A Portland Rally to Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge

At 4:00 PM on June 26th, protesters gathered at Terry Schrunk Plaza to demand that Governor John Kitzhaber take a stand against Nestlé’s plans to bottle water taken from the Oregon city of Cascade Locks. There was music, a number of activities for younger-aged participants and speakers included both Barbara Willer, a former Multnomah County District 2 Commissioner, as well as Terry Swier, former President and current board member of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation.

Protesters that didn’t bring their own signs were given spares as they settled on the steps of Terry Schrunk Plaza.

Portland’s chapter of the Raging Grannies, an activist group, sang songs during the opening minutes of the protest.

A few protesters displayed a blue banner to get their message across.

By the end of the protest, the “Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge” banner was covered in hand-written personal messages.

In her speech, Barbara Willer said that “We don’t have money to waste on bottled water” in regard to the impact that Nestlé’s business venture would have on the Oregon economy.

Speaking on behalf of Michigan citizens that had experienced a similar move by Nestlé, Terry Swier stated that “[the corporation] has violated our lives directly and indirectly” and later commented that “Nestlé fights to get what it wants.”

Supporters of the rally sat at attention as the speakers expressed their views.

One of the focal points of the rally was a shared opinion that Governor Kitzhaber had not done enough to stop Nestlé from getting water from the gorge by means of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

After the speakers were finished, ralliers amassed behind the banner and thrust their signs into the air.

At the rally’s conclusion, the Cedro Willie Band performed a few songs in support of the cause.