First, let us have a moment of silence for the victims of Black Friday: 20 people were injured in a Los Angeles WalMart after a woman hunting for a discounted X-Box 360 let loose with pepper spray. There have also been three reported Black Friday shootings around the country.
In Portland, the first of several planned Black Friday protests have been far more safe and peaceful than the midnight scene at WalMart. A traditional Fur Free Friday march drew about 200 protesters this morning to the downtown Nordstrom's. Flanked by a rather small police presence, the march took to the streets, heading around downtown Portland chanting about the nastiness of fur: "Gassing! Trapping! And electrocution!"
At noon, a crowd of 20-30 people gathered in Pioneer Square and sang some Occupy Black Friday Christmas carols. "Oh hark, the TV channels sing! Buy the biggest things you can in stores, deep in debt, we'll make you poor!"
At about 12:30, a mysterious crowd of witches briefly joined the group? Which march were they part of? A witch march, was my best guess.
The group of 20 individuals holding signs about healing greed wouldn't say anything beyond that they were part of an art project, and the sage the appeared to be burning in a cast iron cauldron was actually "dragon's blood." They briefly encircled the giant holiday tree set up in Pioneer Square (for lighting tonight!) and then gradually dissipated.
An action is planned for about 2:30 at Lloyd Center—I'll head over there and update this afternoon.