As usual, the peace community in Portland reacted quickly to Obama's disappointing announcement that he will send additional troops to Afghanistan. Last evening I attended a peace rally in front of the federal building and quit counting when I got to 400 people. The rally was sponsored by the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (http://www.pprc.org/) and co sponsored by more than thirty other organizations including Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Portland Code Pink, Freedom Socialist Party, International Socialist Organization, Portland War Resisters League, the Military and Draft Counseling Project, Oregon Community of War Tax Resistance, Whitefeather Peace House, Living Earth, Peace Voice, Progressive Democrats of Oregon, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Vancouver for Peace, Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the Peace Action Committee of First Unitarian Church, Linn-Benton Chapter and Portland Metro Chapter of the Pacific Green Party, Veterans for Peace Chapter 132 (Corvallis), Portland Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, and the Alliance for Democracy (Portland chapter).
The police didn't even bother to show up, they know we aren't pistol-packing wingnuts. There were the usual range of signs, but very depressing this time to see them directed at our new Democratic President, the person who filled us with hope that things would change. One sign said, "the Honeymoon is over," and another had a picture of Obama next to the other foolish war escalator, Lyndon Johnson.
A video of the rally can be seen at the Portland Indymedia site: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/12/395844.shtml