Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• Last night saw a fourth night of protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd throughout Portland. It was the most peaceful night we've seen so far—both from the thousands of protestors and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB)—though there was a midnight clash between a crowd of 100 and cops which ended in arrests. You can check out our live updates from the night here. More protests are planned for the night, stay tuned to the Mercury for live updates.
This is just... wow. pic.twitter.com/uDVHcUzmKo— Wm. Steven Humphrey (@WmSteveHumphrey) June 2, 2020
• The hours leading up to last night's protests, however, were decidedly less chill. PPB blocked off 16 blocks in the city's downtown core, and Gov. Kate Brown announced she would send National Guard troops and Oregon State Troopers to provide backup for PPB. They didn't make a public appearance last night, however.
• If you're considering protesting in the near future, it's always a good idea to bring an umbrella (and not just for rain).
• Mayor Ted Wheeler has decided against extending Portland's 8pm curfew for another night, noting that it wasn't particularly effective in the first place, and cited last night's peaceful protest at Pioneer Courthouse Square as an "extraordinary moment in history," and a "significant shift" in tone.
Police unions have become increasingly rightwing as a backlash to the Obama administration and Black Lives Matter — and that’s bad news for the cities they police. From @MelissaDSegura https://t.co/RnM93ehL0v— Oregon Justice Resource Center (@OJRCenter) June 2, 2020
• For those who think the media needs to stop focusing so much on the destruction aspect of protests, and more on the smaller stories that illuminate and address the root of the problem... well, please read this note to you from our editor-in-chief, Wm. Steven Humphrey.
• David Gerstenfeld, the new interim director of the Oregon Employment Department, admits that the progress towards paying out the hundreds of thousands of valid claims the agency is behind on is "not an easy, coasting path at this point," thanks to a processing system reliant on 1990s-era tech that "routinely makes erroneous claims denials."
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• First things first: Movement.
monmouth poll — percent saying that racial and ethnic discrimination is a big problem in the US— David Byler (@databyler) June 2, 2020
jan 2015: 51%
jul 2016: 68%
• Yesterday, our idiot president delivered an antagonistic speech threatening to deploy the US military in American cities if their mayors and governors don't "dominate the streets." He followed this speech by walking to the nearby St. John's Church (that he doesn't go to) in order to hold a Bible (that he doesn't read) upside down for the sake of using the footage in a Twitter video.
• In order for him to walk to that church, he had a peaceful protest nearby tear-gassed, and used National Guardsmen to physically clear out not just protesters, but international journalists, and even church clergy.
Trudeau’s very, very long pause after being asked about what’s happening in the US speaks volumes louder than his actual responsepic.twitter.com/B1G3dZkilO— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 2, 2020
• The Department of Defense denied any foreknowledge of the police action that occurred before Trump's speech, despite the fact the flashbangs and tear gas were audible both before and during the president's remarks. So who did give the order to assault clergy, press, and peaceful protesters? None other than Attorney General William P. Barr!
• Just because Secretary of Defense Mark Esper urged governors to use the National Guard to "dominate the battlespace," in reference to growing protests around the nation, it doesn't mean you should look too much into the terrifying and hawkish term "battlespace," says a senior defense official. WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE DO THAT?
• Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ripped Trump a new one in a speech this morning, comparing the president's racist language to that of Southerners from the '60s, and that he's turned this country into a "battlefield." All true enough!
• So how is Congress responding to these overtly authoritarian and fascist acts? Well... the Senate Judiciary Committee will officially begin their sham "investigations" into already-debunked political conspiracy theories regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, on Wednesday, June 3.
• Civil rights leaders are "disappointed and stunned" after call with top Facebook villains: “We are disappointed and stunned by Mark [Zuckerberg]’s incomprehensible explanations for allowing the Trump posts to remain up,” wrote civil rights leaders from various organizations. “He did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump’s call for violence against protesters. Mark is setting a very dangerous precedent for other voices who would say similar harmful things on Facebook.”
• Facebook-owned social media app Instagram was rendered mostly unusable today, as the "Blackout Tuesday" initiative begun by the music industry was appropriated by hundreds of thousands of people, leading to actual activist accounts being drowned out by mostly-content-free black squares with a #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, preventing easy access to their informative posts about upcoming protest actions and relief efforts.
gonna be hard to find a worse one of these today https://t.co/RCFjuQnnmt— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) June 2, 2020
• With everything going on, we totally missed this story: 'Tiger King': Joe Exotic Loses Zoo to Carole Baskin In Court Ruling
• And finally, OH THANK GOD THEY'RE HERE!
Cheers rose up from the crowd as these dudes rolled up. Clip-clip-clip-clop. pic.twitter.com/x1h8UpmyQy— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) June 2, 2020