Bridge dangler inspired by kayaktivists, supporters below
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A protester who dangled from the St. Johns Bridge for 40 hours said he has never done a climb like it before and was scared; but Razz Gormley said he was inspired from supporters on the ground and kayaktivists in the river.
"It was incredibly empowering. It was really inspiring to see that ship be turned around this morning because in a moment like this every second counts. Every second we can delay that ship counts," said Gormley after he descended from his perch beneath the bridge.
The Greenpeace activist got sincere hugs from perfect strangers after coming down on his own after the Fennica passed through.
"That was so inspiring," Gormley said. "When the whole crowd just went out there to try and stop this boat, after some of the climbers were extracted."
Chanting from the sidelines, supporters shouted, "Stop that boat! Stop that boat!"
"You couldn't stop it; it was like the big corporations. You couldn't stop them," said Joan Davis-Brown of Portland.
"There were kayakers in the water right next to it," said one activist as she left Cathedral Park. "There were people dangling from the bridge right next to it. That's inexcusable, reckless behavior, endangerment of life. And it's a shame our law enforcement supported that."
Others were there to support the law enforcement's action.
"A bunch of people blocking a national transportation route," said Stephen Johnson. "This is a protest against jobs, people getting to work on their jobs, and it is going to do absolutely nothing."
"Part of the crowd feels like, Oh we're bummed, it's gone," said Maya Jared, who helped organize the kayaktivists. "But honestly, this has been win after win after win. There have been so many stages of this boat trying to leave. When we started this protest on the water we were hoping to hold this boat for a few hours."
Forty hours later, it finally did leave -- 40 hours Gormley would gladly relive again.
"This is a watershed moment in the history of our species," he said.
Gormley, who is from Boulder, Colorado, said he views this as a victory since it garnered so much attention. He said he is prepared for any consequences from a citation to formal charges.