We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider donating to the Mercury.
GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! How you gonna act? How you gonna handle that? What you gonna do when she wants you back? LET'S GO TO PRESS
It's been a long, eventful weekend of protests in Portland, the worst being Saturday night when police effectively blocked off most of downtown, shot unknown chemical agents, flash bangs, and pepper bullets randomly at crowds, and attacked at least two reporters who clearly identified themselves as members of the press, while allegedly arresting another for asking them a question.
From the @KATUNews feed about 15 minutes ago. This guy gets maced and beaten for filming at the Justice Center #PortlandProtests #PortlandProtest #pdx #portland pic.twitter.com/hGSosEES0m
— TVAyyyy ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ (@TVAyyyy) June 7, 2020
Last night I was assaulted by @PortlandPolice while covering the protest. This went above and beyond and occurred after I saw three officers pinning a man with their knees, one with his knee on the man's throat. I shouted about this, they attacked. Details below. pic.twitter.com/JKY4RCxm3R
— Donovan “It was the blurst of times” Farley 💻🐒 (@DonovanFarley) June 7, 2020
This all followed a Saturday message from Mayor Ted Wheeler who backpedaled from earlier statements and said he would not enact a total ban on tear gas (like Seattle did for a month), and that the police should only use it in life-threatening emergencies (having plastic water bottles thrown at them constitutes such an emergency according to armor-wearing cops). So instead of tear gas, they're now launching a gas into the crowd that they refuse to identify... so big improvement, huh?
City council member Chloe Eudaly jumped into the fray yesterday, issuing a series of tweets lambasting the cops' over-the-top and brutal treatment of protesters.
I stand by my call to ban tear gas, and am now putting LRAD, and all “less lethal” munitions on the table as well. If police can’t be trusted to use these weapons responsibly, they shouldn’t have them.
— Commissioner Eudaly (@ChloeEudalyPDX) June 7, 2020
At last night's protest, members of Portland's faith community came down to the fence in front of the Justice Center to stand in solidarity with protesters and demand an end to the violence. Naturally that didn't work, because... protesters shook the cops' fence! And some threw water bottles! And... "frozen eggs"? Which means the police once again reacted in a disproportionate manner, clearing the area with more flash bangs and mysterious chemical agents.
Read up on last night's coverage here, and (HEAVY SIGH) the Mercury will once again be out on the streets tonight being your eyes and ears and doing our best to hold the police accountable. Wish us luck—or even better, donate.
And let's not forget about the thousands of protesters who have been meeting daily at Revolution Hall to march and honor the lives of Black Americans who were killed by police, as well as the thousands in neighborhoods and small towns all across the Pacific Northwest who are marching and protesting as well.
Meanwhile in Seattle, things got hot and heavy there too yesterday, with cops going hard at protesters and a man threatening the crowd with his car and a gun. One bystander was shot before the gunman surrendered himself to police.
This morning local activist group Don't Shoot PDX is going to court with two other individuals to sue the city of Portland for using dangerous tear gas that has been banned even in times of war.
Oregon reaches highest-ever number of daily #Coronavirus #Covid_19 cases, but @OHAOregon says it’s less about sudden spread and more about “more widespread testing, contact tracing and reporting of workplace outbreaks” reports @OPB https://t.co/HWPUeD9S5R
— Rob Manning (@RManning47) June 8, 2020
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
In a veto-proof vote, the Minneapolis city council agreed to disband their police department and "dramatically rethink" the city's approach to emergency response. Meanwhile the "defund the police" movement is gaining serious traction in cities across the US.
I personally think it's really cool how we all went from learning how to make banana bread to learning how to abolish the police in a matter of weeks
— Asma Nizami (@asmaresists) June 6, 2020
Congress is preparing legislation that would make it easier to prosecute bad cops that kill and recover damages, as well as ban certain deadly police techniques.
Democrats in the House and Senate decided to wear African patterned cloth and take a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd.
This is a mess. pic.twitter.com/CerdH2Zuqq
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) June 8, 2020
After being roundly condemned by his Joint Chiefs of Staff (and much of the nation!) for militarizing his response to DC protesters, Trump has ordered the National Guard to begin withdrawing from the nation's capitol.
It was a peaceful night of protests in New York City after Mayor Bill de Blasio lifted the city's curfew and promised to cut certain police funding and redirect it to social services.
The way that police "police" has to be taken out of their hands. Even after promising to reform themselves from within, the Washington Post has documented 5,400 fatal shootings by American cops since the start of 2015.
You gotta love this: In England, the statue of a slave trader was pulled down by protesters and thrown in to the river.
Trump's approval rating continues to fall and Joe Biden has taken a double digit lead over the president in the latest CNN poll. Meanwhile, according to an NBC poll, 80 percent of Americans feels that "the country is out of control." SAME.
New York Times editorial editor James Bennet has resigned after he admitted to not reading Sen. Tom Cotton's op-ed on military crackdowns on protesters before allowing it to be published.
Now let's peek through the kitchen blinds at the WEATHER: Mostly cloudy today with the chance of a shower and a high of 66.
And finally, once again the brilliant Sarah Cooper hits a home run.