their own temperament and philosophy. Both sought to defend the neighborhood from invasion and spoke out for diversity of culture, race and religion. Whether in your face, or at a rally celebrating diversity with strong words and music, the community gathered together in their different ways and stood vocal and defiant against racism and hatred.
I've provided a few pictures, from both gatherings, and include an audio file of about 14 minutes from the the end of the Gabriel Park rally. Hopefully, I can post up some audio of the Multnomah Center event in the near future.
Gabriel Park Audio