Portland Patio Pages

Good Afternoon, News: Special Election Tomorrow, Cops Ramp Up Protester Arrests, and Barr Calls BLM "Fascists"

AG Bill Barr has a lot of names for Black Lives Matter members, including fascist and Bolsheviks.
AG Bill Barr has a lot of names for Black Lives Matter members, including "fascist" and "Bolsheviks." Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• First things first: Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 11) is special election day here in Portland in which we will vote on who will fill the currently empty seat on City Council. Here's our endorsement, and this list shows you where you can drop off your ballot. GET TO VOTING, AMERICAN!

• It took Portland Police all of 12 minutes to declare an "unlawful assembly" last night on the 74th evening of protests against cop brutality. A whopping 16 people were arrested, including Demetria Hester, a leader of the non-violent Moms United for Black Lives group and one of the victims of racist harassment in the case against white nationalist Jeremy Christian. The Multnomah County DA office has announced they will decline to prosecute Hester.

• National leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have lauded Portland protesters for keeping up the pressure on local police, and added that "it's critical for Portlanders to continue to engage in the local demonstrations." Our Alex Zielinski has more.

• During Friday night's protest a pipe bomb was thrown into a crowd of protesters, and demonstrators caught video of a mysterious someone quickly leaving the area, who, according to multiple people, "appears to be a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and former Central Intelligence Agency contractor who has worked in Afghanistan." The person has also allegedly made several disparaging remarks on social media about the protesters.

Continue reading »

National Black Lives Matter Organizers Throw Support Behind Portland Protests

Sandy Hudson, speaking at a Monday press conference.
Sandy Hudson, speaking at a Monday press conference. Alex Zielinski

For national leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, Portland has become "ground zero" for the uprising against racist policing.

"This is a revolution moment," said Sandy Hudson, a Black Lives Matter organizer based in Los Angeles, speaking at an afternoon press conference in downtown Portland. "You folks have inspired people across the country. Because they tried to break you."

Hudson has spent the past three days in Portland with Janaya Khan, an international ambassador for Black Lives Matter. At the Monday event hosted by the local group Moms United for Black Lives, they shared their experiences protesting alongside Portlanders and expressed their support of the local movement.

"I was standing out there [yesterday], I was chanting, and I was singing with ya'll, and I see them attack you for it," said Hudson. "Is it any wonder that we have to come out here night after night and say that Black Lives Matter?"

Continue reading »

Tens of Millions of Families Face Evictions in the Next Few Months

Across the US, there are 30 million people at risk of being evicted, and only 173,000 sheriffs to enforce those evictions.
Across the US, there are 30 million people facing potential evictions, and only 173,000 sheriffs to enforce those evictions. nito100/Getty Images

There was a time when America did not exist, and there will be a time when it ends, and every morning when I groggily scroll though headlines I wonder just how close we are to the end.

Today’s doom news comes in the form of a massive housing crisis: Depending on what survey you look at, around a third of us are close to not having a place to live. And while evictions are on hold in some places right now, those moratoriums too will end, at which point 30 million people may be forced to leave their homes.

The only question is … who’s going to make them?

Continue reading »

Q&A: Founders of the Portland Sex Worker Relief Fund

Ponomariova_Maria.jpg
Ponomariova_Maria / GETTY IMAGES

By late July, the Portland Sex Worker Relief Fund had redistributed over $25,000 to Portland sex workers whose income suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mutual aid fund is run by two local sex workers, Saiya and Kat, who requested that we use their first names due to privacy concerns. Saiya launched the fund in early March, a couple weeks before Gov. Kate Brown issued a stay-at-home order.

“Before all of the bars and clubs closed, I felt like there was a really big need for help—especially options for folks that were immunocompromised doing sex work,” Saiya said in a recent interview with the Mercury. “I had heard from folks who had concerns. They were really worried about performing work, especially in-person, high-contact work.”

Saiya began by accepting and redistributing donations through Venmo, Cashapp, and GoFundMe, and her friend Kat started assisting her in late March. Their fund has grown and become more established since then, but its purpose—to assist sex workers who have lost income, particularly those who might not qualify for government unemployment benefits—has stayed the same.

The Mercury recently spoke with Saiya and Kat about how the fund got started, why sex workers are overlooked in unemployment benefits, and the importance of mutual aid.

Continue reading »

The Best Things to Do in Portland This Week: Aug 10-23, 2020

Spoilers: Theres a sophisticated stand-up set at the end of this week courtesy of the one and only Shane Torres!
Spoilers: There's a sophisticated stand-up set at the end of this week courtesy of the one and only Shane Torres!

Just because the weekend is over doesn't mean we're going to stop offering up a whole bunch of awesome things to do for the rest of the week, like a stand-up star coming home to Helium, Sneaker Week hitting its stride, a visit to the Nude Kitchen, and more. And as our Editor-In-Chief likes to say: If you're going to go out: Wash Ya Damn Hands, Wear Ya Damn Mask, hit the links below, and plan your week accordingly!

MULTI-DAY


IN-PERSON EVENTS

Stop Killing Us
A new art exhibition at HOLDING Contemporary focused on Black Portland, Black Portlanders, and the works of Don't Shoot PDX. Works include photos, acrylics, looped documentaries about Oregon's racist history, and memorabilia from Portland's history of protest.

Southern Rites
Gillian Laub's visual study of racism in rural Georgia, Southern Rites, comes to the Oregon Jewish Museum as part of its travels across the country organized by the International Center of Photography.

Continue reading »

Good Morning, News: Portland Police Stifle Protests, Special Session 2.0, and Trump's Weak COVID-19 Relief

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Demetria Hester (on megaphone) was arrested Sunday after weeks of non-violent protesting.
Demetria Hester (on megaphone) was arrested Sunday after weeks of non-violent protesting. Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Good morning, Portland! Let's get you caught up on the weekend's new before jumping into another wonky weel:

- It took Portland police less than 15 minutes last night to declare an "unlawful assembly" at a protest outside of the Portland Police Association (PPA) HQ in North Portland. Cops allege that this was because someone lit a fire on the sidewalk. The evening ended with 16 arrests and repeated stampedes by armored police at demonstrators. One of those arrested: Demetria Hester, a leader of the non-violent Moms United for Black Lives group and one of the victims of racist harassment in the case against white nationalist Jeremy Christian. In an interview last week, Hester told me, “We’re protesting to defund the police and invest in the community... And we haven’t seen that yet. It’s pretty simple, this isn’t over until we achieve that.”

- On Friday night, a group of protesters reported that a pair of men had thrown pipe bombs at them. One protesters chased down a suspected culprit, who was wearing and carrying military-grade tools. Police are investigating this incident.

- As this weekend proved, Portland police are filing the void of violence against protesters left by now-retreated federal officers. That means Mayor Ted Wheeler has returned to demonizing those protesting police brutality (instead of joining Portlanders in clouds of tear gas).

Continue reading »

This Week in Food News: KEX Reopens Dóttir and a New Rooftop Bar, Le Bistro Montage Returns as a Food Cart

KEX hotels Icelandic restaurant Dóttir reopens today!
KEX hotel's Icelandic restaurant Dóttir reopens today! Photo by Aaron Lee

Portland can expect a brief respite from the heat this weekend, so there's no better time to get outside and practice socially distanced dining—be it at a food cart pod, streetside dining, takeout in the park, or a ROOFTOP PATIO. Yes, we've got a rooftop bar opening up for you—although it looks to be very popular. Here's your weekly run down of Portland restaurant news. Let's dig in!

OPENINGS AND SWITCHEROOS

Here's some good news! We didn't hear about any restaurant closings this week! That just leaves us with openings, switcheroos, and news.

Starting tomorrow, Portland's beloved Creole and Southern restaurant Le Bistro Montage—thought lost forever after it closed in June—will be reborn as a food cart. Located at the Hawthorne Asylum food cart pod in SE Portland, Montage ala Cart will offer Po'Boy sandwiches, Jambalaya, and Montage's signature Mac. No word yet on whether foil animals will be on order, but their Instagram has alluded to foil roses.

Continue reading »

Good Afternoon, News: "Fair Weather Wheeler," Oregon's Big COVID Jump, and... Russia's Trying to Interfere with Our Election? WHAAAAT??

What youre about to hear may be shocking, but... RUSSIA IS TRYING TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ELECTION!!
What you're about to hear may be shocking, but... RUSSIA IS TRYING TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ELECTION!! Chris McGrath / Getty News

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• DO NOT MISS the latest installment of Alex Zielinski's Hall Monitor, in which she takes Mayor Wheeler to task for his "fair weather" attitude toward protesters: standing in solidarity with them while the national spotlight is on, and then reverting back to defending the violent actions of local police when it's not.

• Meanwhile... SURPRISE! The same federal officers that teargassed and snatched peaceful protesters off the streets are not only still in town, but they'll probably still be here up until the election.

• In COVID news: The Oregon Health Authority has reported a whopping 423 new positive cases in the past 24 hours, and nine additional deaths. (That's the biggest jump in new cases since July 19.) Okay folks, since its going to be a nice weekend, make doubly sure to follow the Mercury's mantra: WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASKS, AND KEEP YA DAMN DISTANCE!

Continue reading »

Hall Monitor: Fair Weather Wheeler

Mayor Wheeler speaking to protesters on July 22.
Mayor Wheeler speaking to protesters on July 22. Nathan Howard / Getty Images

Hall Monitor is a regular column on issues related to Portland City Hall and its influence on the community it serves.

___


Now that the federal police have retreated from the front lines of Portland’s nightly demonstrations, Mayor Ted Wheeler has returned to demonizing those protesting police brutality.

"This is not advocacy to reform or transform any system," said Wheeler, speaking at a Thursday news conference, where he condemned the previous night’s protest outside the Portland Police Bureau's (PPB) East Precinct, claiming that the demonstrations are no longer about racial justice and police accountability.

“The conversation we are having right now is keeping us from the important work of racial justice, equity and comprehensive and thoughtful reform,” Wheeler said about the protests.

Yet it was just two weeks ago that Wheeler stood among the same group of protesters, inhaling plumes of tear gas and decrying the actions of federal police outside the city’s federal courthouse. It appears that defending his citizens from police brutality is only a priority when it’s not his own police force swinging batons at nonviolent protesters.

When camouflaged federal officers shot tear gas and impact munitions at Portlanders, Wheeler quickly severed PPB’s ties with federal law enforcement agencies and went on national TV shows to decry the feds’ “unconstitutional” tactics, and applaud his city’s uprising against police violence.

But now that the nation’s attention has shifted away from Portland, Wheeler’s back to trusting law enforcement’s incendiary narrative about these demonstrations without considering the experiences of protesters and observers on the ground.

Continue reading »

The Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Aug 7-9, 2020

Get into a good flow for the weekend with this fun (and fuzzy) yoga routine for you and your favorite floofs.
Get into a good flow for the weekend with this fun (and fuzzy) yoga routine for you and your favorite floofs. Oregon Humane Society

Summer 2020 keeps right on moving forward, and even if it starts raining again (it shouldn't, but this is Portland, so who the hell really knows) the events aren't going to stop. It's not like you can "rain out" a livestream, right? Livestreams aren't the only thing on the menu, though: There's in-person stand-up at Helium, brunch bingo on the patio at NEPO, and an Alberta Street Fair "In the Air," as well as unique concert experiences from Björk, The Weeknd, and more. There's more than a few awesome Things to Do this weekend, so hit the links below and plan accordingly!

ALL WEEKEND


Sneaker Week
Sneaker Week PDX promises not only to scratch the itch of committed sneaker heads, but also to buff that itch with a tasteful nubuck. And since a lot of the sneaker-shopping adventures that heads have been getting in lately are internet-based, Sneaker Week's transition from in-person to virtual festival should be as smooth as a fresh-out-the-box pair. The event features talks, workshops, films, and opportunties to build and strengthen the community.

Virtual Kitten Yoga
Oregon Humane Society presents this fun and fuzzy virtual fitness class, guided by instructor Diana Hulet, leading viewers through a flow-styled class open to people (and kitties) of all levels. All proceeds benefit the OHS. 
(Fri-Sat)

Continue reading »

Support the Mercury by Purchasing This Sexy "RESIST" Tiger Tee!

tlogo.jpg
Sloane Leong

HEY GOOD FRIENDS! Are you looking for a way to support the Mercury, show off your sexy progressive values, AND look like a million bucks? Then have we got the T-shirt for you!

Introducing the latest in our extremely popular line of Mercury T-shirts, the "RESIST!" Tiger Tee!

resist.jpg

This vibrant '90s inspired illustration was created by the super talented Sloane Leong, a mixed indigenous cartoonist, artist, and writer who's currently working on the second arc of her sci-fi adventure comic Prism Stalker. Plus her gorgeous new book, A Map to the Sun, has just been released, so CHECK IT OUT!

The Mercury "RESIST!" Tiger Tee is available in four colors (black, white, yellow, and teal), unisex and women's fit, and a wide range of sizes...so you're sure to find one that will look FANTASTIC on you!

Continue reading »

Good Morning, News: PPB Pushes More "Copaganda," Federal Officers Still in Town, and Trump's Backdoor TikTok Ban

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Ill get to this COVID problem in a minute, but I have to deal with the TikTok pandemic first!
"I'll get to this COVID problem in a minute, but I have to deal with the TikTok pandemic first!" Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Interior crocodile alligator. I drive a Chevrolet movie theater. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• On day 70 of Portland protests against systemic police brutality and the killing of Black Americans, around 200 protesters gathered outside the East Precinct where chanting ensued, along with a small garbage can being lit on fire, occasional arguments with neighbors, more overreaction and misinformation by the police, breaking the terms of the temporary restraining order to deny media access, and eventual bull rushing to push the protesters out of the neighborhood.

• Though before the protest even started the Portland Police was engaging in Twitter battles with teenage protesters, and got dragged across the internet for their trouble.

• Despite overwhelming calls for police reform, the PPB and mayor's office remain obstinately resistant to any meaningful change and have called several press conferences this week in an attempt to control the narrative of the protests, incorrectly accusing demonstrators of abandoning the Black Lives Matter movement, being excessively violent, and according to Mayor Wheeler, actually helping Trump get reelected. That's some grade-A desperation right there.

• I'm just going to leave this related headline right here: "Portland police use of force against Black people remained disproportionate in 2019 even as numbers overall declined, report says."

Continue reading »

Good Afternoon, News: The Continuing Danger of Tear Gas, NY AG Sues NRA, and Mayor Wheeler Joins PPB's Propaganda Parade

Mayor Wheeler desperately and unconvincingly trying to convince you that Portland protesters are helping Trump.
Mayor Wheeler desperately and unconvincingly trying to convince you that Portland protesters are helping Trump. City of Portland screen shot

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• The Portland Police and mayor's office have been trying REALLY HARD over the past few days to control the narrative around the city's continuing protests, alternately claiming that the demonstrations have nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement (anyone actually attending these protests know this is untrue), are out of control and excessively violent (they are not), distracting the police from "their real work" (such as dealing with those in mental health crisis, which they have no business doing), and according to Mayor Wheeler today, that the protests are helping Trump get reelected. (I wish they put this much energy into rethinking the police department!)

• Acting DHS Chief (and poster boy for toxic masculinity) Chad "CHAD" Wolf revealed today that federal officers are still in Portland, on standby, and will remain so until he's convinced no one will spray graffiti on the federal courthouse or shake its fence. In response, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon has extended the restraining order against federal officers for two additional weeks, legally stopping them from threatening reporters and legal observers.

• On the heels of our reporting about the unknown health risks attached to the daily teargassing of peaceful protesters by federal officers, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is demanding that AG Bill Barr and dull-witted frat boy Chad "CHAD!" Wolf reveal all the information they have about their potentially very dangerous munitions. Contributor Abe Asher has more.

• And lest we forget, one more time for those in the back: PORTLAND POLICE ARE STILL USING TEAR GAS.

Continue reading »

New Savage Lovecast: Mistress Velvet Commands You...

savagelovecast.jpg

Our opening COVID-19 "sexcess" story is extra special this week. You will never think of Tollhouse cookies the same way again.

Don't you hate it when your brother-in-law steals your underpants, and uses them to jack off? This little sordid story only gets worse.

On the Magnum, meet the dominatrix who forces her clients to read Black feminist theory. Mistress Velvet and Dan discuss performative wokeness, allies vs. accomplices, and the transformative power of S&M among many other things. Mistress Velvet knows her shit. Obey her and listen in.

And a woman and her boyfriend keep breaking the bed! Is there a bed frame out there that can withstand this couple's vigorous rutting?

A snippet:

Continue reading »

NY Attorney General Sues NRA for Fraud, Self-Dealing, and Other Alleged Illegal Conduct

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, on the right, will have to pay back millions if New Yorks attorney general gets her way. Oh yeah, and his organization will be dissolved.
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, on the right, will have to pay back millions if New York's attorney general gets her way. Oh yeah, and his organization will be dissolved. Scott Olson/Getty Images

From the Washington Post:

The chief executive of the National Rifle Association and several top lieutenants engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud to raid the coffers of the powerful gun rights group for personal gain, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the New York attorney general, draining $64 million from the nonprofit in just three years.

That chief executive is Wayne LaPierre, who's been the head of the NRA for 39 years. New York's attorney general is asking "a New York court to force LaPierre and three key deputies to repay NRA members for the ill-gotten funds and inflated salaries that her investigation found they took." She's also calling for LaPierre to be removed from his position, and for the NRA to be dissolved entirely.

Continue reading »