The ultimate target

The Pioneer Courthouse Square holiday tree is officially up and lit. Thus commences the over-and-under wagering on how long it will take Portland's anarchist set to try to either tear it down or burn it up.

Now normally, one would expect the tree to be up from this night until Monday morning after the New Year's weekend. That's 38 nights.

The fact that it seems likely to happen is a sad statement about the state of our downtown. The tree-lighting ceremony itself was once the target of a terrorist bombing attempt, but never before did we wonder whether a roving band of vandals would tear the thing down or torch it.

Speaking of which –

Let's hope that the avengers of all societal ills leave the tree alone. But if you're betting, I'll take burning and 7 to 14 nights.


  1. Let's not be too hasty condemning the burning of the tree. We could have a new holiday tradition shaping up here.

    1. Look at it this way: It'd be another gig for Pink Martini.

  2. On the 12th day of Christmas my city sent to me
    12 marchers marching
    11 painted slogans
    10 fences falling
    Nine cops a' beating
    Eight cans of tear gas
    Seven dumpsters burning
    Six websites streaming
    Five unmarked vans
    Four statues down
    Three surveillance planes
    Two people shot
    And a mayor who doesn't give a damn.

  3. Unfortunately, the post-script of such an event will follow the same sequence as the previous ones: Few arrests and even fewer prosecutions, local media will still refer to them as "protesters," a tweet from the Mult Co DA about how some organization endorses his no prosecution policy, a limp statement from the Mayor, silence from Hardesty, other electeds qualifying their condemnation how they "respect the right of protest," minimum wage workers and small business owners clean up the mess, the rest of us scratch our heads, seethe and/or mourn the decline of our city and wonder how it got to this point. Rinse, wash, repeat.

    Hoping Mr. McDonald can come up with "Riot Around the Christmas Tree."


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