Progressive Portland turned out in force — there were over a thousand people there, according to the monopoly newspaper The Oregonian (which deserves credit for the picture) — this evening in a rally in support of the people of Ferguson, Missouri, who saw one of their most promising sons killed and left for four hours lying on a public street, and then witnessed overwhelming lethal force assembled to intimidate peaceful protesters. The Green Party presence at the rally is visible, but it’s just a part of my head near the edge of the picture.
I saw Joe Walsh and Jamie Partridge from a distance, and David Delk to talk to. Richard, who marches with us at the Friday night Pioneer Courthouse Square antiwar witness, asked me what the police would do, and I predicted, incorrectly, that our attempt to block traffic would precipitate arrests. As is evident from the picture, I was wrong.
Update 30 November: I saw Richard as usual Friday and we spoke at about 5:20 while marching. Strangely, he wanted to know whether I had attended this demonstration. When you wonder to whom the First of the Beatitudes applies — think of Richard.
Update 15 December: The murder witness was interviewed twice, and his story was essentially identical:
He was consistent on many of the broader points:
• The two went to the store to buy cigarillos so they could smoke marijuana. At the store, Brown nonchalantly stole several cigarillos and left the store.
• Johnson was worried about the police after the theft, but Brown didn’t seem fazed, even when Wilson pulled up to them several blocks from the store and told them to “get the f*** on the sidewalk.” Wilson pulled off but quickly reversed and tried to exit his car, but the car door bounced off of Brown and Johnson.
• Wilson grabbed Brown by the neck, and the two engaged in a sort of tug of war before Wilson twice threatened to shoot and fired, hitting Brown, before finishing the second threat. Brown and Johnson took off running and Wilson didn’t immediately pursue them.
• Johnson hid by a vehicle as Wilson exited his vehicle, pursued Brown and fired once, prompting Brown to turn around with his hands up in surrender. Wilson then fired a volley of shots. Brown hit the ground.
The discrepancies in Johnson’s stories were minor and perhaps a product of the questions he was asked.