greenpeace visits portland & hangs around for a day
“There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning!” ―Abbie Hoffman
“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
I spend the winters in Antibes, France, a small town on the French Riviera. Not far from Antibes is the smaller coastal town Golf-Juan where the King of Saudi Arabia owns a villa on the water front with access to a public beach.
Recently, the king and his entourage decided to spend three weeks there. A summer vacation it was to be. For security reasons, he closed off the public beach and without a permit built a temporary scaffolding to the beach. Mistake.
Needless to say his actions did not go unnoticed. Petitions were signed. Les citoyens ne l’ont pas accueilli avec de grandes manifestations d’amitié. Non, pas de tout.
The French will forcefully take sides, as the United States discovered during the months leading to the invasion of Iraq. In our own history we have learned that neutrality helps the oppressor but seldom the victim, and that one’s silence will encourage the tormentor but seldom the tormented.
In the earlier months before the invasion of Iraq, residents of Portland protested. Today we have Black Lives Matter supporters in the streets. Recently, we woke to discover that during the night Greenpeace had paid us a visit. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
Thirteen swung over the St Johns Bridge and proclaimed they wanted to stop the drilling in the arctic. An icebreaker that would help in that effort was in Portland, being repaired, and was soon to leave that same day.
It was a glorious site. Banners fluttering. Kayaks in the water to support those thirteen who dangled above them. Families brought their children to watch. I heard Bob Marley singing. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
The news crews were there lining the bank of the Willamette River. Their vans with antennas were parked nearby, waiting to transmit the latest developments. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
The park under the St. Johns Bridge is called Cathedral Park. The supports of the bridge form arches that are similar to what one would see in churches. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)