Inauguration Day, Women's March in Portland: What to expect

As Donald Trump prepares to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, thousands of people in Portland are getting ready to protest. 

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As Donald Trump prepares to be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, thousands of people are planning to protest in Portland.

Marches and protests are scheduled throughout the week. It all leads up to Saturday’s Women’s March, when more than 20,000 people are expected to rally on Portland’s streets.

The protests in Oregon will happen simultaneously with similar protests around the country. At least 200,000 people are expected to attend the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

In Portland, the mayor and police bureau said they plan to facilitate peaceful protests but they will not tolerate vandalism or violence.

"We will do our level best to make sure people have the freedom to move around and lawfully protest," said Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman. 

Saturday, Jan. 14: Immigrant rights rally

On Saturday, about 200 people from Portland and other parts of the state rallied at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem to protest president-elect Trump’s stance on immigration.

Organizers of the United for Immigrants Rights March and Rally said, “We must unite to stand up against Trump’s first 100 days of hate.”

Protesters fear Trump's immigration policies

Trump has threatened to defund cities that declare themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. Portland declared itself a sanctuary and city leaders said they are unsure of how much Trump could take away, but the city receives millions of dollars in federal funding for a variety of programs.

Thursday, Jan. 19: Anti-Betsy DeVos Protest

On Thursday afternoon, Portland students walked out of schools and rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square in protest of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for education secretary. DeVos is a supporter of charter schools, which can strip public schools of funding.

The protest was organized by the Portland Student Action Network, a group of high-school students.

Friday: Jan. 20: Student walkout at PSU

Students at Portland State University will take part in a national student strike on Friday, walking out of classes starting at noon. The strike was scheduled to end at 3 p.m.

Students gathered at Smith Memorial Student Union at 1825 Southwest Broadway. So far, a handful of students have pledged to participate on the protest's Facebook page.

Inauguration Day protest

The protests got much bigger Friday evening, as thousands of people marched in Portland after Trump’s inauguration during the "Rise up and resist fascism: Inauguration Day protest."

More: Inauguration Day protest in Portland

Organizers said the peaceful march would “introduce you to the Portland organizations who will be on the front lines in our collective struggle against Trump’s regime.”

The protest was scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square. People in downtown Portland should expect significant traffic delays and road closures.

The organizers did not release a march route and Portland police said they did not applied for a permit. Lead organizer Gregory McKelvey said the rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square would last until 5:30 p.m. and a march will follow. 

The rally was expected to end at 9 p.m. but if recent history is any indicator, it could go much later into the night.

The inauguration day protest is the largest protest scheduled for Friday but Portland police said they counted seven separate demonstrations planned for Jan. 20.

On Friday night, Portland grassroots organizations are also gathering at the Melody Ballroom, where the lineup includes local DJs and bands. The event is called "Join the Resistance! An Inauguration Night of Music & Organizing to Fight the Trump Agenda" and organizers hope to add new members to activist groups.   

"On the dark night of Inauguration, we hope to create a space of hope and resistance, to attract people who have not previously considered themselves activists and recruit them into some of Portland's best grassroots organizations. And to have a great party," said organizer Jeremy O. Simer. 

Saturday, Jan. 21: Women’s March on Portland

The biggest march of the week, and possibly one of the largest ever in Portland, takes place Saturday.

More than 35,000 people have said they will join the Women’s March on Portland, which is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. and starts at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. A pre-march children's event starts at 11 a.m.

At 10 a.m., a separate march against Trump takes place and will end at 11:30 a.m., so participants can join the women's march. 

The women's march will cover a 44-block route, traveling down Naito Parkway, up Jefferson Street, down Southwest 4th Avenue and circling back to Waterfront Park via Southwest Pine Street.

The march is permitted and Portland police have been communicating with the event organizers. 




Organizers said the march represents Portland's diverse community. They released the following statement on the full mission of the march: 

The Women's March on Washington, Portland is aligned with the mission of the national march, which is a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for women’s rights, human rights, immigrant rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all. This is a non-partisan, permitted and peaceful event where we march in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. Oregon and Greater Portland NOW and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette are two of our several sponsors and allies.

The Portland event takes place simultaneously with similar marches around the state and country. 

In Oregon, 1,500 people say they plan on traveling to D.C. to march. 

Women's marches will also take place in Ashland, Astoria, Bend, Eugene, Newport, Salem and Vancouver, Wash.

Historic marches in Portland and D.C.

The events planned for inauguration week in Portland and Washington will likely join a long list of historic marches to take place during tumultuous times.

One of the largest marches in U.S. history was the Million Man March, where black men gathered with civil rights activists in Washington on Oct. 18, 1995. The National Park Service estimated 400,000 people attended the march. Organizers said it was more than 1 million. The Wall Street Journal estimated the real number was about 837,000 people

In Portland, thousands of people marched for five straight nights after Trump’s election in November. The third night was the largest and most raucous, as the largely peaceful protest of 4,000 people turned violent. 

Portland also saw significant protests after police shootings, including the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. More than 1,000 people marched following a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who shot and killed Brown.

The initial Occupy Portland protest in 2011 drew 10,000 people

In 1991, Portland earned the nickname of “Little Beirut” after President George H.W. Bush visited and encountered throngs of demonstrators. A decade later, George W. Bush met a similar crowd.

The Oregonian has a retrospective on some of Portland’s biggest protests, including a march after the assassination of civil-rights activist Medgar Evers in 1963, an anti-police protest in 1970, where dozens of Portland State students were injured in a clash with Portland police officers, and the Shell Oil protest in 2015, where Greenpeace demonstrators hung from the St. Johns Bridge, hanging below colorful flags flying in the wind.  

Published Jan. 12, 2017


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