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Thursday, January 20, 2005
Blowtorch + gas pump = bad idea
Today was Inauguration Day and how did between 2,000 and 5,000 citizens of the People's Republic of Portland celebrate? Was it by donning $30,0000 dresses and throwing a multi-million dollar, self-congratulatory gala, leaving city hall to pick up the tab? No, nothing like that. Instead they chained themselves to gas pumps at the Chevron on SW Columbia.
While the inauguration didn't draw the sort of crowds that clogged streets during 2003's free-for-alls, it at least sounded like a doozy. As is typical of these events, the Burnside Bridge was shut down, all be it briefly, by protesters blocking traffic. Same ol', same ol'.
However, according to Indy Media, which always makes up for a lack of legitimacy and adherences to grammar with fun, nitty-gritty details the major media players never report on, around 11:30 AM twenty others stormed into KATU. They were there to deliver a press statement that was promptly ripped up by a staff member in a show of disdain. After a brief confrontation, KATU employees attempted to eject the demonstrators from the building as police and news van from other affiliates rolled up.
But the highlight of the day came when another group invaded a downtown gas station. Around 7:30 PM this evening, two women chained themselves to a pump to protest the war in Iraq as a hundred others looked on. PPD quickly arrived on the scene and, take this next bit with a raised eyebrow covered in a grain of salt, apparently attempted to remove their locks with a blowtorch. Sometime later they decided a pair of bolt cutters might be the wiser choice.
Oh, how I love this city. Let me count the ways...