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US Portland, America's 'whitest' big city, is an unlikely hub of Black Lives Matter

15:15  02 august  2020
15:15  02 august  2020 Source:   latimes.com

UN: US protesters, journalists need their rights protected

  UN: US protesters, journalists need their rights protected GENEVA (AP) — Protesters and journalists in U.S. cities including Portland, Oregon, must be able to take part in peaceful demonstrations without risking arbitrary arrest, detention, the unnecessary use of force or other rights violations, the U.N. human rights office said Friday. Spokeswoman Liz Throssell of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights noted reports that some peaceful demonstrators in Portland had been detained by unidentified officers. “That is a worry, because it may place those detained outside the protection of the law, and may give rise to arbitrary detention and other human rights violations,” she told reporters in Geneva.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against

Portland — a local group that supports Black Lives Matter by providing mutual aid to communities and “ Portland is a very white city ” and “there’ s an obligation that I have as a white woman have to step up and 'This is the beginning of the end of Big Tech as we know it': NYU professor Galloway.

Participants in the “Wall of Vets” mustered early, setting up a human chain at nightfall in front of the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse.

a group of people wearing costumes: Navy veteran Adam Winther holds a flag while forming a © (Noah Berger / Associated Press) Navy veteran Adam Winther holds a flag while forming a "Wall of Vets" during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Friday in Portland, Ore. (Noah Berger / Associated Press)

“I’m a middle-aged white guy. I’ve got a house, two kids, a dog,” said Adam Simmons, 43, a former Army medic in Iraq. “I really don’t need to be here.”

Black Lives Matter Movement: "mothers' walls" to protect demonstrators

 Black Lives Matter Movement: © Caitlin Ochs, Reuters Mothers forming a "wall of moms", a "wall of mothers" to protect anti-racist demonstrators from police assault, in Portland, Oregon, United States, July 22, 2020. The "Black Lives Matter" movement is not dead. Quite the contrary. In Portland, in the West of the United States, mothers are mobilizing, forming a "wall of moms", literally: a "wall of mothers", to protect the demonstrators from the assaults of federal agents, dispatched by Donald Trump.

Portland has become the focal point of Black Lives Matter protests in America , but it has For years in Oregon' s early history, white locals barred Black people from living in its borders. The local library has been considering adopting a "statement of diversity" that includes support for Black Lives Matter .

There is currently a narrative that is real big on Facebook and shit about how more Irish people were enslaved in the Americas than Blacks . Note that Black Americans today have 3/4 the representation in the Senate that White Me: What about white lives , do white lives matter ?

But there he was, along with a dozen or so other veterans — both white and Black — to bear witness and protect demonstrators’ right to protest.

Often called the “whitest” U.S. big city — more than 72% of the population is white — Portland has transformed into a national center for a movement that might seem more at home in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or another more diverse locale. “Black lives matter” has become a ubiquitous rallying cry in a city where only 6% of the population is Black — while 9% is Latino and 7% of Asian ancestry.

The city of 650,000, a 90-minute drive from snow-capped Mt. Hood, has long had a reputation as an easygoing town with efficient public transportation, mild weather, good public schools and progressive politics. It’s an urban space for people who love the outdoors. Oregon was a leader in the decriminalization of marijuana.

Portland protests: Homeland Security and Oregon reach deal to begin withdrawing federal agents from city

  Portland protests: Homeland Security and Oregon reach deal to begin withdrawing federal agents from city The Trump administration has reached an agreement with Oregon's Democratic governor to withdraw federal officers from downtown Portland, though the Department of Homeland Security says it will maintain a presence in the city for the time being. © Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP A demonstrator flashes a peace sign at federal officers during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Portland, Ore.

“ White supremacy [is] evil. The Black church historically has tried to hit it head-on and oftentimes has been magnificent. Al Sharpton, Baptist minister and founder of the National Action Network, said that to suggest that the movement’ s conflict with the church is a new phenomenon would be “rewriting of

Given that Portland is the whitest big city in the US, the vast majority of protesters are white , which leaves his biggest asset, racism, largely irrelevant. Seeing them protest against the government, and particularly a dubious and unnecessarily violent paramilitary unit, is a publicity problem for the Trump

Racial discord seems a distant concern in a state whose history is caught up in the lore of Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trail and 19th century stagecoaches delivering intrepid pioneers.

But many say the idealized image blots out an ugly legacy of intolerance and antipathy toward Black people, as well as ignoring serious problems such as homelessness and drug use.

A key reason why Portland is overwhelmingly white is that Blacks were excluded from residing in Oregon until well into the 20th century, noted Ethan Johnson, associate professor and chair of Portland State University’s Black Studies Department.

While Oregon experienced an influx of Black workers during World War II, it was the Pacific state that received the fewest number of Black transplants during the 20th century's Great Migration from the South, Johnson noted.

That was in part because it was viewed as particularly unwelcome to Black people.

Oregon governor says federal officers are leaving Portland

  Oregon governor says federal officers are leaving Portland Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced Wednesday that the Trump administration has agreed to withdraw federal tactical teams from Portland, Ore., which for weeks has been the site of violent clashes between officers and protesters.Brown said in a statement that an agreement for federal agents to leave the city was reached following a discussion with Vice President Pence. She said that officers from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin their withdrawal on Thursday."These federal officers have acted as an occupying force, refused accountability, and brought violence and strife to our community," Brown said.

"I am with the Black Lives Matter movement and I love and support the military and my brother and the people who Portland has become the focal point of Black Lives Matter protests in America , but it has a For years in Oregon' s early history, white locals barred Black people from living in its borders.

76 percent white , making it the whitest big city in the U. S . And diversity has been dwindling in the neighborhoods blacks in Portland who feel they're losing what little place they previously possessed in this city . "And when you’re in the whitest city in America , those spaces are even more critical.

“While this is a progressive city, the other side of the coin is that there is a hidden picture of Black people who are suffering,” he said, citing high rates of high school dropouts, homicides, incarceration and poverty among Black residents.

Gentrification, urban renewal, flooding and other factors have dispersed a Black population that was small to begin with. There is no longer a distinctive Black neighborhood in Portland.

a group of people posing for the camera: Jorge Mendoza holds a sign while rallying at the federal courthouse Saturday in Portland. (Noah Berger / Associated Press) © (Noah Berger / Associated Press) Jorge Mendoza holds a sign while rallying at the federal courthouse Saturday in Portland. (Noah Berger / Associated Press)

It is, at the same time, a city with a tradition of social movements and activism, including protests in 2003 against the Iraq war, the 2011 Occupy Portland rallies inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and frequent mobilizations focusing on police violence.

“There’s a lot of activism and institutionalization of resistance and support here for people who feel deeply marginalized here, both Black and white,” said Johnson. “There is a consciousness here about inequality … a culture that 'if you’re violating my civil rights, then I’m going to speak up and protest.'”

Portland sees peaceful night of protests with more than 1,000 demonstrators as forces withdraw from city

  Portland sees peaceful night of protests with more than 1,000 demonstrators as forces withdraw from city Portland protests remained peaceful Friday night as over a thousand demonstrators gathered in front of downtown's courthouse, just days after federal officers withdrew from the city. © Provided by FOX News Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Usually a hotspot for violent clashes with law enforcement, demonstraters instead congregated outside of Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Oregon, with balloons, flags, and painted signs chanting "Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement ostensibly seeking to reform police conduct especially as it involves use of force against African- American then, some observers identified Black Lives Matter protests as a contributing cause to an anti-police environment.[52]. The FBI released a report that

While inner- city “ black America ” continues to slide into the abyss, BLM and its sugar-daddy, George Soros, are continuing to use that social decline to reshape America . Image of George Soros: flickr/World Economic Forum; Image of Black Lives Matter sign: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons.

To this day, some Black residents speak of a kind of subtle racism, a sense of condescension.

“People in the South tell you to your face that you don’t belong here,” said Anita Randolph, a Black neuroscientist at Oregon Health and Science University who previously resided in Atlanta, a majority Black city. “But in Portland it’s not like that. It’s manipulative. … There’s a white savior attitude.”

For some Black protesters, that posture has somewhat dimmed the protest experience.

“I guess I’m not completely happy that white people have to protest so that my concerns get addressed,” said Jay, 19, a Black woman who said she had participated in 50 nights of protests but did not want her surname used so as not to alienate white colleagues.

A native of Mississippi, Jay said she had never been called the N-word until she moved to Portland two years ago. “They don’t have the gun racks and Confederate flags here, but there’s still racism,” she said.

a group of people in uniform standing in front of a crowd: A demonstrator shouts slogans using a bullhorn next to a group of military veterans during a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press) © (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press) A demonstrator shouts slogans using a bullhorn next to a group of military veterans during a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

But other Black people interviewed said they have been heartened, even moved, by the outpouring of support from many white people.

Judge in Portland bars federal officers from arresting or using force against journalists and legal observers

  Judge in Portland bars federal officers from arresting or using force against journalists and legal observers A judge in Portland, Oregon, barred federal law enforcement officers from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers mixed in with the crowds at nightly protests near a complex of government buildings there if they're not suspected of committing crimes. © Noah Berger/AP Smoke fills the sky as federal officers try to disperse Black Lives Matter protesters on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Portland, Ore.

“There’s a lot of free-thinking people here — and that’s a good thing,” said Vaughn Waddell, 49, a Black native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who sells Black Lives Matter T-shirts from a street stand — one of the few thriving concerns in a ghostly downtown where many business owners have shut down and nailed plywood on shop windows to avoid potential vandalism.

“People here don’t have the old hangups,” Waddell added.

He then pointed to a young white woman who had stopped to look at his T-shirt selection. “Ask her.”

She is Grace Kyle, 20, and she praises Black Lives Matter.

“It’s a civil liberties issue for everyone,” Kyle said. “If racism is not stopped, it could affect everyone.”

She purchased a $20 Black Lives Matter T-shirt from the stand.

White protesters, many of them young, have become foot soldiers in the racial justice movement here focusing on the federal courthouse.

a giraffe standing in front of a sign: A protester raises his hand as text is projected onto the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. (Noah Berger / Associated Press) © (Noah Berger / Associated Press) A protester raises his hand as text is projected onto the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. (Noah Berger / Associated Press)

The courthouse is a graffiti-glazed Fort Apache, set off by concrete blast barriers and a metal fence; its lower-level windows are boarded up, and, in the evenings, a bank of high-powered lights shine down on the crowds assembled below. Conflicts outside have waned since authorities agreed last month to remove heavily armed federal agents. But nightly protests continue.

Among the protesters on a recent evening was Josie Chole, 19, who bared a handwritten sign declaring: “If you’re tired of hearing about racism, imagine how tired people are of experiencing it.”

Thousands gather outside Portland central police precinct

  Thousands gather outside Portland central police precinct Thousands gather outside Portland central police precinctPORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Thousands of Black Lives Matter demonstrators crowded outside the central police precinct in Portland on Thursday evening as protests continued for a 56th consecutive day.

Chole, a recent transplant from Arizona who is white, objects when people tell her that "all lives matter."

“They don’t get it,” she said on a recent evening as she stood on a corner across from the courthouse. “This is the moment for Black Lives Matters. That’s all that matters.”

Protesters have directed their ire not only at the federal courthouse — which became a proxy for President Trump after he ignored local public officials and ordered deployment of the camouflage-clad federal agents, who routinely fired tear gas and other projectiles at protesters. Earlier, demonstrators targeted a seemingly benign statue of a stately elk that stood in a downtown park for more than 100 years. The sculpture went from being a source of civic pride to a symbol of colonialism and dispossession.

“Stolen land!” was one of the protesters’ chants, referring to territory taken from the region’s original Indigenous inhabitants. “Give it back!”

Authorities removed the statue last month after its base was damaged during the protests. Some criticized the demonstrators online, wondering if the elk had exhibited signs of racism or white supremacy.

Many residents here complain that the national focus on the protests has distorted the image of the city, playing into Trump’s hand of declaring it a hotbed of “anarchists and agitators” from the anti-fascist movement known as antifa, which in actuality has no central organization or membership roll.

“If you go two blocks away, things are relatively normal,” said Robert Atkinson, 77, a retired lawyer who held a sign declaring “Feds Go Home” as he stood in front of the courthouse. “Unfortunately, the media concentrates on the violence, but those involved in violence are only a small minority.”

There is no doubt that some protesters have looked for trouble, tossing fireworks, bottles and rocks at the courthouse complex. But most protesters deny trying to foment chaos, saying they have been defending themselves against overzealous federal officers dispatched by Trump.

Black activists in Portland call federal crackdown a 'distraction' from police reform efforts

  Black activists in Portland call federal crackdown a 'distraction' from police reform efforts PORTLAND, Ore. - Near the front lines of protests in downtown Portland, longtime Black Lives Matter activist Danialle James recently found herself behind a large group surging toward the federal courthouse, chanting "Feds go home!"James said it was then that she realized the federal intervention had "overshadowed" the original reason why protesters poured onto the city's streets every night for over 50 days: police killings of Black people. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

“This is not just random violence,” said Wolfgang Taylor, 19, who brandished a particle-board shield — bearing a hole where it was hit by a tear gas canister fired by guards at the courthouse.

“We have legitimate demands,” Taylor said. “We want to professionalize the police. There should be psychological assessments for those with repeated complaints against them.”

Demonstrators huddle and blow back tear gas with leaf blowers during a clash with federal officers. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press) © (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press) Demonstrators huddle and blow back tear gas with leaf blowers during a clash with federal officers. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

He then put on his gas mask anew and lunged back into the bedlam at the courthouse, shield out front. Other allies bared leaf blowers to disperse the gas.

Despite Portland's progressive image, not everyone supports the nightly spectacle. On a recent afternoon, many motorists flashed thumbs-up signals to police who were clearing a homeless encampment from a park directly in front of the courthouse.

Across the street, a group of counter-demonstrators held up signs declaring, “Support the Police,” and cheering every time officers passed by with arrested protesters in custody.

“Everyone wants to be a victim now,” said Shelly Fenner, 51, a pro-police demonstrator. “I think a lot of them are indoctrinated, politically and educationally. They want us to feel guilty about something that happened to Black people’s ancestors. That’s not our fault.”

As she spoke, two police officers walked by with a handcuffed young white woman who wore a Black Lives Matter halter top.

“Jesus doesn’t love you!” the arrestee yelled at the pro-police activists.

Protesters say they plan to continue their nightly demonstrations outside the courthouse. Before nightfall, a carnival-type atmosphere dominates, as speakers exhort the crowd, some of those gathered prepare signs, and volunteers dispense free food, water and masks.

"I don’t think Portland has had a moment like this before,” said Damien Fair, 44, a Black health professional who lived in Portland for 12 years before returning last month to his native Minnesota. “This is something different. My only hope is that it makes for real change.”

a group of people standing in front of a large crowd at night: Demonstrators raise their cellphone lights as they chant slogans during a protest. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press) © (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press) Demonstrators raise their cellphone lights as they chant slogans during a protest. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Black activists in Portland call federal crackdown a 'distraction' from police reform efforts .
PORTLAND, Ore. - Near the front lines of protests in downtown Portland, longtime Black Lives Matter activist Danialle James recently found herself behind a large group surging toward the federal courthouse, chanting "Feds go home!"James said it was then that she realized the federal intervention had "overshadowed" the original reason why protesters poured onto the city's streets every night for over 50 days: police killings of Black people. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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