A group of impeachment demonstrators met outside Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Portland office today for the second of their weekly vigils. The group of 30-35 enthusiastic activists, brought together initially by the call of Lonevet, was double the number who massed last Thursday, an indication that the local impeachment movement is picking up steam.
But this time they were met by a "counter-demonstration" of sorts. The self-identified owner of the building and three security personnel, after first vainly attempting to locate "the leader" of the group, claimed that the demonstrators were illegally blocking the sidewalk outside 729 NE Oregon St., the site of Blumenauer's office.
They appeared to be surprised when a copy of the U.S. Constitution (a document of some relevance in America at one time) was offered to them for their perusal, and when a lecture was delivered to them on Portland statutes which protect the right to assemble there. After continuing to harrass the protesters, "the owner" and his posse were advised that they should "call the cops if you think we're doing something illegal," which they did.
The two policemen who responded were polite but appeared to be confused about the issues involved. After speaking to some of the demonstrators, they huddled with the security personnel for some time before departing with a third policeman.
The anger of the security personnel was obvious following the failure of the police to arrest or cite; one of them said, "Fuck you," to someone who took a photo documenting the fact that security was the one "blocking" sidewalk traffic.
The event was marked by impeachment-messaged helium balloons, colorful signs and more colorful people. Letters requesting a debate with Blumenauer were delivered to his office personnel. One letter suggested that a pig wearing a bow tie and a bike helmet would take Earl's place in the debate if he decided not to attend, with the expectation that the pig will offer more intelligent reasons for not impeaching than Blumenauer himself has offered in the past.
The question is: Who was responsible for the attempt to interfere with this protest? If Blumenauer was not involved, then he should act immediately to protect the right of Portland citizens to legally assemble in the future.
And if Blumenauer is not a tool of the right wing of the left side of the single corporate party, he will IMPEACH.