It’s been a long week, and I’ve felt kicked in the gut most days. While demonstrations alone won’t change anything, they are part of the tool box. So I’ve chosen several out of the multiple possibilities in Portland, OR.
It started with the rally against Fascism on inauguration day.
I didn’t stay for the whole because I also wanted to go to the Ford Gallery’s opening of “Divided We Stand,” artists’ reactions to the election. I didn’t take any photos there because I wasn’t sure of copyright restrictions.
Then Saturday was a two march day. First the Jobs with Justice rally. Though it supported immigrants, workers and single-payer healthcare, I photographed different signs.
That rally preceded the women’s march and marched as a group to join up with the women.
Newspapers are reporting the attendance at Portland’s Women’s March was around 100,000. I met my friends about two blocks from the stage. There were so many people that it seemed useless to try to get closer.
Only the news-helicopter video shows the size of the crowd. People moved too quickly for me to get detailed photos of their signs, though some were witty. This was on the main route after I’d been on two overflow streets.Yes, it was raining. That didn’t feel so bad after I read of the people above the Arctic Circle out where the temp was -51.
Then Friday began the next round when Credo orchestrated a rally against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Senator Jeff Merkley, one speaker, was going to deliver Credo’s 1.4 million signatures in opposition to her confirmation. He graded her performance at the hearing as F on all points, including oblivion to the Students with Disabilities Act. To highlight that one, a graduate special-needs student spoke of the importance of schooling with her peers. Other objections included DeVos’ dependence on private schools without oversight in Michigan to the detriment of quality. Maybe you can read others on the poster.
Saturday followed. I selected two from the available options. First was the March for Justice and Equality.
People have a way of ruining a photo’s composition. The obliterated phrase to replace “again” is “for once.” My friend and I marched till the group got about a block ahead of us, then we took a street car to the Stand with Standing Rock event.
This was led by Native elders. One speaker, Grandma Addie, wrapped in the green and brown blanket–last photo, reminded us of all the points in our lives marked by water and had us chanting, Water is the First Medicine. She asked us to thank water every time we saw it as in crossing a river or used it as in the shower. She and another elder speaking were in their 90s. She mentioned there being five living generations of her family. Several speakers reminded us that decisions should be made to benefit ourselves and seven generations.
Several spoke via phone, including an onsite report from Digital Smoke Signalsand Winona LaDuke. Songs and drumming alternated with speeches. There was also a round dance. People formed two circles and greeted everyone as they moved in opposite directions.
Perhaps next week I’ll have time to sew.