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Good morning, Portland. It's another Monday in the midst of a pandemic, with fires raging all around us and white nationalists beating people in the streets. Great! Let's get you up to speed on the weekend's news:
- It was a rollercoaster of a weekend for Portland protests. On Sunday, 30 Portland police officers stood by as alt-right and antifascist protesters brawled in downtown Portland—even when members of the Proud Boys aimed firearms at people and doused protesters and journalists in bear mace. Portland police's explanation? They were understaffed to handle a violent fight and have spent the past months getting yelled at by anti-police protesters, "which is a major consideration for determining if police resources are necessary."
- Yet, this reasoning didn't seem to limit the Portland Police Bureau's (PPB) ability to aggressively engage in anti-racist protests later Saturday night, using physical force to arrest and beat demonstrators. Some 50 officers were able to show up to this one. The only difference: There were no far-right protesters in attendance. It appears police are now able to pick and choose which kinds of protests they deem worth intervening (spoiler: If it involves people critical of the police being pummeled by Proud Boys, they'll pass).
- Sunday night's protest against police brutality ended in nearly two dozen arrests, after protesters threw objects at police officers and briefly set the building's awning ablaze. Portland police used tear gas to disperse the protest.
- Oregon's death toll from COVID-19 grew to 417 people over the weekend. Of the three new deaths added to the tally, one is of a 37-year-old woman in Multnomah County. According to her doctors, she had no known underlying medical conditions before showing symptoms—a reminder that we still know very little about how younger people succumb to the virus.
- As fires blaze across Oregon, prisoners are being paid under $10 to fight them (unless they're at a jail where there's a COVID-19 outbreak). Our Blair Stenvick breaks it down.
- Meanwhile, some of California's already endangered ecosystems (home to condors and Redwoods) have been threatened by the state's blazing fires. But biologist says there's hope, because "Even fully charred trees can sprout again." WHY AM I CRYING NOW.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the #ChicanoMoratorium and the death of former Los Angeles Times journalist #RubenSalazar. Follow this thread for a look at this historic event, which still reverberates in the Latino community half a century later https://t.co/pvxtKtMI4O pic.twitter.com/D12csoasHY
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) August 23, 2020
- What the hell is a “Boogaloo boi”? Why do they wear Hawaiian shirts? And why should you care about their movement? This longread by Portland journalist Leah Sottile is the one-stop shop you need to get up to speed.
- On Sunday, police officers in Kenosha, WA shot Jacob Blake in his back as he was stepping into an SUV, allegedly fleeing from police. Blake, a Black man, remains in critical condition, and the officers involved in the incident have been placed on leave. The shooting inspired Kenosha residents to take to the streets Sunday night, marching to the local courthouse, setting small fires, and vandalizing city buildings in anger. Riot cops responded with clouds of tear gas.
- Kellyanne Conway is stepping down from her job at the White House to spend time with her kids, I guess? She leaves us with this totally unprepared line: “For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."
- To mark the start of the Republican National Convention (RNC), former GOP members of Congress have endorsed Joe Biden in the presidential race.
- I leave you with this important video of goth bats: