Today our history of fire suppression, combined with hot, dry conditions linked to climate change, are driving the growth of wildfires across the West. Our thoughts are with the communities that are affected by these fires (see some resources on how to stay informed and safe below). We hope you’re able to look after yourselves, keep out of the smoke, and make an evacuation plan if necessary.
Wildfire has always been a necessary and vital part of the forest ecosystems of the American West, and the plants and animals that call these forests home have evolved to co-exist and thrive with all types of wildfire. The native peoples of the Northwest used fire for millennia to maintain food, medicine, and wildlife populations, but traditional burning was actively fought and suppressed upon the arrival of European colonists. Fire suppression grew to industrial proportions in the mid-20th century and was most effective during the cool, wet climate period from the 1940’s to the 1980’s.
For nearly a century, our elected officials, the media, and timber interests have told us that fire destroys forests, kills wildlife, and endangers communities. Leaders from both political parties have responded to people’s fear of fire by promising to reduce “catastrophic fire” through “hazardous fuels reduction” and “active management.”
We cannot log our way out of fire, and fire should not be used as an excuse for aggressive logging far off in the backcountry, which, according to the best available science, does not improve the safety of our communities and releases stored forest carbon. In fact, heavily logged lands burn faster and hotter, driving severe wildfires. To learn more about the interaction of wildfire, logging, and climate change, check out this guide from Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology.
Between the tear gas, wildfire smoke, and freeway emissions, we’re witnessing an all out assault on our lungs at a time when healthy lungs are a crucial last defense against a raging pandemic. The root cause of all of these is the same – mismanagement, denial, and oppression. At these times it’s important to remember those who are disproportionately affected – including Black communities, houseless folks, low income and BIPOC folks living near fossil fuel pollution in N and NW Portland, those living in tree-less hot and polluted areas of East Portland, those putting themselves on the frontlines to fight against police brutality and Black liberation, low income rural folks, people in prisons and jails, and the indigenous communities across the West – and to double down on our commitment to fight not just the climate crisis, but for social justice as well.
The Eugene Hotel yesterday, Eugene, OR – Chris Pietsch/The Register Guard
Here’s your 350PDX weekly update!
350PDX is partnering with grassroots human rights organizations in the Philippines and here in Portland to put on this virtual webinar on heightening fascism in the Philippines under Duterte’s Anti Terror Law, and the impacts on Indigenous and land defenders in the Cordillera region. With the threat of authoritarianism on our doorstep here in the US, this webinar will be give deep insights into how our situation relates to that in the Philippines.
Featuring Human Rights Activist Brandon Lee
On August 6th, 2019, Brandon Lee, a San Francisco native who moved to the Philippines to work full-time as an environmental defender, was shot outside of his home, sustained life-threatening injuries and survived with permanent damage to his spine. This attack against Brandon came after years of harassment, surveillance, intimidation, and death threats by the Philippine military and police in an attempt to squash the movement of peasant farmers and indigenous peoples resisting environmental plunder and fighting for their rights to land and self-determination.
Wednesday Sept 16 5:30PM – 6:30PM
ONLINE (Sign up for link!) – CLOSED CAPTIONING PROVIDED
We’re building a team to ensure that as many people as possible are registered to vote – and then turn them out to the polls on Election Day on November 3rd.
We’ll be partnering with other 350 local groups in key swing states, and together we’ll reach as many voters as we can, calling and texting them with important information on voter registration and vote by mail – then reminding them to cast their ballots when it counts. But it will only work with volunteers like you. After you sign up, we’ll send you a weekly email with phonebanking events happening with our 350 partners every day of the week – so you can engage when it works best for you. Sound good? Sign up here!
American news outlets are not making the connection between extreme weather, climate change, and fossil fuel pollution. They are failing to mention, from coverage on derecho, to the fires in the west, to the superstorm now hitting the Gulf Coast, how a hotter planet means bigger, stronger storms.
Watch this video connecting the dots between hurricanes, climate change, and fossil fuels (on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter). Then add your name to the petition if you believe it is time for the media to tell the whole story.
- Clackamas County: Wildfire Information
- Multnomah County: Smoke and Wildfire Information
- Governor Brown’s Wildfire Resources Information
- Oregon Office of Emergency Management – For the latest updates: OEM Facebook Page
- Red Cross Find Shelters – For the latest updates: Red Cross Cascades Region Facebook Page
- How to prepare for wildfire emergencies
As the Portland Police Bureau continues with brutal repression of protesters and Black communities, as well as open collaboration with white supremacist groups, many people are looking for alternatives to reach out to in some situations. This website provides information of services that can help in the following categories – Housing, LGBTQ+, Mental Health, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Youth, Elders, Crime, Substance Abuse.
“Are you open to integrating liberation and equity into your personal leadership and organizational practices? Are you open to deepening an intersectional and racial equity approach to your work?”
If your answer is YES, Sign-up for this 6-week virtual learning series, here. You choose which Monday you want to start–then each week by email you will receive pre-work (Monday), a gentle reminder to explore your pre-work (Wednesday), and a link to a pre-recorded webinar and related resources (Friday).
Mac Smiff – “To borrow the words from Destiny Houston, we’ll stop protesting when we have “change we can feel in our Black bodies.” Don’t ever fix your pens to tell us what Black Lives Matter means. You can try to hide behind the “Editorial Staff”, but we can see you. Get with it or get out the way. The future is coming. We’re in the winning phase and your narrative doesn’t matter anymore.”
11 minute interview with Gary Younge – “Riots are often justified, what’s the French Revolution but a riot blessed by history”
- Portland Black Lives Matter Protests
Every day @ across the city – details here
Click here for our advice for showing up to protest
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 late night protests downtown. Some events are only being planned or details 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:
Justice for Patrick Kimmons
Every Thurs, 10:00AM – 2:00PM
MLK and Killingsworth. Please wear black
Nurses for Black Lives
Fri Sept 11, 10:00PM – 10:30PM
Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Healthcare workers showing up in support of true change and justice. Standing in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Keaton Otis Vigil (Online)
Sat Sept 12, 6:00PM – 7:00PM
Keaton Otis was a young Black man murdered by the Portland police over six years ago, May 12, 2010. The police admitted they stopped him for “looking like a gangster”. They shot him 23 times after tazing him twice while he sat in the driver’s seat. Later police said Keaton had a gun, but have yet to produce it. For log-in information, message the Keaton Otis Vigil Facebook page.
Black Women Led March in Clackamas
Sun Sept 13, meet 3:00PM, march 4:00PM
Village Green Park, 13786 SE Seiben Parkway, Happy Valley
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 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.
Car Caravan Protest [date change]
Wednesdays – Meet at 5:30PM depart 6:00PM
Saturdays – Meet 2:00PM depart 2:30PM
PCC Cascade parking lot behind Student Services. Albina near Killingsworth.
A mandatory safety orientation begins 15 minutes before departure.
- Virtual Film Screening: Ancestral Waters
Sat Sept 12, 2:00PM – 4:00PM – Online
Please join the 350PDX Washington County Team for a free online viewing of “Ancestral Waters,” a thought-provoking movie about the Puyallup Tribe’s fight against the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility currently being built on the Tribe’s ancestral land, known today as the Tacoma Tideflats.
- Keeping Healthy and Safe at Protest
Tues Sept 15, 5:00PM – Online
This is the first of four trainings in the next couple of months that can to help prepare new protestors to face the increasingly chaotic election season with resiliency and power. Each two-hour session will be led by an experienced trainer from a local 350 group, in coordination with 350.org US. 350PDX is set to lead one as these continue on into 2021, stay tuned. More info.
- Tuesday, Sept. 15: Keeping Healthy and Safe at Protest (5-7pm PT / 8-10pm ET): Learn how to be mentally and physically prepared for being on the streets protesting (led by 350 Seattle).
- Saturday, Sept. 26: Remote Organizing and Volunteer Engagement 101 (11am – 1 pm PT / 2-4 pm ET): Learn how to maximize remote organizing and engage new volunteers now and following the election (led by 350 Colorado).
- Saturday, Oct. 10: Digital Organizing 101 (11am-1pm PT / 2-4pm ET): Learn digital organizing basics, best practices, tools, and get tips on email and social media strategy (led by 350 Massachusetts).
- Nov 21-22: Grassroots / Year End Fundraising (date and time TBD): Learn how to plan your group’s end of year fundraising campaign. Get tips, templates and info on crowdsourcing (led by 350Vermont).
- Racial Justice is Climate Justice Learning Series
Thurs Sept 10, 6:00PM – Online
Join our friends at 350 Seattle next Thursday (9/10) at 6pm for the first of their Climate Justice is Racial Justice webinars — a learning series on the ways racial inequities intersect with the threats of climate change. These fights are deeply interconnected, and the way to build a healthy, resilient future is to learn, understand, and support one another in the fight against the systems of oppression that we’ve all been enmeshed in.
Each week for four weeks, a 350 Seattle team will host a guest speaker who will draw connections between racial justice issues and the work we do in the climate movement. Attendees will have the chance to ask questions, and be offered a clear way to learn more and support each issue.
“Without a focus on correcting injustice, work on climate change addresses only symptoms, and not root causes.”—grassroots advocacy group Bronx Climate Justice North.
- September 10th — Speaker Dean Spade (Seattle University School of Law) on Prison Abolition
- September 17th — Speaker Nikkita Oliver (Decriminalize Seattle) on Defund Police
- September 24th — Speaker Maya Garfinkel (Be: Seattle) on Affordable Housing
- October 1st — Speakers from Tacoma LNG Resistance on Environmental Injustice
Follow the link to sign up so you don’t miss any of the series. For each webinar we will offer closed captioning and will be recording each one to have available afterwards. Please contact Shemona for any further accessibility needs or questions. There is no climate justice without racial justice
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
Every donation counts DOUBLE for the next two week. Please donate now to sustain the movement!