One year ago, George Floyd was murdered and Black people led millions of us out into the streets to demand an end to racist violence and murders by police. In one of the largest uprisings in US history, we took to the streets to demand justice for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, and for the thousands of other Black and Brown people killed by the police every year, with one of the core demands being to defund the police.
The movement for Black lives has been successful at defunding police departments across the country, including in Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and here in Portland. But the $15 million rerouted from the Portland Police Bureau in the 2021 budget to other city programs and initiatives fell far short of the $50 million cut advocated for by many local groups including 350PDX, and is still a sliver of the PPB budget of $245 million. Many groups are thinking bigger, about what abolishing the police system itself would mean, and what we would replace it with.
Join us for our June General Meeting, where we’ll hear from guest speaker Lee Helfend of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon on this question of abolition, both of the police and of prisons, and how those issues intersect with environmental justice.
What: 350PDX June General Meeting – Abolition & Environmental Justice, with guest speaker Lee Helfend of OPAL
When: Wednesday, June 2 at 6:00PM – 7:15PM
Where: Virtual – register for the zoom link here
Here’s your 350PDX weekly update.
All these actions and more can be found on our website’s Take Action page – 350pdx.org/action
Want to get more involved at 350PDX but want to see more of what kind of opportunities exist, what kind of skills we’re looking for, and where the need is greatest? We’re putting together this new Volunteer Opportunities page, that has more information about each team, what they’re currently up to, and what getting involved with them might look like. It’s a work in progress and will be a living place updated regularly. Check it out here!
Zenith has submitted their Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS) to the City as a precursor to applying to DEQ for an air quality permit. Tell Dan Ryan and City Council to deny the LUCS for Zenith and encourage DEQ to deny Zenith’s air quality permits! Zenith needs the city’s approval to apply for an air quality permit that it does not deserve given that it openly vents hazardous fumes every tanker it unloads threatening low-income and BIPOC communities already having air quality issues and going against city policies already on the books. Zenith is a safety threat in terms of blast zone derailments and the possible inferno that would result from being in a liquefaction zone when there is a large earthquake. Furthermore, tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest and heaviest fossil fuels on the planet and so will contribute to climate chaos when exported overseas to be burned as well as threaten the Columbia River in the case of a derailment as it sinks and is difficult to surface contain thus threatening this precious ecosystem. This is a critical time to try to shut down this facility!!!
TAKE ACTION on Zenith – Go to bit.ly/stopzenith to send a letter (it only takes a moment)! Also, call Dan Ryan’s office at 503-823-3589 and tell them to deny the Land Use Compatibility Statement.
On Saturday, May 29th at noon, join XRPDX at Lower Macleay park (2960 NW Upshur) to talk with folks about contacting the City asking them to deny Zenith’s LUCS. Over the past month we have gathered over 100 postcards and used QR codes for over 71 letter signatures up in North Portland. This week we focus on NW Portland. We also have blast zone yard signs available for those in the blast zones in NE, North, and NW Portland.
On May 5, over 150 people attended a live Q&A with Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read to ask him to use his role as the State Treasurer to divest from fossil fuels and fight the climate crisis. State Treasurers have an enormous and often underutilized role to play in fighting the climate crisis. Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read manages the $110 Billion state pension fund investments and votes those shares at the Annual General Meetings of some of the largest financial institutions and fossil fuel companies in the country. 350PDX (with over 40 co-sponsors around Oregon!) organized this Q&A to educate the community about the power of state treasurers in the fight against the climate crisis and to continue to push the Treasurer Read to vote and invest as a climate champion. Watch to hear directly from the Treasurer and from activists and community members from around the state.
In 1999 Tema Okun wrote an article on White Supremacy Culture, which has since become a foundational reading of anti-racist work. It’s even one of our central resources on our training page that we ask all volunteers to look at! Well this week it got an update, with a new website adding a few more traits to the list (including “fear”), as well as a bunch more context and other updates. It’s a dynamic website with lots of different ways to absorb and learn the content, so please feel free to spend some time looking through it!
- Treaty People Gathering in Minnesota
June 5-8, Northern Minnesota
An Indigenous-led movement has resisted Enbridge’s toxic tar sands Line 3 pipeline through legal advocacy, organizing, and direct action for over seven years. Hundreds of actions have happened on the ground on Anishinaabe treaty land in Minnesota and across the world to stop it. Now, Indigenous leadership has put out a call for people in all parts of the world to converge on Minnesota from June 5-8 and engage in nonviolent direct action.
Vans and carpools are being organized from Portland to Minnesota. When you sign up to join the gathering, you’ll have the opportunity to join Signal chats to get plugged into these ride-sharing opportunities.
- 350PDX Volunteer Orientation
Thurs June 10, 6:00PM – 7:30PM, Online – Register here
A great place to get started with 350PDX – hear what we’re all about, meet some cool people, and start finding your place in the climate justice movement here in Portland!
- Portland Black Lives Matter Protests
Throughout the week @ across the city – details here
Click here for our advice for showing up to protest
Thank you all for the work that you do, stay safe, we’re all in this together,
Chris, Chuck, Dineen, Gaby, Indi – the 350PDX staff