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Across the world people are rising against their ineffective and corrupt governments. Movements are building off the momentum of those in other countries.
The people of Beirut are rising up against government corruption and negligence in the aftermath of a deadly ammonium nitrate explosion that killed at least 160 and left at least 300,000 people homeless. Thousands of protestors took to the streets to demand accountability for the government’s failure to manage both the volatile substance and Lebanon’s hyperinflation crisis, where they were met with riot police wielding tear gas and batons. Despite the violent response to the protests, the entire Lebanese government has been pressured into resigning.
Last week in Zimbabwe, the Mnangagwa government cracked down on planned protests against their inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic. While the government has been arresting opposition leaders since May, their security services escalated last week by shutting down most of the capital city of Harare and sending many government critics into hiding. Despite the threat of repression, many Zimbabewans are still participating in solo demonstrations via social media and proclaiming that Zimbabwean Lives Matter.
Demonstrations in the wake of Belarus’s disputed elections were met with brutality from police and the detention of more than 6,000 protestors.
Thailand’s youth are protesting against the government in a fight for their future, calling for the dissolution of parliament, the end to the intimidation of government critics, and the rewriting of the nation’s constitution.
The Black Lives Movement here has now become the largest movement in US history. There have been more than 4,700 demonstrations – or an average of 140 per day – across the country since the first protests began in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd in May.
Portland is one of the epicenters of this monumental uprising, and it is having global impacts to further democracy and justice. Let’s keep it up.
Light projections in Portland from PEST, a group that works with our Fossil Fuel Resistance Team
Here’s your 350PDX weekly update.
What you can do
1. Show up
There are events all day every day, in a whole range of different neighborhoods and at a whole range of different levels of risks – from standing on street corners waving signs in the middle of the day, to COVID-safe car caravans slowly parading around the city, to facing off with federal troops at midnight outside the (in)justice center downtown.
Much of the direct action stuff is only being released less than 24 hours in advance, so if you want to be in the loop, join our Signal chat (by filling in the Volunteer Form here!) The Signal chat and the Volunteer form is also good if you want to find a buddy to go protest with!
Here are a few picks in the coming days:
Nightly Protest at the (In)Justice Center
Every night, 7:30PM – Late
Police have consistently been violent at these events, so personal protective equipment is recommended, and pets should stay at home.
Justice for Patrick Kimmons
Thurs Aug 13, 10:00AM – 12:00PM
Portland City Hall. Please wear black
Car Caravan Protest
Fri Aug 14, 5:30PM – 8:30PM
PCC Cascade parking lot behind Student Services. Albina near Killingsworth.
Donna Hayes, the Black founder and heart of this Caravan, is the Grandmother of Quanice Hayes who at age 17 was killed in 2017 while on his knees by Portland Police officer Andrew Hearst. Hearst has not been held accountable.
Community Cleanup & Filter Exchange
Sat Aug 15 + every Saturday at 10:30AM – 12:30PM
Cleanup of Lownsdale Square & Chapman Square
This is also an opportunity for folks to participate in a study of the chemical weapons being used on protestors if you exchange your filters there.
Black Girl Magic
Sat Aug 15 at 4:00PM – 6:30PM
King Elementary School, 4906 NE 6th Ave
“BLACK GIRLS ARE MAGIC. We wanted to create a space for Black girls to showcase their talent, grace, voice, and power for all of Portland to see. There will be a marketplace, live speakers, and performances”
Stop Killing Us: A Black Lives Still Matter Exhibition
Aug 6th – Aug 29th, 12:00PM – 5:00PM
Holding Contemporary, 916 NW Flanders St
2. Give supplies
– Rosehip Medic Collective looking for a whole range of useful supplies you might have – see the list and how to donate here
– Portland Action Medics is still doing an ‘old gear drive’ – donate helmets, new or gently used knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, shatter-resistant eye protection and goggles. Donate and more info here
– The Witches are downtown providing supplies, medics, food, drinks, water and candy. Find what they need and how to donate on their twitter.
In an exciting win for our local movement, and a big victory for community members in Longview, WA, a proposed petrochemical refinery pulled the plug on a project that would have threatened people’s health, safety, and our climate. Another fossil fuel project defeated on the Columbia!
In 2017, Pacific Coast Fertilizer LLC proposed a fracked-gas-to-anhydrous-
ammonia refinery near the Columbia River. The facility would have stored anhydrous ammonia just a few thousand feet from homes and transferred the ammonia in 100 to 200 tanker trucks per week and ocean-going ships.
As we saw in Beirut last week, fossil fuels in any form can be extremely dangerous, whether that’s the fracked gas in the proposed Jordan Cove pipeline, the tar sands in the bomb trains passing through Portland every day, or the fertilizer that can explode and flatten a city. And that’s not even taking into account the climate impact. Our hearts are with the Lebanese people for their loss, and we are relieved that Longview residents won’t have to live in the shadow of this dangerous facility.
Watch this 5 minute video from Grist. Portland is the worst in the country for the differences in temperatures between white neighborhoods and Black (and historically redlined) neighborhoods, with a difference of up to 19F on hot days. Climate change and racial injustice go hand in hand. “As you move through a city, you probably notice summer heat can be a lot worse depending on which neighborhood you’re in. This isn’t a coincidence.”
Check out this recent recorded training from 350Seattle about Protest Safety — How to Keep Yourself and Your Comrades Safe in the Streets
After years of debate, Portland City Council has passed a policy overhauling the city’s residential zoning rules to allow more housing within city limits.
The Residential Infill Project (RIP) will lift Portland’s decades-old ban on building “middle housing”—duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes—in the vast majority of the city’s neighborhoods, where current city rules only allow the construction of single-family homes. The final policy, four years in the making, is meant to improve housing affordability by increasing the sheer number of homes within Portland city limits—and begin to reverse the lasting impacts of local zoning laws created to exclude people of color from buying property.
With transportation being the Portland area’s biggest source of climate pollution, this project will reduce urban sprawl and therefore the need for car travel, and will create walkable and transit-focused neighborhoods.
- Portland Black Lives Matter Protests
Every day @ across the city – details here
There are protests, vigils, and marches every day and every night, with the exact location and details sometimes only becoming available a few hours before. So please check the PDX BLM events webpage for the day’s events, and show up!
- Solidarity School: Our Fight for a Just Recovery: Workers Rights, Racial Justice, COVID & Climate
TONIGHT Wed Aug 12, 5:00PM – 6:00PM – Online
The Solidarity School series will kick-off with a focus on Our Fight for a Just Recovery. We’ll provide foundational knowledge about what a “just recovery” means for 350.org and share our principles and values. We’ll hear how workers’ rights and the fight for racial justice intersect and how both connect with climate justice. Watch this mass call tonight!
- Webcast: Oregon’s Forests and the Fight Against Climate Change
TONIGHT Wed Aug 12, 6:00PM – 7:00PM – Online
Forests are among the largest stores of living carbon on the planet, and it turns out that the forests of western Oregon have a higher carbon density than almost any other forest type in the world. Unfortunately, the destruction and mismanagement of these forests over the past century has transferred massive amounts of stored carbon to the atmosphere, which has contributed significantly to the warming of the planet.
Felice Kelly, co-lead of the 350PDX Forest Defense team, will be presenting on Climate, Carbon, and Oregon’s Forests, and what we can do about it. Join the Forest Defense team by filling in our Volunteer form here!
- SW PDX Black Lives Matter Vigil
Every Weds, 4:30PM – 5:30PM, SW 35th and Multnomah Blvd
Southwest PDX family-friendly sign waving in Solidarity with Black Lives, every Wed. 4:30-5:30, SW 35th and Multnomah Blvd. with masks and physical spacing, ongoing until further notice. Plenty of extra signs to borrow. Co-sponsored by 350PDX SW Team, SW Action Group for Social Justice (SWAG) and Stand on Every Corner.
Thank you all for the work that you do, stay safe, we’re all in this together,
Ashley, Chris, Chuck, Dineen, Indi, Lucy – the 350PDX staff