Saturday, July 18, 2020

weird in a good way

I consider myself lucky that I have visited, at some time or other in my life, all 50 U.S. states.  As I neared that “50th”, I purposely chose a #50 that I was looking forward to seeing, rather than settling for, say, a North Dakota.   It was Oregon.  I had people to see there — relatives and friends — on the Oregon Coast and in Portland, and the state’s reputation for its beauty, its progressiveness, and alternative lifestyles held some appeal for me.

It was October 2011.  The Coast was indeed beautiful, and there was much happening in the city of Portland.  Jerry and I happened to be there during the “Occupy Movement” that started as Occupy Wall Street in New York City and gradually sprouted out across the country.  Occupy Portland was one of the largest and most active of the protests, having taken over several blocks of downtown Portland.  A wide variety of human beings had encamped there over several weeks and were proudly representing Portland’s unofficial city motto — “Keep Portland Weird”.  Jerry and I had been participating in Occupy Minneapolis, and it was fun to see the contrast.  The Occupy Movement was peaceful and made a valid statement.

Fast-forward to Portland, Oregon right now.  In the last few days, peaceful protestors in that city have been violently attacked by unidentifiable federal or military agents in combat gear.  Apparently, Drumpt is attempting to make an example of Portland, to see what he can get away with in repressing alternative political expression.  Pay attention.  This is real and repulsive.  As my nephew Jeff said this morning, “The fascism is no longer hidden.”....

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