PDX Airport Protesters of President Trump's Travel Ban Sing Together: "Imagine There's No Countries"

Elected officials join the ranks of protesters against Trump's executive order.

A second day of protests at Portland International Airport of President Donald Trump's halt on immigration drew a crowd large enough to shut down car traffic at the arrivals gate, an appearance by the mayor, and a very different visit from riot police.

The event showed flashes of both the escalated tensions and camaraderie that have built in this city since Trump's inauguration.

U.S. Sen Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler arrived to show support for the protest. Both Merkley and Bonamici drew wide applause and cheering from the large crowd gathered.

"I have Muslim friends that know more about the constitution than Trump!" said Bonamici, in a fiery speech.

Wheeler received a less enthusiastic greeting from the crowd, with some protesters yelling over him about police use of pepper gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets.

As many as 1,000 protesters met to protest Trump's executive order that halted immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The protest lacked official organizers, and the group moved freely about most of the airport, often coming back together outside the departures check-in counters.

At times, the protest was brimming with fellow-feeling. One protester wheeled in a portable stereo system and the crowd sang along John Lennon's song "Imagine." One man brought a stack of pizzas to hand out to the crowd, and people ate them with one hand while holding a protest sign with the other.

One protester, Salam Masalmeh, was there because her Syrian grandparents were waiting to get into the U.S. Masalmeh said they were green card holders, but if they tried to enter the country, they'd be deported to Syria.

"I think it's really great to see these people support minorities—even if it doesn't affect them personally they stand up for their neighbor," Masalmeh said. "It's actually one of the greatest things I've ever seen."

The protest grew tense when a small group of counter-protesters began shouting at the group. After several screaming matches with various crowd members over the course of the afternoon, one counter-protester was knocked unconscious in a scuffle.

Officers guarded the man, then a line of riot police appeared, dispersing the crowd. But once the man who'd been punched was back to his feet and removed, the riot police left.

The Port of Portland cordoned off the upper deck to keep traffic clear from the protests. This caused some delays for commuters.

One group of young men visiting Portland from Sacramento said their check-in points had been moved to accommodate the protest. The demonstration "has gotten in the way a little bit, we had to reroute our checkpoints," said one of the men, Edward Ray. "There was a lot of traffic coming into the airport, too."

Although they didn't describe themselves as Trump supporters, they felt Trump travel ban was reasonable.

"Trump doesn't really hate everyone but whites," said Frederick Brinkman. "He just wants everyone to be here legally."

Another traveler, whose name WW is withholding, said he was frightened by the ban, because he's a Mexican immigrant.

He was relieved upon landing in Portland to find such a large crowd protesting. "I'm always proud of the USA, and I'm proud to live here because of the people," he said. "Having a sanctuary city like Portland, I feel like I'm at home."