Brewing Street Brawl Derails Parade Plans
Fearing political violence, organizers have canceled Saturday's 82nd
Avenue of Roses Parade. Two left-wing groups, the Direct Action Alliance
and Oregon Students Empowered, had planned to interfere with the
Multnomah County Republican Party's float, saying the party promoted
hate speech and harbored far-right militia members. Meanwhile, one of the organizers of an April 2 "Rally for Trump and Freedom" in Vancouver, Wash., which ended in a large brawl and police arrests of several anti-fascist ("antifa") protesters, planned to defend the GOP float. The organizer, Joey Gibson, frequently posts online videos in which he rants about "free speech" while standing in front of his firearms and an American Revolutionary War flag. "We've got a lot more people coming down now on Saturday because of the threats you guys are making," Gibson tells his antifa foils in an April 24 video, before making a threat of his own: "Saturday can be an awesome day or a horrible day. I was in Berkeley. You don't want that, trust me." Gibson's video catalog includes a clip of him scuffling with masked skateboarders at the April 15 riots in Berkeley, Calif., where neo-Nazis and antifa engaged in a daylong street brawl. Kyle Chapman, a star among far-right vigilantes, threatened on video to take his show on the road. "We're going to go to every liberal city," Chapman said. "Fucking Portland." Portland left-wing groups are planning their own May Day events this weekend, including a service-industry strike.
Report Finds Abuse of Mentally Ill Prisoners
For the past year, Disability Rights Oregon has monitored the welfare of about 40 of the state's most seriously mentally ill prison inmates, after determining they were kept in horrific conditions and allowed out of isolation cells less than an hour a day. In an April 26 report, DRO attorney Joel Greenberg says conditions have improved marginally but are still "deeply concerning." Greenberg says the Oregon Department of Corrections is still falling short of a four-year improvement plan it signed last year. For instance, the improvement plan calls for the inmates, who are housed at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, to be allowed out of their cells for 20 hours of recreation a week, but DRO found they are getting less than five hours a week. "The progress has been truly inadequate," Greenberg tells WW. "Our strong belief is, the problem is an imbalance of power between clinical workers and security staff."
Non-English Speakers Feel Less Safe in Portland
The 26th edition of an annual community survey conducted by the Portland Auditor's Office features a new wrinkle: It's polylingual. Auditor Mary Hull Caballero's team translated the survey into Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese and Russian. The results, released April 25, show significant disparities. Only 71 percent of respondents to translated surveys said they felt safe walking in their neighborhood during the day, compared to 90 percent of respondents in English.