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Palestine protesters disrupt Oregon Democrats' biggest fundraising event of the year

By Morgan Jenson

Pro-Palestine protest disrupts Democratic Party fundraiser. | Fight Back! News/staff

Portland, OR – On April 13, Oregon Democrats arrived in Portland for the annual Wayne Morse Gala, Oregon’s largest democratic fundraising event of the year. When representatives arrived at the Hilton Hotel, they were met with a group of 50 protesters demanding Oregon Democrats stop funding the genocide of Palestinians.

The disruption was organized by the local group PDX for Palestine, which instructed attendees to bring noise makers, pots and pans, and instruments to “Get Loud for Gaza.” This was in response to the most recent spending bill approved by every Oregon Democrat in the U.S. House and Senate that allocated another $3.8 billion to Israel.

Protesters were stationed at both entrances to the hotel for four hours to ensure that all attendees would hear their message to end U.S. aid to Israel. When confronted with the stark reality that, while they enjoyed a nice meal, the children of Gaza would be spending another night hungry, the Democrats and their donors showed no remorse for their actions. Most simply thanked the crowd for coming, while others showed outright contempt. One attendee even went so far as to physically assault a protester while trying to grab their kufiyah from their face.

Lina Aziz, a Palestinian American organizer with PDX for Palestine called out the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party, stating, “We cannot allow [the Democratic Party] to continue to claim the moral high ground while funding ethnic cleansing in Palestine. We cannot allow them to continue to present themselves as champions of social justice while implementing racist policies that harm the very communities they claim to support.”

As the night went on, the crowd grew in size and spirit. In an attempt to keep disruptors outside of the event, hotel security refused entry to attendees with purchased tickets who were deemed too high risk. They were not entirely successful in this attempt, though, and at least one disruption inside the event was able to take place.

Protesters from outside of the event were also able to make their way inside the hotel with a banner that read “Gaza will be your political grave.” They were quickly met by violent hotel security and escorted out by the police. In response, protesters began chanting, “Portland PD, KKK, IDF you’re all the same” as they pounded on the locked doors and windows of the hotel.

The demonstration continued until the end of the gala at 9 p.m. with zero arrests or injuries to protesters. PDX for Palestine organizer Omar Gill closed the event out with a reminder, “We must continue steadfast in our unrest and demand that our government end its aid to Israel! Without the U.S., the occupation will perish!”

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