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Good morning, Portland! I woke up feeling baked into a multi-layer cake of chaos. Here, let me cut you a slice:
CHAZ CHAZ CHAZ: The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is putting in roots. The CHAZ popped up in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood after the Seattle Police Department abandoned a centrally-located precinct, allowing protesters to go unpoliced. It's been a refreshing change of pace for Seattleites, who spent days battling clouds of police tear gas and munitions in the same neighborhood. So far, we've seen CHAZ become a community hub for free concerts, documentary screenings, meals, and medical care. Here's the vibe:
Stoop It: Of course, Donald Trump has already declared war on the peaceful corner of Seattle. Last night he posted this deranged tweet:
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
PAZ? Portland tried to make its own autonomous zone last night with zip-ties and some extra fencing outside the the federal courthouse last night. It didn't last long. Last night was the third relatively mellow day of demonstrations in Portland, meaning police only fired munitions into the crowd a few times. This change coincides with a decrease in police presence during these downtown protests. Think it's related?
Budget Day! Today, Portland City Council will vote to pass its annual budget, a document that still includes a hefty allocation for the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Yesterday, hundreds of members of the public called to defund and diminish the police budget during a council hearing, and several more will speak today before the afternoon vote. Here, get up to speed!
State Reforms: City Council will also be meeting with Oregon lawmakers this morning to hammer out the details on state legislation related to police reform. Here's what's on the table.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis:
Protestors have now toppled Christopher Columbus statue outside Minnesota State Capitol.
Organizers were from American Indian Movement & footage from moments ago: pic.twitter.com/nZIb780wva
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) June 10, 2020
Related: Minneapolis' police chief announced plans yesterday to pause negotiations with the city's police union, allowing time for members of the public and city officials to proposed a more reform-minded contract they can all get behind.
Coronavirus Comedown: As countries slowly reopen after COVID-19 closures, many (include the US) have witnessed a surge in positive cases. But this uptick hasn't encouraged these countries to backpedal. Instead, it appears that the damage to the economy has become a bigger threat than damage to public health.
"Modern-Day Lynching": George Floyd's younger brother Philonise spoke before the US House of Representatives Wednesday to testify in support of a sweeping police reform bill. "That was a modern-day lynching, in broad daylight," he told lawmakers. Here's a snippet from his testimony:
Incredibly emotional moment as #PhiloneseFloyd breaks down in front of the House Judiciary Committee where he is testifying today on the killing of his older brother #GeorgeFloyd. pic.twitter.com/dfkXHGpQbD
— Yasmine El-Sabawi (@yasmineelsabawi) June 10, 2020
How Considerate: Amazon is banning law enforcement from using its facial recognition technology for one year. While it's a temporarily hold, it says something about how corporate America is responding to this new anti-police sentiment.
How Considerate, Part 2: In other corporate public relations moves, NASCAR has announced it will no longer allow Confederate Flags to be flown at their events (games? is NASCAR a sport?)