Pushing Back

I appreciate Eugene Weekly reporter Colin Houck’s efforts to keep us informed about right-wing activity in the region (8/8 and 8/15). I was a legal observer for the Aug. 10 Guns, God and Liberty rally at the Free Speech Plaza in Eugene. We’re tasked with monitoring police activity in case they violate our civil rights.

There were no sermons or speeches that day. The left never yielded the plaza to the right. Outnumbered 10-to-one by people chanting — “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.” — the right’s message was drowned out by Stand Up for Racial Justice and the drummers during the two hour standoff.

A helmeted head-butting provocateur was arrested. The police took a hatchet from someone in the crowd. A participant approached me with a hammer in his belt. The well-armed Badger Brotherhood biker club kept its eyes on the scene.

Gun rallies evoke civil war, not civil-minded demonstrations.

As the event ended, I spoke to a fervent but well-mannered petitioner gathering signatures for Oregon Push Back. They want to recall Gov. Kate Brown. He said, “Eugene’s liberal police put me on a terrorist list.”

Is there such a list? If so, is it public? What’s the criteria for inclusion?

Chris Piché