The scene in Portland, Oregon has been very busy lately. A great many people are concerned about a great many issues, the two foremost being Oregon's 800 million dollar budget shortfall; and the pending war, or whatever it is.
Luckily, Oregon has the Students Activist Alliance, a group of high school students that aren't about to take either one of these issues lying down. Yes, Portland, the infamous Little Beirut, is currently being led in politics by a bunch of seventeen year old kids. But what well organized and energetic kids they are! After a rally in Tom McCall Waterfront Park where they threw various items into a coffin representing the death of Public Education, they took to marching through the streets of Portland. This was a different crowd then the peace march of several weeks ago. Although it wasn't more radical, really, or more destructive, it was younger, and very energetic. As could be evidenced by the improvisation at the end of the march, where the students marched into City Hall and changed until Portland's Mayor, Vera Katz, came down and tried to answer our questions. Several members of the crowd heckled the mayor, trying to make her look stupid, which was unfortunate because she was doing very well at that without help.
Despite the fact that, as far as I know, the marchers had no permit, the Police still decided to escort them and not hinder their marches, perhaps because tear gassing high school students complaining about a lack of schools would not be a politic move.
So, the students of Portland, Oregon; if no one else, are making a strong statement about their future, and will probably continue to do so until things are settled reasonably.