AWKWARD: Watch Protesters School Sondland at PDX Baggage Claim

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5 mins read
Portlanders Greet Ambassador Sondland at PDX Airport by Reciting the Oath of Office.

Portland Activists Read Sondland the Oath of Office Repeatedly as he Awkwardly Waits for his Baggage

Check it out:


Background: I got a text at 5:11 pm on Tuesday evening from Kate Sharaf, a local leader of Stand On Every Corner PDX. She was coordinating a flash protest at Portland International Airport to “welcome” Gordon Sondland home (he resides in the Portland area). Earlier that day, the EU Ambassador had testified before Congress that he’d finally remembered that there was a quid pro quo arrangement between the Trump Administration and Ukraine.

A real profile in courage.

Sharaf had received a tip that Sondland would be on a flight arriving at 9:45pm. ” I guess our previous protest helped get the word out that we might interested in that type of information.  I was told which flight he was on and that he was wearing a baseball cap.”

The previous protest Sharaf referenced above was on October 13th, when Stand on Every Corner PDX teamed up with the Portland-based and awesomely-named Nasty Women Get Shit Done to hold a rally downtown and march to the Sondland-owned Heathman Hotel. News of the protest went viral:

On Tuesday, because Sondland was already on his flight back to PDX by the time organizers got word of his arrival time, Sharaf had to act fast: “We had just over 5 hours to make a plan, get the word out, and mobilize.  I contacted a few key folks, created a Facebook event, publicized in local activist Facebook and Slack organizing groups, emailed our list, and directly contacted folks I thought might want to come.  We also got the word out to local media.

“Being able to get the word out so quickly really underscored for me the value of all the connections and activist infrastructure that we’ve spent time building – we were able to get the word out quickly and folks were willing to jump into action!”

When asked what her goals were for the protest action, Sharaf said, “We wanted to show up and send a message that Portland is paying attention and expects him to tell the full truth and uphold his oath of office to protect our democracy.  I would be very surprised if his current testimony is the full truth of everything he knows.  Also, since he’s very clearly one of the key Trump cronies who helped carry out this extortion scheme, I thought it was very appropriate that he have to face Portlanders who have been disgusted by his actions and want him to do better.  

“We chanted ‘Gordon Sondland, tell the Truth; Gordon Sondland, we’re watching you’ and read him his Oath of Office, to send that message clearly and help “refresh his recollection” about who he serves and what we expect of him.”

Roughly 20 activists showed up to the airport on very short notice, and were able to birddog Sondland for a solid ten minutes. “Not only did we achieve our goals of sending a message to Sondland, but we helped show the passion and commitment of activists standing up to the Trump regime, demonstrating that the public rejects the corruption of Trump and his cronies. And we felt empowered and exhilarated in the end, ready to keep up the fight for our democracy!”

It was fun to be there with Kate and crew to confront Sondland in person and help spread word. Way to go, Portland!


Follow Stand On Every Corner on Facebook (www.facebook.com/standoneverycornerPDX) or Twitter (@SOECPDX), or sign up for their email list (bit.ly/SOECPDX) to learn of future actions – including weekly corner protests throughout the Portland metro area.

DemWrite Press is edited and curated by Nick Knudsen - a political activist and freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest. Nick has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years as a technical writer, development officer and program director. He has a BA from Cornell and MA from Stanford.

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