Joey Gibson Visits Occupy ICE... and Leaves Occupy ICE

Joey Gibson talks to a Occupy ICE advocate.
Joey Gibson talks to a Occupy ICE advocate. Alex Zielinski

The news that Joey Gibson—leader of Vancouver alt-right group Patriot Prayer and Washington candidate for US Senate—was heading to Portland's Occupy ICE camp this evening came as a surprise to both activists and the city. In fact, his appearance inspired Mayor Ted Wheeler to deploy Portland police officers to the Southwest Waterfront camp for the first time since the protest camp set up shop in mid-June.

But Gibson's visit nearly ended as quickly as it began. Gibson and his small Vancouver posse appeared around 6 pm to "get together, drop the fists... and exchange ideologies," according to his Facebook video posted earlier in the day.

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Joey Gibson Plans to Visit Occupy ICE PDX; Activists Say They Won't Take the Bait

Joey Gibson in 2017
Joey Gibson in 2017 Doug Brown

UPDATE (6:02 PM): Portland Police will have officers in the area during Joey Gibson's visit.


ORIGINAL POST: Right wing rabble-rouser/Washington Senate candidate Joey Gibson says he'll be dropping by the Occupy ICE PDX protest this evening, seemingly to converse with protesters and learn about civil disobedience. However, occupiers aren't planning on taking the bait.

"I'm just so curious about what's going down there," Gibson said in a Facebook Live video that came out today.

Gibson's political organization Patriot Prayer is known for "freedom marches" in Portland that have drawn white supremacists, such as alleged MAX stabber Jeremy Christian.

"If you're down there [at the Occupy ICE protest] and hear that I'm coming, don't freak out," Gibson says, adding that he's bringing a small group and they don't "plan on being attacked."

Gibson claims to be interested in coalition building, referring to some of the Occupy protesters as libertarians. "These aren't all communists... some of them hate Antifa," he says, perhaps not realizing the large number of anti-fascist signs he'll be seeing at the protest site. "There's just tons of different groups and ideologies [there]. It's good to get together, drop the fists... and exchange ideologies," he said.

In the video, he adds that he's "extremely interested in civil disobedience," saying he might apply what he learns from occupiers to his future protests in favor of the second amendment.

Gibson's views on ICE are a little unclear from the video. Though he mentions he despises the government and many federal agencies, he noted that a secure border is important to him.

Occupy ICE PDX has already responded on Facebook: "We have unwelcome guests coming to visit camp today," the post says. "We intend to remain strategically chill. As evidenced by Portland Police's collaboration with DHS and Patriot Prayer at their last permitted melee, we should never expect assistance or protection from city or state forces."

When Gibson arrives at the camp tonight, Occupiers plan to greet him with "banners, music, signs, bubbles, vuvuzelas, and MASSIVE indifference to [his] presence."


Genevieve Hudson’s Fierce Debut Finds a Fitting Home at Future Tense Books

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(FUTURE TENSE BOOKS)

It makes perfect sense that Genevieve Hudson’s fierce collection of short stories, Pretend We Live Here, found a home at Future Tense Books. Previous releases from the Portland small press (like Wish You Were Me by Myriam Gurba and Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz) indicate that editor and publisher Kevin Sampsell takes pride in publishing works that offer a sideways perspective. Hudson’s stories are of the same mold, and she reveals that even familiar objects and scenarios have strange, dark-sided contours.

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King Princess Subverts the Status Quo of Pop

KING PRINCESS Sat 7/21 Doug Fir
KING PRINCESS Sat 7/21 Doug Fir Clare Gillen

Like the name suggests, King Princess (AKA Mikaela Straus) makes music that plays with gender and artfully subverts the status quo of mainstream pop. In February the 19-year-old genderqueer singer/songwriter and producer dropped her debut single “1950,” a song inspired by the lesbian love story in Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt (which was recently adapted with the film Carol). “Queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms,” Straus explained to The Line of Best Fit. “I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history.”

With more than 108 million Spotify streams, “1950” is one of the biggest pop hits of the year, and for good reason—it’s an update on the old-school torch song, and finds Straus (who played every instrument on the track herself) struggling like a levee to hold back her surging desire and devotion. “I’ll wait for you, I’ll pray/I will keep on waiting for your love,” she sings in the chorus over patient finger-snaps, swoony backing vocals, and crackling, synth-heavy production, her voice fluttering over the last word like even the thought of reciprocation is about to make her melt.

Straus released her debut EP Make My Bed in June, and between her falsetto delivery of the bedroom jam “Holy” and the combustible catharsis of “Talia” (a heartbroken sequel to “1950”), it’s proof that the greatness of her breakthrough single wasn’t an isolated incident. Within King Princess’ domain (which she rules “with the velvet tongue”), queer romance is the norm; she recently told Them that “it’s very difficult [to be] stuck in, like, a vortex of straight shit.” Make My Bed escapes that hetero vortex with songs that are catchy (and gay) as hell. Straus has sold out nearly every show on her current tour, including tonight’s stop at the Doug Fir, which is a fraction the size of the venues she’ll probably play on future visits.


The Week in Food News: Nostalgia Burgers, Coffee Shop Tacos, and CBD Lattes

Either/Or
Either/Or Mercury Staff

This last week was a busy one, with the Mercury reporting that Ro Tam’s new North Williams coffee shop, Either/Or, is also a great restaurant for rice bowls, breakfast tacos, and cocktails. We took a look at Fossil & Fawn, Stedt, and Hanson Vineyards, which are three of this state’s best small wineries. We reported that the boys behind Kure are opening their sixth juice bar in the Pearl next month and we reminded you that Hawthorne’s Vietnamese drinking snacks spot Short Round is offering $5 bánh mìs and $5 margarita and Blue Hawaii slushies to celebrate its first year in business, starting today and lasting through Sunday.

The O reported that Kargi Gogo will get back to making cheesy Georgian bread next week from its new shop in the old Big Egg spot on Alberta, and it paid a visit to one of its favorite food carts, Little Conejo, which just opened up a new car in the hottest pod in Portland.

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Timbers v. Montreal Match Preview

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Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

It's been a busy, disconcerting 48 hours for the Portland Timbers. There are, as of now, three stories to follow. Most importantly, and most troublingly, is the allegation from LAFC striker Adama Diomande that a Timbers player racially abused him during Wednesday night's U.S. Open Cup game.

That game, which the Timbers lost 3-2, is now under protest — Portland asking the U.S. Soccer Federation to investigate whether LAFC fielded an ineligible player. The draw for the semifinals of the competition has been postponed, pending an investigation.

Finally, there are the rumors surrounding the club's second all-time leading scorer Fanendo Adi. The Nigerian was held out of Wednesday night's game, and appears set to be transferred away from the club after more than four years in Portland.

With all of this in the air, this Saturday night's game at Providence Park against the Montreal Impact is, as of now, a day out, little more than an afterthought. Nevertheless, here's what to expect from it (8:00 p.m., TV on KPDX).

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Canadians in the Cannabis Biz Could Get Banned from Entering the US

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kuriputosu / Getty Images

O Canada! I hear you have made cannabis legal throughout your entire country! When added to your socialized medicine and much, much lower rates of "sadly unavoidable" shootings in schools, you are making it ever more enticing for me to renounce my US citizenship. And due to our syphilitic-brained, xenophobic, traffic-cone-colored Dictator-in-Chief, you're looking more attractive by the minute. I very much look forward to spending your "loonies," eating your french fries needlessly topped with strange sauces, and of course, partaking of your sweet Canadian cannabis soon.

But first, I will need to negotiate a border crossing. That's not a big deal, as I (shockingly) don't have a criminal record. But I need to remember that even though cannabis is legal in the four West Coast states beneath your border as well as your entire beautiful country to the north, the football-field-wide strip of land separating them is staffed by officers of the law who hold a different view.

Border-crossing traffic is expected to increase when Canadian cannabis access begins in full later this year. Just as there are US citizens who avail themselves of Canada's legal drinking age of 19, the legal age for cannabis purchases and consumption will be 18 or 19, depending on the province. (At 18, I would have crawled across broken glass to enter a utopia where weed could be legally purchased.)

American cannabis tourists heading into Canada should tell the truth, but perhaps not advertise that the main purpose for their trip is to buy weed. When returning home, don't bring back that one bud to show friends. That can get you a stiff fine and possibly arrested.

Like every country right now, Canada and their citizens are getting screwed by the US. If you have Canadian friends—and all Canadians are our friends—coming to visit the US, and they are employed or benefiting in any way from the cannabis industry, let them know while they're here: "Ixnay on the eed-way usiness-bay alk-tay, eh?")

People entering the US from Canada are finding that admitting you have consumed cannabis, work in Canada's legal cannabis industry, or even have invested in (or otherwise have a financial interest in) cannabis, can result in permanent banishment from the former colonies. Lifetime level of banishment.

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Just Get to the Equalizing Already!!

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Art it most assuredly wasn’t, but 2014’s The Equalizer had its pulpy virtues, most notably a vigilante with obsessive-compulsive tendencies who enacted ridiculously excessive amounts of righteous vengeance on his foes. (A revenge movie that can actually make you feel briefly sorry for Eurotrash human traffickers is doing something right.) The Equalizer 2 tries hard to recreate that primal red-meat formula, but takes far too long puttering around to really deliver the exploitation goods. Just get to the equalizing already!

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Alex Falcone Is Portland's Funniest Person Due, in No Small Part, to His Dope Feminist Son

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Courtesy of Alex Falcone

It's a real pleasure to announce that the well-deserving winner of Helium Comedy's Club's Portland's Funniest Person title is good/clever/film-loving/married fella Alex Falcone! He owes his win, in no small amount, to the final few jokes from his championship set—about how he would want to raise his potential, future-style dope feminist son. That one brought the house down.

Falcone worked hard for that sparkly tiara. And he was not alone. Twelve other comedians got up there and projected clever, ironic, hilarious word metaphors into the darkness. I was merely a person sitting in the pitch darkness of the sold-out show eating chicken strips, but I feel tired. I'm like a one of those construction guys that watches twelve comedians dig a ditch. Whew! Folks, I don't know how you did all that. *lays down and continues typing* Ah, that's better. Wednesday night's judging (Full disclosure: Mercury Editor-in-Chief Steve Humphrey was one of the judges) was exactly how I would have wanted my top three.

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Good Morning, News: Putin's Puppetry, Trump's Secret Tape, and Chance the Rapper Saves Journalism

Stay up to date on Portland news and politics. Looking for fun? Here are the best Things to Do in Portland today.

Maybe hell buy the Mercury next?
Maybe he'll buy the Mercury next? Marcelo Hernandez / Getty Images Entertainment

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! Feel sunshine sparkle pink and blue. Playgrounds will laugh if you try to ask, "Is it cool?" LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Conservatives are very intent on punishing sanctuary cities in Oregon as well as curtailing reproductive rights. Our Alex Zielinski takes you through some of the ballots you'll be voting on this November.

Oregon's Substation fire continues to rage, spreading to 70,000 acres and become the nation's current number one wildfire problem.

In sports, the Timbers have filed a formal protest following their loss to LAFC on Wednesday, accusing the team of fielding too many foreign players (that's against the rules).

Trump continues to provide ample proof that he is Putin's puppet by inviting the Russian leader to Washington, blindsiding his top intelligence advisors.

Congress wants the interpreter who sat in on the Trump/Putin secret meeting to tell what she knows—and yep, you're right, that's an ethical breach.

THERE'S A TAPE:




Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader/evil genius Mitch McConnell is threatening to push Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh to a vote before midterms unless Democrats stop asking for documents on the nominee.

On The View, Whoopi Goldberg and Fox News' weirdo Judge Jeanine get into a screaming match after the right-wing wacko accused the comedian of "Trump Derangement Syndrome" (an insult which has been gaining popularity among liars and co-conspirators).

At least 13 are dead and four are missing after a tourist "duck boat" capsizes during a storm on a lake near Branson, Missouri.

GOOD NEWS: Chance the Rapper has bought news site Chicagoist to boost journalism in the city.

Now about this WEATHER we've been having: A very nice weekend lies ahead with highs in the low 80s.

And finally, meet the future diving champions of America.



Immigrant Detainees in Oregon Prison Share Thoughts of Suicide and Despair Behind Bars

A 2010 image of a man being held in an Arizona immigration detention center.
A 2010 image of a man being held in an Arizona immigration detention center. JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES

It's now been over a month since 121 immigrant men were separated from their families at the Mexico-US border, handcuffed, and shuttled to a federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon. The men represent 16 different countries and speak a combined 13 different languages. The majority of the detainees are seeking asylum from their country of origin, where they faced gang violence or religious persecution.

But the timing of their immigration—in the midst of the Trump administration's criminalization of any undocumented immigrant entering the US—couldn't have been worse. Because of Donald Trump's sweeping decision to detain each and every undocumented immigrant, the country's prison-like detention centers designated for immigrants ran out of space, leaving at least 1,600 immigrants to be divvied up between five actual prisons across the US, including Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution (FCI).

For the first weeks of their incarceration, no detainees were allowed access to a lawyer, make a phone call, read legal documents in their language, or have time outside their cramped cell for more than two hours—all legally-mandated requirements for detained immigrants in the US. While a federal judge ordered the prison to allow lawyers with a pro-bono group called Immigration Law Lab (ILL) inside Sheridan FCI on June 25, detainees are still lacking basic rights, like the ability to call their families or practice their religions. But the disregard goes beyond just legal rights violations.


"Here we have come to save our lives, but I think we will die here in jail.”


New court documents filed this week by federal public defenders who've met with the detainees (and first reported on by OPB) have revealed just how damaging the months of incarceration has been to the immigrants' mental health.

"We felt as if we are stuck on an island in sea and we cannot tell and ask anything from anyone. Sometimes I cried but no one listened," wrote one unidentified detainee in a statement shared by William Teesdale, chief investigator with the Federal Public Defender’s Office. "We are getting crazy by the way we [are] kept locked. Sometimes I feel like dying. It felt like everything is over and I should commit suicide. I [am] very sad. I have lost all hopes getting out of here."

Teesdale's 30-page declaration, describing his experience speaking with detainees inside the prison in June, accompanies five habeas corpus petitions (reports from people who believe they are being illegally detained) filed on behalf of five Sheridan FCI detainees by the public defender's office. For most Sheridan detainees, the public defenders were the first people advocating for their rights since being picked up at the border.

"Staff observed signs of depression, anxiety, terror, stress and despair among the detainees," Teesdale writes. Some of the immigrant men cried in their meeting with Teesdale, he notes.

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Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 10: Sweet Spirit

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James Glover

Once Pickathon weekend has ended and the weeks go by, memories can sometimes fade and blur. "Did that really happen?" you might ask yourself. "Did I really see all that?" Which is why it's super convenient that we've been providing these handy video excerpts from last year's festival—to remind you that, yes, that really did happen, and yes, it was as good as you remember.

This month's episode of our ongoing Pickathon Starlight Series features a performance I didn't personally capture in my creaky memory banks, but really wish I had. It's Austin, Texas, band Sweet Spirit, whose gregariously oversharing singer Sabrina Ellis you might recognize from A Giant Dog. This sweltering performance of "If You Wanna" is part story, part song, with Ellis going all in and the audience only happy to follow her.

And here's great news: It's almost time to make some new Pickathon memories—the 2018 installment of the festival is less than two short weeks away. Hopefully you've got your tickets already, but if you don't, head on over to Pickathon's site to pick some up and make sure you're present when it all goes down August 3-5. Or, if you simply can't make it happen this year, check back right here next week, when we'll have the schedule for Pickathon's incredibly good livestream for home viewers. It's not quite the same as being there to make your own memories, but it's pretty dang close.

Check out previous episodes of our ongoing Pickathon Starlight Series:
• Episode 1: Marlon Williams
• Episode 2: Brent Cobb
• Episode 3: Huun-Huur-Tu
• Episode 4: William Tyler
• Episode 5: Jalen N'Gonda
• Episode 6: The Last Artful, Dodgr
• Episode 7: Wolf People
• Episode 8: Ron Artis II
• Episode 9: Ty Segall and the Freedom Band


Bicyclists Are Hesitant to Embrace New Bike Lanes on Rosa Parks Way

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Portland Bureau of Transportation

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is repaving Rosa Parks Way, and taking the opportunity to make the street more bike friendly by building a new type of bike lane: one that places a row of parked cars between bicyclists and street traffic. The new lane, called a "parking protected bike lane," falls in line with a street design philosophy proven to prevent cars from hitting bicyclists while also maintaining street parking. The project began in May and is expected to be finished in the fall.

“The city of Portland is looking to provide protected bike lanes because they give people the level of comfort they need to go out and ride on the streets," says Geller. "It’s a key element to making biking more accessible to more people.”

Other types of protected bike lanes use trees, curbs, or other vertical design elements to create a visual or physical barrier between bicycles and motorized traffic. Take, for instance, Naito Parkway's "Better Naito" protected bike path, where bicyclists have a row of white plastic dividers between themselves and moving cars. On Rosa Parks, that protection will now be provided by parked cars.

"Parking protected bike lanes are fucking death traps," wrote one critic about the project on a Portland transit meme page on Facebook delightfully called "MAXed Out Memes for Overcast Teens." Another commenter pointed out that placing bikes near the curb exposed them to more debris, like broken glass, and that the configuration makes left turns difficult for bicyclists.

Longtime bike advocates are more moderate in their criticism.

“It’s a step above a regular bike lane, I guess,” says Jonathan Maus, editor and publisher of the prolific BikePortland blog. "I think parking protected bike lanes are okay, but far from ideal. It's like having sleeping sharks protect a swimming area at the beach. Given a choice, I'd much rather have curbs or trees protecting bike lanes instead of cars."

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The Always Free, Always All-Ages Festival PDX Pop Now! Celebrates Its 15th Year

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Over the past few years, Portland media outlets (this one included) have kept a weary tally of clubs shuttered by rising rents, lamenting the shrinking options for underage music fans. That issue persists today—how venues that serve alcohol (and rely on drink sales to survive) can allow minors without breaking rules imposed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Though being able to attend concerts might seem trivial to adults, for kids it can be a vital lifeline to engage with their community, seek support, and develop their own self-expression. More broadly, allowing everyone—regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status—equal access to these opportunities dismantles the exclusivity of who gets to experience art and have a voice in it.

Portland’s steady decline in all-ages music venues hasn’t necessarily improved: The year-old Fremont Theater closed last November. In May, the owner of Analog Café was accused of sexual harassment, which led some local and touring bands to boycott playing shows there. And just last week, Anarres Infoshop—an all-ages radical community space in St. Johns—announced that after struggling financially for the past few months, it will host its final concert on Sunday, August 5.

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Cuts to Immigrant Rights and Other Ballot Measures You'll Be Voting on in November

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John Moore / Getty Images

The Oregon Secretary of State's office announced this week that an initiative meant to repeal the state's so-called "sanctuary" law has enough signatures to qualify for the November 6 ballot. The controversial measure, aptly named "Stop Oregon Sanctuaries," would roll back Oregon's 31-year-old law that prevents state and local governments from enforcing federal immigration laws. It's backed by two anti-immigrant organizations identified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The measure's opponents, including Oregon civil rights groups and major corporations, have already kicked off what will likely be an exhaustive fight to protect Oregon's immigrant community.

This initiative is one of four statewide measures that have jumped through the hurdles needed to qualify for the Nov. ballot. There's one initiative, however, that's still waiting for a green light from the state to make it onto that ballot—and it could be just as contentious as the sanctuary measure.

The pending initiative would ban public funds from being used to cover abortions, effectively blocking all state employees and people insured by the Oregon Health Plan from accessing an abortion. For Oregon, the only state without its own restrictions to abortion access, the possibility of this measure even getting onto a statewide ballot sets off alarms for reproductive rights advocates (and Oregon women in general). We'll know if this measure qualifies no later than the first week of August.

In the meantime, here's a quick rundown on the three other ballot measures you'll be voting on this fall:

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