PORTLAND -- Hours before former Vice President Al Gore was scheduled to speak at Keller Auditorium Wednesday, someone sprayed graffiti on the downtown Portland building.
The graffiti had messages that appeared to target Gore's environmental views. The steps of the auditorium were tagged with this message Change the system not your light bulbs. The front of the building was spray-painted Don't buy false solutions and the side of the building read Climate justice not CO2 trading in large black lettering.
It was unclear who tagged the building. Portland Police officers were investigating and called out a crew which had the graffiti erased from the building by 11 a.m., long before the former Vice President's arrival.
But at least two groups planned on protesting Gore's visit. PETA said it would confront Gore Wednesday, before his environmental speech called Our Choice -- a call to action against global warming. The group said the former Vice President should be a vegetarian because eating meat contributes to global warming.
Another group called Americans For Prosperity also planned to hold an event criticizing Gore's global warming views.
Gore's speech at Keller Auditorium was scheduled for 7:30 p.m Wednesday. On Thursday, the former Vice President was scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Democrat Bill Bradbury's campaign for governor. That event will start at 10:30 a.m. in North Portland.
Officials with the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, which operates the Keller Auditorium, were concerned by the graffiti and responded quickly.
We are extremely disappointed that anyone would deface a community treasure like Keller Auditorium. The prompt response by Portland Police is greatly appreciated and we are also grateful for the assistance provided by Portland Clean & Safe to successfully remove the graffiti, a statement from PCPAsaid.