At first glance, the marches didn't have much in common.
The first thing anybody noticed about the two biggest demonstrations in the streets of Portland during President Donald Trump's inauguration weekend were the contrasts. The first, on Jan. 20, began at dusk, was immediately confronted by a militarized Portland Police Bureau, and ended in pepper gas and screams. The second—the Women's March on Portland held Jan. 21—was a joyous daylight parade, sanctioned by city officials and embraced (sometimes literally) by cops, and felt less like a protest than a progressive party. In the hours that followed, observers, including this newspaper, would try to define the events by those differences.
But take another view. Look at the marches from the perspective of the paranoid personality cult inside a White House that covets a mandate from the American people.
Portland's protests, in their rage and numbers, send the same message: You won't get away with this.
However long this administration lasts, it matters that Trump knows he can never set foot inside this city. The significance is more than symbolic. Portland's hostility denies Trump the adoration he seeks, and gives his opponents the political capital to stop him. Despotism triumphs only when a nation decides it's inevitable. Portlanders are proving they will never accept that. Our democracy depends on adversaries—obstructionist, contrarian and noisy—getting in the way of traffic and tyranny.
Protesting is a mess. God bless it.
Welcome to Reasons to Love Portland 2017
1. Portland Is Telling Donald Trump That He Won't Get Away With This
2. We're Rich! Portland Has The Nation's Fastest Growing GDP
3. Here's How Far Portlanders Have Ridden in the First Six Months of BikeTown
4. We're Very Happy That Portland Bartenders Can Finally Drink on The Job.
5. When the Snow Hit, Portlanders Saved Lives By Volunteering at Homeless Shelters
6. At Long Last, Portland Has The Kinky Coffee Shop It's Needed
7. A Selected List of All Portland's Recent Number 1 Rankings
8. Move Over PCT: You'll Soon Be Able to Mountain Bike From Washington to California
9. Oregon Has The Nation's Cheapest Weed. Thank God.
10. This is the Best Ski Season Mount Hood Has Had Since Obama Was a Senator
11. Nobody Snowdays Harder Than Portland
12. Portland Finally Has Architecture Worth Arguing About
13. Check Out This Crazy New Recording Studio in a Former Library in Deep Southeast
14. Weed Delivery Will Begin in Portland Any Day Now
15. In Portland, You Never, Ever Need To Call Domino's
16. Portland Is Home to the Most Liberal College in America. No, Not That One.
17. There's A Forgotten Wonder In Oregon City. It'll Soon Be Revealed
18. Portland's Blazers Bootleg T-Shirts Are Lit
19. Portland is Metal AF
20. ILOVEMAKONNEN Moved To Portland. No, For Real
21. Sorry, Donald, We Won't Help You Deport Our Neighbors.
22. Portland Now Has a Patriarchy-Free Social Club and Workspace
23. Oregon is the New Truffle King of the World
24. Check Out These Photos of the Winter Light Festival
25. In Portland, You Can See Every Movie Nominated For an Oscar in the Theater
26. Portland Art Museum is Tapping into the Legacy of Arguably Oregon's Greatest Artist
27. Yes, Portland Has More Pinball Machines Than New York and Los Angeles
28. Portland Has Vegan Everything. A Selected List.
29. In Portland, Dive Bars Never Really Die