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.
• In other cop news, students at Portland State are making headway in their efforts to disarm the security force that patrols their campus.
• With less than a day to go before the Oregon special legislative session kicks off, there are still questions as to which bills they'll be tackling... and it's a LOT: streamlining the unemployment relief payments, putting limits on police use of force, mining permits, and then of course, the state budget.
• The Portland Sex Worker Relief Fund had redistributed over $25,000 to Portland sex workers whose income suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic, and our Blair Stenvick talked with the organizers to find out what's involved with such a Herculean effort.
"In Portland, people tend to align sex work with this super-empowered, conventionally attractive, tattooed white stripper. And that is super far from the reality among sex workers."
Read my Q&A with the founders of the Portland Sex Worker Relief Fund:https://t.co/ktL0wxNhUr
— Blair Stenvick (@BlairStenvick) August 10, 2020
• The Oregon Health Authority reported 227 new COVID cases in the state and one additional death bringing the current death toll (that we know about) to 357.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Hundreds protested in Chicago last night (where police say there was a lot of looting and window breaking) following an officer-involved shooting in which the cops say the victim was armed and will survive.
President Trump was rushed out of the White House briefing room Monday evening and later said the Secret Service had shot someone nearby. https://t.co/RrzvQqqQT4 pic.twitter.com/LdU94gVZZY
— ABC News (@ABC) August 10, 2020
• Attorney General Bill Barr keeps on revealing his true colors, as in a recent interview in which he slammed the Black Lives Matter movement, calling their actions "fascistic" and adding that “They’re essentially Bolsheviks.” OOH, THAT'S A NEW ONE!
• One person is dead and six others were seriously injured in a natural gas explosion that leveled three row houses in Baltimore.
• College football is in danger of being postponed this season, for those who care about such things. One person who purportedly cares about such things is Donald Trump, who definitely wants them to play and clearly doesn't give a single shit about anyone who is infected, spreads the disease, or dies.
If people had worn masks and stayed home and socially distanced whenever they left the house we would have college football this year. Some of us made those sacrifices. Others said the virus was fake news and ignored scientists. Those people are why we are still in this mess.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) August 10, 2020
• Thousands of unmasked bikers descended on Sturgis, South Dakota this week for their annual rally, forcing nearby native populations to block the bikers from traveling through their reservations in an attempt to stop a COVID spike.
• By the way, somebody once told me the world was gonna roll me—but this time it was Smash Mouth (with a guest appearance from COVID) who rolled a mostly unmasked throng of thousands at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
• Tens of millions of families are facing evictions later in the year thanks to the COVID pandemic, but contributing writer Matt Baume asks, "Who exactly is going to serve and act on those evictions?"
• GOOD NEWS: After a three year battle, a Florida transgender teen has won the battle for equal restroom access in a federal court.
• Want to support the Mercury AND look like a million bucks? Buy our newest "RESIST" T-shirt created by local artist Sloane Leong that comes in black, white, yellow, and teal and is perfect for anyone who wants to protest in style!
• THE WEATHER REPORT:Somewhat cloudier and cooler tomorrow with a high of 78.
• And finally, if you're looking for a new bird to be afraid of... this young man has found it!