PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protesters marched through the streets of downtown Portland Sunday afternoon as they called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The local rally was just one of dozens of marches that were organized across the country. However, the Portland march paid special attention to a hotel connected to Gordon Sondland—a US Ambassador to the Europeans Union, and one of the key players set to testify in Washington in the coming week.
Protesters gathered in Terry Schrunk Plaza around 2 p.m. where they rallied and marched to the Heathman Hotel. Speakers from local grassroots organizations such as Stand on Every Corner PDX and Nasty Women Get Sh-t Done PDX led Sunday’s march.
“Gordon Sondland is a local businessman,” said Kate Sharaf, a leader with Stand on Every Corner PDX, before the rally on Sunday. “He is caught in the very center of the impeachment inquiry, and is a key witness, and is implicated in Trump’s crimes in this developing corruption scandal that we are learning about with Ukraine.”
“We are marching today past Sondland’s Heathman Hotel to tell him clearly and loudly that Oregonians demand he come clean and tell the truth in his testimony next week,” said Sharaf.
Last week, Portland-based company Salt and Straw announced it ended its business relationship with Provenance Hotels, which the Heathman is one of, issuing the following statement:
“After much consideration, we have made a decision to end our wholesale business with Provenance Hotels. We are very thoughtful with our relationships and, after seven years, have determined it is best to go in a different direction.”
Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer, of Oregon, went so far as to call for a boycott of Provenance Hotels on Wednesday, due to the company’s connection to the Ambassador. The US House of Representatives has started looking into a number of text messages from top envoys that provided an account of their work acting as intermediaries for Trump. This was around the time Trump urged Ukraine’s new president to start investigations into a company linked to the son of chief Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden.
Sondland was Trump’s hand-picked Ambassador to the EU. He’s among administration officials being subpoenaed to appear on Capital Hill this Thursday to testify about involvement in the Ukraine. Sondland is expected to tell Congress that a text message that he sent—reassuring another envoy that there was no quid-pro-quo in their interactions with Ukraine—was based solely on what Trump told him.
At the local level, the downtown protest lasted around 2 hours. Organizers said the goal was to have a peaceful and nonviolent event. The live stream of the event can be viewed below: