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Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Indy, Jake, Elwood - get to SW Portland. Stat.
Every once and a while a story comes along that causes me to drop my jaw and spew High Life all over a copy of Willamette Week. So what caused this latest waste of perfectly good Milwaukee suds?
This Saturday, a group of white supremacists will descend on Gabriel Park (across the street from the house I grew up in) for what they're calling a "flyer outreach contest." After a get-together in the park, they'll head into the surrounding neighborhoods to blanket lawns and driveways with hate literature. Judges will waiting on the sidelines with police scanners. The team that generates the most complaints will win a goodie bag filled with DVDs, white-power songs and a 17-inch tall swastika.
A skinhead rally in middle of SW Portland? In this day and age in kind, tolerant, SW Portland? Wha...?
Two counter-demonstrations are in the works and a page on the Portland IMC is loaded with tactics. One poster plans to blast the rallies with hip-hop while BBQ'ing. Others hope to block access to the park and turn the "ghost skins'" leaflets into origami.
Give the number of demonstrators planning to attend, the heavy police presence that will no doubt be on hand and the chance for snow showers this weekend, this has the potential to be really interesting, especially if everyone brings sleds. Despite being a fan of local street protests (see the sidebar), I'm sad to say I won't be able to attend either of the counter rallies. I'm sure it's one of those cases if I were to go, the skinheads won't show. If I don't, a full blown riot will break out in Multnomah Village after a demonstrator, dressed as Indiana Jones, attempts to bullwhip a goose-stepper.
This could be the most surreal Portland protest ever, one ripe with innumerable photo opps, and I'm going to miss it.