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Who Were the Teabagging Protesters downtown last night?!

Al Gore calls out the astroturf protesters, who numbered in the hundreds, it seemed, outside Keller Auditorium and in the park just west of it.

I have never seen a fabri-protest before, but this was wild, complete with a band playing supposed Patriotic music (heard some tune about "remember the twin towers"...not my idea of patriotism!) on a bandstage, and vendors selling AFP and Teabagger T-shirts.

Can we find out who poured the money into the staging of protests of Al Gore and his message about Global Warming, and perhaps use the courts to do so?

This is a stain on Portland that should not resurface!!
From the Oregonian liveblogging of the event...

 link to www.oregonlive.com

9:10 p.m.

Over an hour into his speech, which largely follows the structure of his book, Gore addressed the protests that preceded his arrival at Keller.

"They sent a professional, so-called Astroturf organizer from Washington D.C. to come out here to Portland," he said. "This group is financed by the single largest private energy interest in the United States, Koch Industries."

The group he is referring to, Americans for Prosperity, says it has 700,000 members in 50 states.

The site sourcewatch.org has additional information on the group's funding.

[...]

7:25 p.m.

It's a few minutes before the former vice president is expected to begin speaking, and outside of the Keller the rallies and protests are in full swing.

On top of the Ira Keller Fountain, a rally sponsored by the group Americans for Prosperity, which opposes cap and trade regulation to limit greenhouse gasses, features a full band on an elevated stage.

Several hundred people are listening to speeches portraying climate change as a fraudulent hoax meant to limit freedoms. There are people dressed as polar bears and in American revolutionary garb.

[...]

Here's an account the protests from The Oregonian's Aimee Green:

Protestors marched, hollered and waved signs outside the auditorium. Scores supported Gore. Many others said Gore was misguided, and his proposals would devastate the U.S. economy without scientific proof that human activity was causing climate change. Others debated global warming altogether.

"The number one emitter of hot air is Al Gore," said Tim Phillips, the national president of Americans for Prosperity, to a crowd of about 200 people. Phillips said that a strategy that calls for government-imposed limits on pollution but allows companies to buy credits if their emissions exceed limits - also known as "cap and trade" - will translate to lost jobs and higher energy prices.

"The folks behind you want $8-a-gallon gas," Phillips said, referring to Gore supporters.

As the crowd cheered Phillips, Lindsay Epstein of Southeast Portland shook her head in disbelief that so many people didn't believe climate change was underway. And those who believed it was, didn't believe science had proven that humans were causing it.

"Why are there so many of them?" Epstein asked. "This is Portland. We're supposed to be green. ...This is very upsetting."

As people with tickets to Gore's speech filed inside, several dozen people yelled "Al Gore Lies!" and "No cap and trade!"

But not everyone showed up to debate Gore's message. A woman representing PETA and wearing nothing but high heels, underpants, pasties and body paint urged Gore to go vegetarian.

-- Matthew Preusch