About a dozen people showed up today at the Multnomah County Justice Center to support a PDX Rising Tide activist who on Thursday locked himself to a railroad bridge as part of the huge and crazy #ShellNO protest.
Jonah Majure is charged with one count of first-degree trespass for sneaking on to the bridge and using a u-lock to affix himself to the bridge by his damn neck.
Majure appeared with his attorney, Ben Andersen, and entered a not guilty plea (standard for an arraignment). He's scheduled for his next court appearance on Aug. 26 at 9 a.m.
After his appearance, Majure talked a little about sneaking on to the bridge, which had been under heavy police patrol for days due to the protest.
"We'd tried to get up there by using a hilarious distraction, but didn't make it. Then I tried in the dark where I was crawling through the bushes and the police were actively looking for me," he says. "Yesterday, things were getting pretty intense at the St. Johns Bridge, so we just split and thought maybe we could do it."
Majure locked himself on the southeast side of the bridge and unfurled a big banner sporting a Shell logo and a large middle finger. He says he got onto the railroad bridge unseen and started toward the place he wanted to lock himself up. There were helicopters overhead, but no one seemed to notice him.
"The best moment was when I got myself locked up and I saw a Mulnomah County Sheriff's deputy walking across the bridge who hadn't noticed me yet," Majure says. "I had to kinda wave up at him and say 'hi' and I could see him be like, 'aw, damn.'"
Andersen says one possibility for Majure's defense is that "there's an evil that he's trying to fight that's bigger than the evil he's accused of."
Majure says that even though the Fennica escaped Portland, the protest and blockade were a resounding success.
"It's a huge victory for direct action around the world," he says. "It was amazing the number of people who came out with their families in support and also the number of people who thought about what was going on and decided this was a cause they would be willing to be arrested for."
Several local news outlets were present following Majure's arraignment, but he was most excited about one particular shout out he got: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
"My parents probably aren't the most happy with me right now," he says. "But after being on the Rachel Maddow show maybe they'll be a little less mad at me."