Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Fighting hate by networking resources

Statement on the Threat of Post Election Violence — October 20, 2020

Statement on the Threat of Post Election Violence

October 20, 2020

Our country is passing through a time of great division. The voices of extremism have been growing and the threat of violence centered around the presidential election has raised anxiety levels in many communities. The includes communities who have long been the targets of hate and scapegoating, as well as federal workers, and even law enforcement. The Coalition Against Hate Crimes (CAHC) would like to use its collective voice to urge our partners in law enforcement to enact a cohesive strategy to protect Oregonians from those who have pledged violence around and after the election. This threat ranges from voter intimidation to acts of massive domestic terrorism.

We call on our coalition law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of the citizens and residents of our state by doing the following;

  • Have a clear plan about how law enforcement will respond to election related violence, including by those civilian groups that claim to be “pro-police.” This plan should be a collaboration between local, county, state, and federal law enforcement, and should be presented to the public. The priority of confronting domestic terrorism must be high through the new year.
  • Law enforcement should reach out to vulnerable communities who have been the target of hate in the past, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and those subject to religious bigotry, to develop security strategies and encourage the reporting of bias related behavior. The Department of Homeland Security should provide resources to protect to communities who have been threatened by right-wing extremists.
  • All levels of law enforcement must make clear that any member who participates in right-wing extremist activities will be removed from armed service.
  • Law enforcement must engage in a public effort to both address the threat level and create a mechanism by which the public knows how to properly respond. This can include utilizing the state’s new bias crime hotline to report potential threats and plots, leading to immediate investigation. 

The last few years, the right-wing extremist movement has returned to the forefront of our body politic. Jeremy Christian, the anti-government activist posted an ode to Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, on his Facebook page before his 2017 murderous attack on a Portland Max train. Armed Proud Boys have been roaming Portland and Salem, looking for confrontation. Militia groups, like the Oath Keepers, have promoted themselves as soldiers in a coming civil war. The race war McVeigh hoped to spark has been rebranded as the “boogaloo,” with armed adherents, both on line and in the street, promising violent conflict if their man in the White House is not re-elected. The recent arrests of the militia members in Michigan who were plotting to kidnap (and execute) Governor Whitmer and overthrow the state government demonstrate how real these “patriot” visions for massive social disruption are.

Communities in Oregon have been traumatized by the presence of white-nationalist, fascists, and anti-government extremists, many regularly sporting weapons of war. This should not be normal in our state or in America. People are in fear of what a Trump victory or defeat could mean for public safety. This fear is magnified by the perception that many in law enforcement condone, or even participate in this form of oppression and domestic terrorism.

If a community member sees a threat being made to a mosque, synagogue, LGBTQ+ center, Black frequented venue, members of immigrant communities, or a federal building on social media, they should 1) believe that law enforcement is going to take it seriously, and 2) have a clear avenue to report it to authorities. Our partners in the justice field can help build community resilience in the face of growing fears of grievous violence.

Law enforcement partners must speak in a unified, clear voice that the threat posed by right-wing violence is at odds with our democratic values. It must be dealt with and not allowed to grow. There are those that are calling for a second civil war to begin in the next few months. We must stand together against the calls for violence and division and law enforcement must play a role in preventing this catastrophe.

CAHC/Law Enforcement Background

The CAHC was formed in 1997 in the wake of the Oklahoma City Bombing. The actors in that 1995 terrorist act killed 168 innocent people, including 19 children, and injured another 759 civilians, all who were inside the Murrah Federal Building. The goal of the bombing was to ignite a race war in America. They had spent time in the militia movement in Michigan, training with right-wing extremists who hated federal and state government agencies. Following the bombing, Attorney General Janet Reno requested that federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies form partnerships with community-baed groups to prevent further domestic terrorism from the radical right.

The CAHC was created as a partnership between advocacy and civil rights groups and law enforcement and government agencies to do this work. For 23 years, we have collaborated on better reporting of incidents, supporting the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, community-level education, and providing resources to the victims of hate. Since our founding, we have had active participation from all levels of law of enforcement, from the Portland Police Bureau to the FBI. The partnerships have, at times, been tense, but have allowed for open channels of communications around key issues of public safety in our state.

2019 – The Year in Hate and Resistance in Oregon — February 4, 2020

2019 – The Year in Hate and Resistance in Oregon

February 4, 2020

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2019 saw an alarming number of hate crimes across the state, but also some incredible efforts to fight hate in Oregon. The year began with KKK graffiti appearing in Cave Junction and ended with a racially motivated stabbing in Ontario. There is some evidence that, despite violent attacks that include several assaults on LGBT people, there might be a leveling off of the spike that followed the 2016 election. In November, the FBI released its annual hate crime report, finding 139 hate crimes reported in Oregon in 2018 (of which 88 were violent), as compared to 169 (86 violent) in 2017, a 17% reduction in reported hate crimes. However, the national trends are a little less comforting, including a fairly dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the last year.

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While these horrible things were happening across the state, some important progress was being made. In July, Governor Brown signed a bill that added Holocaust education to the state’s school curriculum. The state also enacted a new bias crime law, SB 577, that expanded protections, mandated the better collecting of data, and, perhaps most importantly, created a network of resources for survivors of bias crimes. The CAHC was present at the Governor’s signing of the bill on July 15 and has participated in the steering committee charged with implementing the law. The law was the result of intense work by a partnership of community groups and the Oregon Attorney General’s office that included a series of listening sessions across the state in January.

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The year also saw several hate crime cases moving through the court system, including an increasing number that have been charged under SB 577. The trial of Jeremy Christian, who has been held in a Multnomah County jail since the 2017 stabbing attack on a Portland Max train, was delayed until January, 2020.  In March, a jury found Russell Courtier guilty of the racially motivated 2016 murder of Larnell Bruce, Jr. in Gresham. The family of Bruce was present for the signing of Oregon’s new bias crime law in July.

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The year also the witnessed menacing presence of the Proud Boys, accused of violent attacks, a large alt-right rally in Portland on August 17, and Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson indicted for inciting a riot. In response to the August 17 rally, Portland hosted an Our City, Our Home Anti-Hate Rally in Pioneer Square on August 14. On February 7, the city council had passed a resolution condemning white supremacy and the alt right.

The new year (and new decade) will see the implementation of the state’s new bias crime law and the creation of a hotline for Oregonian’s to report both bias crime and non-criminal bias incidents (1-844-924-BIAS).

The chronology below is divided into two categories. The first are hate crimes and incidents that were reported in 2019 via the CAHC Facebook page. The second category are examples of how the state has responded to the issue of hate, from both an institutional and community level. It is certainly not a complete tally of all incidents, but highlights both the normality of hate as well as the incredible resistance that occurs in our state.

2019 – The Year in Hate in Oregon

January

Jan. 11 – Holocaust deniers crash Attorney General’s session, Medford.

Jan. 12 – KKK grafitti, Cave Junction.

Jan. 18 – White supremacist Andrew Oswalt re-enrolls in OSU, Corvallis.

Jan. 18 – KKK flyers posted, Astoria.

Jan. 22 – Portland mayor threatened by member of Proud Boys.

Jan. 23 – Parkrose High athletes called racial slurs at St. Helens High game.

February

Feb. 10 – Transgender woman attacked, Portland.

Feb. 17 – Flyers for racist YouTuber posted in Hollywood neighborhood, Portland.

Feb. 19 – Report of anti-gay harassment on Trimet bus (#72), Portland.

Feb. 22 – Jeremy Christian to use a mental health defense in Max stabbing case.

Feb. 23 – Report of racist/anti-gay harassment, SE 86th & Division, Portland.

Feb. 23 – “Radical Agenda” pro-Holocaust flyers found in Abernathy neighborhood, Oregon City.

Feb. 26 – Report of anti-gay harassment, SE 65th & Foster, Portland.

March

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Mar. 3 – Reports of white supremacists and anti-gay harassment, Portland.

Mar. 4 – White man arrested for racial harassment, Portland.

Mar. 6 – Teacher tells student to “Go back to Mexico,” Salem.

Mar. 12 – Proud Boy arrested, Patriot Prayer member indicted, Portland.

Mar. 20 – Swastika carved in Russian restaurant, SE Portland.

Mar. 21 – White Supremacist Andrew Oswalt charged with hate crime, Corvallis.

April

Apr. 22 – Oregon anti-government activist arrested in New Mexico for detaining migrants.

Apr. 22 – Noose found at Cleveland High School, Portland.

Apr. 23 – Racist harassment, Springfield.

Apr. 25 – Racial slur, lockdown at Wilson High School, Portland.

Apr. 26 – Blackface cake at Cleveland High School, Portland.

May

May 1 – Patriot Prayer street fight and riot at Cider Riot bar, Portland.

May 5 – America First rally, Springfield.

May 11 – Gresham man arrested for making racial threats.

May 28 – Homeless woman arrested for racial harassment, Portland.

June

June 4 – Bar accused of discriminating against trans patrons, Portland.

June 12 – Racist and swastika graffiti reported, Eugene.

June 29 – Racist assault in NE Alberta neighborhood, Portland.

July

July 16 – Milwaukee HS student seen stealing equality sign, ripping pride flag.

July 16 – Report that Oregon had 6th highest hate crime increase, 2013-17, in nation.

July 18 – Pride signs stolen from homes, Milwaukie.

July 27 – Home graffitied with homophobic slurs, Salem.

August

Aug. 2 – Swastika’s spray painted on local businesses, Eugene,

Aug. 7  – Armed man arrested outside El Paso immigrant center with plans to come to Portland.

Aug. 10 – Man arrested for bias crime outside CC Slaughter’s , Portland.

Aug. 13 – Lesbian couple has molotov cocktail thrown at house, SE Portland.

Aug. 17 – Proud Boy/alt right march, Portland.

Aug. 20 – Racist assault, Salem.

Aug. 24 – Anti-trans attack, Newport.

September

Sept. 17 – Anti-trans attack reported, Portland.

Sept. 27 – Racist harassment of neighbor, Gresham.

October

Oct. 1 – Anti-trans attack in the Pearl District, Portland.

Oct. 24 – Noose found at Chapman Elementary, Portland.

Oct. 29 – White teens wear blackface at high school event, Lebanon.

Oct. 29 – University of Oregon accused of not reporting anti-Semitic hate crimes, Eugene.

November

Nov. 11 – Noose found hanging at OHSU, Portland.

December

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Dec. 18 – Lawsuit claims black teen was racially harassed before suicide, Bend.

Dec. 23 – Racial stabbing at truck stop, Ontario.

 

 

2019 – The Year in Responding to Hate in Oregon

January

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Jan. 7 – Attorney General’s session on hate crime, Portland.

Jan. 9 – Attorney General’s session on hate crime, Eugene.

Jan. 11 – Attorney General’s session on hate crime, Medford.

Jan. 15 – Andrew Ramsey charged in anti-Sikh assault, Salem.

Jan. 19 – Senate Bill 577 is introduced, Salem.

Jan. 28 – Portland prepares anti-hate resolution.

Jan. 31 – 6 Gypsy Joker gang-members arrested, Portland.

February

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Feb. 7 – Portland City Council passes resolution on white supremacy.

Feb. 12 – Eugene man who threatened shooting spree at Catholic church pleads guilty to federal hate crime.

Feb. 24 – Q Center Town Hall, Portland.

March

Mar. 1 – Lakeridge HS student pushes bill to require Holocaust and genocide education at Oregon public schools.

Mar. 2 – Our Streets! Community Safety Day, PICA, Portland.

Mar. 12 – Oregon Senate approves Holocaust education curriculum, Salem.

Mar. 12 – SB 577 moves out of committee, Salem.

Mar. 15 – Community support rally for Christchurch shooting victims, MET, Tigard.

Mar. 19 – Russell Courtier found guilty on all counts for Bruce murder, Portland.

Mar. 25 – Andrew Oswalt arraigned on new bias-motivated offense, Corvallis.

April

Apr. 1 – Understanding Oppression workshop, YWCA, Portland.

Apr. 2 – Man convicted of hate crime for threatening to kill gay man, Portland.

Apr. 4 – Oregon SB 577 moved out of judiciary committee, Salem.

Apr. 9 – Jeremy Christian trial to stay in Multnomah County.

Apr 16 – Judge gives Russell Courtier life sentence for Bruce murder, Portland.

Apr. 23 – Racist harasser in McMinville gets 30 days in jail.

May

May 3 – Jeremey Christian trial moved to January 2020, Portland.

May 4 – Civil suit filed against Patriot Prayer by owner of Cider Riot, Portland.

May 4-  PUAH hosts training on Trauma-Informed Hate Response, Portland.

May 6 – AG Rosenblum community meeting on hate crime, Portland.

May 11 – PUAH Disrupting Hate: A Mental Health Providers Guide, Lewis & Clark.

May 15 – Report of 42% decrease in hate crimes in Eugene.

May 24 – Salem man sentenced to jail after grabbing a Sikh man’s turban.

May 25 – Portland City Hall meeting on white supremacy training.

May 28 – Wilson High students walk out over racism, Portland.

May 28 – Oregon lawmakers add Holocaust education to school curriculum.

May 28 – “Islamophobia and White Nationalism in Oregon and the World” at Oregon Historical Society, Portland.

May 30 – Transforming Hate: Mulugeta Seraw’s Legacy, Portland.

May 31 – Divided States: The Max Attack screening, Portland.

May 31 – Man gets probation for anti-Sikh attack, Salem.

June

June 10 – SPLC benefit, Salem Cinema, Salem.

June 14 – Oregon Senate passes SB 577, Salem.

June 20 – SB 577 unanimously passes House, Salem.

July

July 9 – White Supremacy in Oregon classes begin at First Unitarian, Portland.

July 15 – Gov. Brown signs SB 577 into law, Salem.

July 15 – Gov. Brown signs Holocaust education bill, Salem.

July 18 – Michael Amatullo convicted of Intim 2 for racial harassment, Portland.

July 23 – Eugene adopts resolution condemning white supremacy.

August

Aug. 5 – Woman convicted of hate crime for kicking black mother’s stroller, Portland.

Aug. 6 – Interfaith Vigil against Gun Violence and White Supremacy, Augusta Lutheran, Portland.

Aug. 14 – Arrest in the anti-gay Molotov cocktail case, Portland.

Aug. 14 – Oregonian surveys Oregon congressional leaders on hate crime.

Aug. 14 – Our City, Our Home Anti-Hate Rally, Portland.

Aug. 15 – Joey Gibson charged with felony rioting, Portland.

Aug. 15 – CAHC issues statement ahead of alt-right march, Portland.

Aug. 29 – Anti-Trans hate crime indictment, Lincoln City.

Aug. 30 – Vet has guns removed after threatening antifa demonstrators, Portland.

Aug. 30 – Larnell Bruce Jr. Foundation launched, Portland.

‘Aug. 31 – FBI takes guns of right-wing activist who threatened to kill antifa, Portland.

September

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Sept. 8 – Man sentenced for racist assault on black youth, Portland.

Sept. 11 – Trump & White Supremacy discussion, Chit Chat Cafe, Portland.

Sept. 16 – SB 577 public signing ceremony, Salem.

Sept. 16 – Security guard sentenced for racist attack, Portland.

October

Oct. 1 – Portland Public Schools announces Racial Equity Plan.

Oct. 1 – First Steering Committee meeting for the implementation of SB 577, Portland.

Oct. 21 – Anti-gay attacker first person convicted under SB 577, Portland.

Oct. 24 – Building Bridges: Confronting Hate symposium, Tigard.

Oct. 31 – Prosecutors not seeking the death penalty in the Jeremy Christian case.

November

Nov. 11 – Concert to remember Mulugeta Seraw, Portland

Nov. 12 – FBI releases 2018 hate crime data.

December

Dec. 17 – Man arrested for murder of Vancouver trans teen.

Dec. 24 – Woman indicted for racist assault, Portland.

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The September 5, 2019 CAHC meeting, hosted by the Muslim Educational Trust in Tigard, (Pictured: Matthew Kahl (ADL), Patt Bekken (PFLAG Portland), Adrian Brown (US Attorney’s Office), Wajdi Said (MET), Randy Blazak (CAHC chair), Allan Lazo (Fair Housing Council of Oregon), photo by Rich Iwasaki (Portland JACL), not pictured: Dawn Holt (PFLAG Portland))

 

PSA for Oregon’s New Bias Crime Law — February 1, 2020
Statement of Response to the August 17 Demonstrations — August 16, 2019

Statement of Response to the August 17 Demonstrations

Oregon has a long history of white supremacist and bigoted activism that is woven into our state’s story. It includes early territorial exclusion laws that required blacks in the region to be publicly whipped, as well as the forced internment of Japanese citizens and racist skinheads murdering immigrants in Portland. Each wave has sent messages to various groups that you are not welcome in Oregon.

In recent years we have tried to change the message to one that clearly states that Oregon is a welcoming place to all people. Unfortunately, white supremacy and bigoted activism continue to insert themselves. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes and a new wave of bigots under the broad banner of the “alt right.” Some of these bigots are planning to march in Portland this Saturday. This includes a group called the Proud Boys that has been linked to violence in our city on several occasions. The potential for violence from protestors and counter-protestors has attracted the attention of the national media.

The Coalition Against Hate Crimes wants to have an official statement suggesting an appropriate response to this march. The CAHC was one of the numerous organizations that was present and supportive of Mayor Wheeler’s Unity Rally on Wednesday morning. The question remains, what to do on Saturday? On the one hand, when people with fascistic ideas about the world want to march in the city, it is of great value to directly oppose them and say, “not in our town, not in our streets, never again!” On the other hand, the alt right has been deft at controlling the media narrative and using images of violent anti-fascists to paint themselves as victims of “anti-freedom” forces. The political right has framed the actions of antifa counter protestors as “domestic terrorists,” a meme that has had some influence on the perception of progressive causes.

So the question is to counter-protest or let the alt right march through empty streets with no audience for their street theater. After much discussion, the Coalition would like to take a different approach.

The very presence of these marches acts as a form of emotional terrorism for people who have endured generation after generation of trauma from the forces of intolerance. Instead of directly confronting them and “feeding the wolf,” or going about our daily lives like we don’t have a real problem with white supremacy in the Northwest, we are supporting a third option.

We hope people use this occasion to recognize that there are many populations that are feeling fragile in this current political and cultural environment. That includes immigrants, people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, people with disabilities, and religious minorities. Saturday can be a day that we offer support to our targeted neighbors in creative ways. Bake a cake, take a bit of time to chat, ask to pay for someone’s coffee as a sign of support, attend a community market and spend some money. Maybe instead of increasing the anxiety levels of marginalized communities, the presence of groups like the Proud Boys in Portland can serve to increase the civility between communities. Let this be an opportunity to reach out and build connections.

And those who feel they just want to hide this weekend, or be far from the battles in the street, you have complete permission to practice self-care. If you’ve had enough of news about mass shooters targeting communities like yours or just sick of people telling you to “go back where you came from,” your act of anti-fascism on Saturday might be taking a long bath or taking your children out to one of Portland’s great ice cream parlors.

And those who have the energy to directly confront the peddlers of hate, you are the heroic actors who are helping to change Oregon’s history of intolerance. We just ask that you take that brave stance in a non-violent manner and not give the alt right another meme to attract people to their cause or scare people away from ours. We can both confront hate and play the long game against intolerance.

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

2018 – The Year in Hate (and Resistance to Hate) — January 1, 2019

2018 – The Year in Hate (and Resistance to Hate)

January 1, 2019

The state of Oregon saw an elevated level of hate activity and criminality in 2018. This follows an upward trend following the 2016 elections. Last November, the FBI released its annual hate crime report and found a 15.2% increase in the national number of hate crimes reported to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (8,437 offenses in 2017 and 7,321 offenses in 2016) which was dwarfed by the 40.4% increase in Oregon’s data (146 incidents in 2017 and 104 in 2016). Half of these 2017 offenses occurred in Eugene, reflecting their innovative work to improve hate crime reporting. A 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics found that only 1 in 15 hate crimes are reported to authorities. In addition, not all police agencies submit data to the FBI. In Oregon, only 29 of 214 participating agencies submitted reports. The FBI data for reported hate crimes for 2018 won’t be available until November, 2019.

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It is important to point out that the wide variety of hate activity causes trauma to the victims and communities that are targeted. This includes federal civil rights offenses, crimes that violate Oregon’s intimidation statutes, as well hate incidents, like the posting of racist flyers, that do not rise to the level of criminal offense but are still harmful to the community. Oregon experienced all of the above. Much of the disruption was related to the regular marches by Joey Gibson’s Patriot Prayer that attracted supporters from hate groups, like the Proud Boys and Identity Evropa. In addition, elementary, middle, and high schools across the state saw a rash of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti.

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However, the state also saw an increase in the amount of anti-hate activity. This included the CAHC/DOJ hate crime forum in Eugene on March 10, the events surrounding the one-year-anniversary of the Portland Hollywood Max attack in May, and the conference to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw on November 12. On May 23, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the formation of a state task force on hate crimes. In addition, the new bias incident/crime reporting system was launched by Portland United Against Hate this past fall. Community trainings and presentations occurred across the state. The airing of Divided States: Portland, Oregon on A&E on March 3 reminded us of how deep the divisions are in Oregon. The good work of individuals and organizations, like the YWCA, Rural Organizing Project, the Urban League of Portland, PUAH, and Unite Oregon, did the heavy lifting to build resilience to hate.

2019 promises more divisiveness. Oregon will see the murder trial of Jeremy Christian but also recommendations of the attorney general’s task force. We are planning a third CAHC/DOJ hate crime forum in Medford this spring. We encourage residents to be vigilant, report all hate activity through the the best channel (which might not be the police) and stay safe.

What follows is a list of hate activity that was reported directly (through our Facebook page) or indirectly to the CAHC in 2018. It is not a comprehensive list by any means. After that is a list of some of the anti-hate activity that occurred in the state last year.

Oregon Hate Activity in 2018

January

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11 – Identity Evropa recruitment poster found on Portland State campus, Portland.

20 – Convicted hate criminal Jacob Laskey arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and criminal trespassing, Creswell.

21 – Neo-Nazi Kynan Dutton waves Nazi flag in front of Oregon capital, Salem.

24 – White nationalist student rep at OSU faces recall, Corvallis.

26 – Racist note given to African-American boy at Lake Oswego Junior High, Lake Oswego.

30 – Reward offered to catch people posting anti-Semitic materials at PCC Cascade Campus, Portland.

31 – OSU grad student Andrew Oswalt charged with Intim 1 after posting racist stickers on campus, Corvallis.

February

1 – A balloon with a swastika drawn on it found in a yard in North Portland.

2 – White supremacist invades home in White City.

4 – “KKK,” racist, and anti-Semitic phrases chalked on sidewalk in Portland park.

March

6 – Whit man intentionally rams his car into an Afghani immigrant, Lincoln City,

29 – Identity Evropa flies found in Portland and Gladstone.

30 – Noose found hanging from a tree in Sellwood.

April

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12 – Neo-Nazi fliers found in SE Portland.

25 – Skinhead punches gay person in Eugene.

25 – Neo-Nazi graffiti in East Moreland Park, Eugene.

27 – Hammerskins post ‘Hunting Guides’ Targeting Northwest Communities” online.

29 – Neo-Nazi flier was posted on the wall of Congregation Neveh Shalom, Portland.

May

8 – KKK flyers posted, East Medford.

June

3 – Patriot Prayer rally with Proud Boys, Identity Europa, Portland.

9 – Assault by Proud Boys on NE Broadway, Portland.

17 – Anti-gay assault on NW 21st Avenue, Portland.

22 – Linn County DMV Worker posts “Shoot Them All at the Border” on Facebook.

23 – Stormer Book Club flyers, Oregon City.

30 – Proud Boys involved in Patriot Prayer riot, Portland.

July

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11 – Racist threatener arrested, Beaverton.

16 – Anti-lesbian rant investigated, SE Portland.

17 – Oregonians for Immigration Reform gets Measure 105 on November ballot.

19 – Northwest Front flyers posted, Corvallis.

20 – Deputy placed on leave for wearing Proud Boys gear, Clark Co. WA.

22 – Man arrested on intimidation charges, Lents, Portland.

August

2 – Racist harassment at Beach Elementary School Park, Portland.

4 – Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys rally, Portland.

10 – Racist attack on Willamette River dock, Portland.

September

4 – Anti-immigrant (and Yes on 105) literature handed out at Oregon State Fair, Salem.

12 – Racial slur etched, paint smeared on woman’s car, NE Portland.

October

6 – PSU Pita Pit employee arrested for racist menacing, Portland.

13 -Patriot Prayer rally, Portland.

19 – Nazi flyers blaming Jews for Kavanaugh protests, Portland.

22 – “OK to be white” stickers found in Vancouver, WA.

26 – Hate criminal James Acrement dies at Oregon State Prison, Salem.

28 – Favorable Oregonian story about Joey Gibson, Portland.

November

20 – Anti-Semitic graffiti at Lewis Elementary School, Portland.

December

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8 – Oregon skinheads arrested in anti-black attack in Lynnwood, Washington.

12 – Anti-Semitic graffiti found at Cleveland High School, Portland.

18 – Neo-Nazi Jimmy Marr hospitalized after class with anti-racist activist, Corvallis.

20 – Portland man arrested after threatening two African-American boys with a butcher knife.

23 – Police called on black guest at Double Tree Hilton for calling his mother, Portland.

24 – White women harasses African-America couple with knife, arrested, McMinnville.

 

Responding to Hate in 2018

January

16 – Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces, First Unitarian Church (PDX NAACP).

27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day.

February

1 – TriMet Advisory Committee announces artist for Hollywood Max Station tribute mural, Sarah Farahat.

27 – Peace March held by students of Faubian Elementary School, Portland.

March

5 – Divided States: Portland airs on A&E, forum held at Portland Community College – Cascade.

10 – CAHC/DOJ Hate Crime Forum at UO School of Law, Eugene.

13 – The Beloved Community: Living the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Race Talks, Portland.

16 – Racial Equity Exploration: A Theatrical, Interactive Experience, Portland.

April

8 – Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces, YWCA, Portland.

9 – From Charlottesville to Eugene: White Nationalism’s Resurgence, Immigration, & The Lawyer’s Voice in the Debate, UO School of Law, Eugene.

10 – Hate Under Law: Free Speech, Bigotry and Oregon forum, West Linn.

May

1 – White Supremacy in Oregon: History and Current Issues, NOW Portland.

23 – AG Rosenblum announces task force on hate crime.

25 – Q Center vigil, Portland.

26 – One year anniversary of Portland Max Attack, dedication of the mural at the Hollywood Max Station.

June

16 – Trans Unity Pride Celebration, Portland.

16 – PUAH Managing Compassion Fatigue workshop, Lewis & Clark College.

20 – Jeremy Christian profile page removed from Facebook.

20 – Mourn, Pray, Love and Take Action! Rally, Unite Oregon, Portland.

21 – Cultural Empathy program, YWCA, Portland.

21-23 – Good in the Hood Festival, Portland.

August

7 – Community rally against hate in Normandale Park, Portland.

10 – CAHC at Anti-Hate Teach In – Washington, DC.

15 – Supporting Native Survivors, YWCA, Gresham.

19 – Walk with Refugees and Immigrants, Gateway Discovery Park, Portland.

25 – Portland Somali Festival, Lents Park, Portland

October

9 – Tragedy on the Max: One Year Later, Race Talks, Portland.

11 – Harvey Milk Street Celebration, Portland.

17 –  CAHC presentation on community engagement and extremism, NYC.

17 – Interrupting Hate in Schools, Resolutions NW, Portland.

18 – Building Bridges Summit , Muslim Educational Trust, Tigard.

24 – Eli Saslow (Rising out of Hatred) presentation at Alberta Rose Theater, Portland.

25 – Judge considers death penalty in Max attack case, Portland.

28 – Community gathering in response to Pittsburgh hate crime, Portland.

November

2 – Man arrested in for Aug. 10 racist bias crime, Portland.

6 – Oregon voters defeat Measure 105.

13 – Seraw Commemoration Conference, Portland State.

14 – Seraw street topping ceremony, SE 31st and Pine, Portland.

28 – Andrew Oswalt found guilty, Corvallis.

December

13 – Andrew Oswalt sentenced to 40 days in jail, 3 yers probation, Corvallis.

14 – CAHC attends ADL Consortium on Extremism, Washington DC.

16 – SE Uplift Book Study – A Hundred Little Hitlers, Portland.

 

Remembering one murder in this time of hate. — October 30, 2018

Remembering one murder in this time of hate.

October 30, 2018

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Thirty years ago, the brutal murder of an Ethiopian immigrant by racist skinheads put Portland, Oregon on the map and put the problem of hate crimes into the national consciousness. Now, in the wake of racist murders in Kentucky and Pennsylvania and right-wing bomb threats across the country, we are called to remember the killing of Mulugeta Seraw and the work that must be done to confront the seemingly growing wave of hate in our communities.

The CAHC is honored to support the Urban League of Portland in the holding of a Conference to Commemorate Mulugeta Seraw on Tuesday, November 13, 9 am to 2 pm, at Portland State University. The conference will include participation from the local Ethiopian community (including Mulugeta’s uncle), attorneys involved in the civil suit against the White Aryan Resistance, Portland United Against Hate, and the Coalition Against Hate Crime. To register, please click the link below:

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

If you are interested in a scholarship to attend the conference free of charge, please click here: Scholarship Application Form

The city also has plans to add street top signs with Seraw’s name in the Southeast neighborhood where the murder occurred. The announcement for that ceremony is forthcoming and is being planned for the morning of November 14 at the intersection of SE 31st and SE Pine.

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Seraw’s murder and the current racial violence that has gripped our nation remind of us of the hard work required to move us towards a more equitable society. Let’s honor Mulugeta by doing this work now.

We hope to see you on November 13.

 

Successful hate crime forum held in Eugene — March 15, 2018

Successful hate crime forum held in Eugene

March 15, 2018

On Saturday, March 10 in Eugene, the Coalition Against Hate Crimes co-sponsored its second hate crime forum, Our Communities’ Experiences, Challenges, and Resources, with the support of the Department of Justice Community Relations Service. The forum was held at the Knight Law Center on the campus of the University of Oregon. Before the forum began, the city of Eugene released its report on hate crimes and incidents in the city, showing a marked increase in bias activity over the previous year.

2017 Hate and Bias Report available here: https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/39256

The forum was opened by CAHC chair Randy Blazak, to a full audience of community members that included local law enforcement representatives, and then proceeded through three informative panels (law enforcement, community resources, and community voices), each incorporating audience dialogue.

The goal of the forum was to both educate residents of Lane County and the surrounding area about the resources available to respond to hate in our community and to create networks and agenda items to build community capacity to reduce the impact of bias incidents and crimes.

Special thanks go to Mo Young of Lane County, Katie Babits of the City of Eugene, and Knight Sor, of the Department of Justice Community Relations Service. Photos by Rich Iwasaki.

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Panel #1: Law enforcement (moderator – Knight Sor, U.S. Department of Justice)

Panelists ( l to r): Patty Perlow, Lane County District Attorney, Ryan Dwyer, FBI, Gavin Bruce, U.S. Attorney’s Office,  and Lt. David M. Natt, Eugene Police Department.

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Panel #2: Community Resources (moderator – Harpreet S. Mokha, U.S. Department of Justice)

Panelists ( l to r): David Tam, Asian Pacific Islander Community Action Team, Katie Babits, City of Eugene Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement, Margot Helphand, Jewish Federation of Lane County, Brittany Judson, Community Alliance of Lane County, Back to Back program coordinator, Knight Sor, DOJ-CRS.

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Panel #3: Community members (moderator – Randy Blazak, Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes)

Panelists ( l to r): Viriam S. Khalsa, Sikh community, Evelyn Salinas, Centro Latino Americano, Rabbi Ruhi Sophia Motzkin-Rubenstein, Temple Beth Israel, Max Skorodinsky, Trans*Ponder.

 

 

2017 in Review: Hate Activity Returns to Oregon — January 8, 2018

2017 in Review: Hate Activity Returns to Oregon

January 8, 2018

Following the presidential election in November of 2016, it was clear that a continued increase in hate crimes was likely. Nobody was quite prepared for what 2017 had in store for the country or for Oregon. Although the national data for 2017, collected in the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, won’t be available until mid-2018, preliminary evidence shows a dramatic increase in both hate crimes and non-criminal hate incidents. (The 2016 FBI data showed a 5% increase in reported hate crimes above 2015.) In the ten days following the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center counted 33 hate crimes and non-criminal hate incidents in Oregon, putting the state in the lead as experiencing the highest surge of hateful attacks, per capita, in the country.

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A 2017 study by the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino looked at police data for the first half of 2017 for twelve cities across the country and found a 20 percent increase of reported hate crimes in those cities as compared to the first half of 2016. Leading the pack in that group was Portland, Oregon with a 200 percent increase in reported hate crimes. Making up the most significant trend in that surge has been the dramatic increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate crimes, especially after President Trump’s proposed anti-Muslim immigration ban. If there is any good news, it may be that hate crimes may have leveled off in the second half of 2017, but, again, we won’t have that aggregate data until mid-2018.

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There has also been a rise in active hate groups connected to the Trump phenomenon. The SPLC counted a second year of growth of hate groups in 2016, identifying 917 nationally and 11 in Oregon (including 4 black separatist groups). In 2017, Oregon saw the Nationalist Socialist Movement open a chapter in Salem, a Mississippi Klansman at a Trump rally in Lake Oswego, and a convicted hate criminal set up a YouTube channel and weapons shop in Creswell. The state saw Neo-Nazi activity from Portland to Ashland, including anti-Semitic banners hung from overpasses on I-5. The state also witnessed numerous alt right rallies which have attracted a wide range of individuals and causes, including those opposing immigration and rights of Muslim Americans.

Jeremy Christian accused of fatally stabbings two Good Samaritans shouts in court in Portland

One of those attracted to the alt right cause was Jeremy Christian. If any act defines hate in Oregon this past year, it was his rampage on a Portland commuter train on May 26th. When three individuals, Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, attempted to stop Christian from a racist assault of two teenage girls, Christian stabbed all three in the neck, killing Best and Namkai-Meche. Christian’s Facebook page (which is still accessible) professes admiration for Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber who killed 168 people, including 19 children. At his May 30th arraignment in a Portland courtroom, Christian shouted, “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.” Christian reflects to true threat of violence from America’s rejuvenated face of hate.

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But 2017 also witnessed great resistance to hate in Oregon, including the spontaneous memorial that sprung up at the Hollywood Max station where Christian’s violent attack unfolded (and which will soon become a more permanent art installation sponsored by Tri-met). Across the state, intervention trainings, implicit bias educational forums, and cultural events with Muslim and other communities occurred to counter the new hate. The Coalition hosted a forum on hate crimes on August 12 at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, facilitated by the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. Unfortunately, the event occurred the same day as the murderous events in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, communities large and small across the state have continued to work to reduce hate locally. On September 23, a national organization of former hate group members, Life After Hate, held its first summit in Welches, Oregon to strategize solutions to reduce hate in America.

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2017 was the year that put Oregon back on the national and international radar for the its issues with hate; issues that go all the way back to the founding of the state. The rash of swastikas and anti-immigrant attacks have forced us to reflect on what our true values as Oregonians are. This spotlight will not likely dim in 2018 with the one-year anniversary of the Max attack on May 26th and the 30th anniversary of the Portland murder of Mulugeta Seraw by racist skinheads on November 12th. Those commemorations, along with the divisive political climate and tensions building up to the mid-term elections in November, will test our resolve to move Oregon towards a more welcoming environment, opposite of its racially restrictive founding. The Coalition Against Hate Crime is committed to its mission to educate, improve reporting and investigation of hate crime, and, most of all, make sure members of targeted communities across Oregon feel safe. We have your back.

The 63 hate crimes and incidents listed below do not represent a comprehensive list. Hate crimes are vastly under-reported and there is a large gap of information about hate-related incidents that occur outside of the I-5 corridor, including along the coast and in eastern Oregon. These are the reports that have come into the CAHC via email, our Facebook page, or local media accounts. Some of the criminal events have results in arrests, while others remain unsolved. The reflect of slice of the hate that has occurred in our state in 2017. We continue to encourage people to report any hate activities to local authorities, but we also encourage victims and witnesses to also contact the Coalition.

Oregon’s Year in Hate: 2017

1/24 – Ashland. Neo-Nazi flyers posted around Ashland.

1/25 – Ashland. Black truck with a swastika placard reading, ‘The greatest story never told’ and “Jew Lies Matter” photographed driving around Ashland.

1/29 – Portland. Five males enter the Mount Covenant Church and disrupt services, espousing hate for immigrants and refugees.

1/30 – Portland. A Latino man was assaulted by a skinhead outside Zupans. He also made racist and homophobic comments during the attack.

2/1 – Portland. A man physically accosts workers and customers at Crema Coffee, screaming about “N lovers” and “faggots.”

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2/4 – Eugene. Racially-charged messages, including swastikas, were left on 2 Eugene businesses over the weekend.

2/6 – Portland. A brick is thrown through window of the Black Lives Matter display at a feminist book store.

2/7 – Eugene. Nazi skinheads sporting swastikas seen driving a van with a placard reading, “Trump: Do the white thing.”

2/7 – Portland. A 35-year-old Hispanic man who works at a Southeast Portland funeral home was assaulted at his workplace was assaulted by an unknown white man who began yelling anti-immigrant slurs and hit him several times with some kind of object, possibly a belt.

2/14 – West Linn. Valentines with Hitler’s picture were found at Athey Creek Middle School with the phrase, “Be mein.”

2/18 – Ashland – A metal rail box was spray-painted with the words, “Anne Frank oven.”

2/19 – Portland. A man storms the pulpit at the United Church of Christ and begins yelling anti-homosexual epithets at the pastor, who is gay.

2/23 – Hillsboro. Swastikas are painted in Liberty High School for the second time in two weeks.

3/2 – Lake Oswego. Racist graffiti written on walls in Lake Oswego High School.

3/4 – Lake Oswego. Klan leader from Mississippi attends a pro-Trump rally.

3/4 – Salem. Officers arrested Jason Kendall, 52, for allegedly attacking a man working at a Middle Eastern restaurant with a pipe and telling his victim to “Go back to your country, terrorist,”

3/6 – Portland. The Mittleman Jewish Community Center (MJCC) evacuated its campus on Monday in SW Portland after receiving an e-mail threat. Numerous other Jewish centers are threatened on the same day.

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3/7 – Portland. Anti-gay graffiti found in gender-neutral bathroom at Grant High School.

3/12 – Portland. Numerous swastikas painted on cars, trees, and pavement in Portland along SE 33rd Ave. in Richmond neighborhood.

3/12 – Portland. Neo-Nazis asked to leave Lucky Lab beer hall after disruption.

3/28 – Troutdale. An Iranian-American’s home was severely damaged by anti-Muslim vandalism.

4/19 – Portland. Mexican-American’s home in Northeast Portland vandalized, crude explosive device found.

4/21 – Portland. Attack of workers at Dar Salam restaurant in Northeast Portland by veteran shouting anti-Arab threats.

4/24 – Springfield. Nine neo-Nazis hold rally and meeting.

4/25 – Portland. Latina woman attacked by a white man on NE Martin Luther King Drive who threatened to kill her.

4/29 – Portland. Alt-right rally in Montavilla includes Jeremy Christian.

5/11 – Eugene. Man enters Eugene Islamic Center and threatens to kill people.

5/13 – Portland. Right-wing and white nationalists rally in Chapman Square.

5/14 – Eugene. White Power flyers posted around city.

5/25 – Portland. Jeremy Christian assaults a black woman on a Tri-Met bus.

5/26 – Portland. Jeremy Christian kills two men, injures third, on Northeast Portland Max train after an anti-immigrant rant accosting two black and Muslim riders.

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6/2 – Portland. Muslim couple harassed and threatened in NE Portland.

6/2 – Portland. Man pistol whipped on I-5 in Portland, told to get out of the country.

6/4 – Portland. Pro-Trump rally in downtown Portland includes anti-black/anti-Muslim signs.

6/5 – Lane County. Signs hanging from bridge over I-205 said, “Jews did 9-11.”

6/7 – Portland. True Cascadia white nationalist flyers in posted in Southwest Portland.

6/8 – Portland. Racist flyers posted in Southeast Portland.

6/8 – Portland. Good in the Hood festival receives a letter, claiming to be from the KKK, threatening a “blood bath.”

6/12 – Beaverton. Transphobic graffiti found in ACMA bathroom.

6/23 – Portland. Racist threat phoned into Good in the Hood festival.

6/26 – Salem. Neo-Nazi Kynan Dutton announces a Nationalist Socialist Movement chapter in Salem.

7/21 – Portland. Man assaults Indian family on Max train at Portland State.

7/21 – Portland. Anti-South Asian harassment on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

7/24 – Portland. Family’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign burned down in front yard.

7/27 – Portland. Man harasses patrons outside of Portland gay bar on SE Stark St.

8/6 – Springfield. Repeated harassment of Latino family by white neighbor.

8/20 – Portland. White man yelling racial slurs on a Max Train.

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8/21 – Lane County. Nazi “eclipse” banners on I-5.

9/3 – Troutdale. Racist graffiti in Sweetbriar Elementary.

9/10 – Portland. Alt right rally in downtown Portland and Vancouver, WA.

9/11 – Portland. Abu-Bakar Islamic Center in NE Portland tagged with “ISIS” graffiti.

9/21 – Corvallis. Confederate flag hanging across from black cultural center.

9/24 – Portland. “KKK wants you” magnet in Roosevelt High School.

9/28 – Portland. Racist graffiti at Menlo Park Elementary.

10/5 – Portland. “Kill Muslims” sticker in a Multnomah County employee bathroom.

10/16 – Portland. Beverly Clearly statues vandalized with swastikas.

11/15 – Portland. Racist flyers appear on the campuses of Portland Community College – Rock Creek and Clark College in Vancouver, WA.

12/9 – Portland. Alt-right rally by Patriot Prayer.

12/11 – Portland. Car on NW Naito Parkway spray painted with “N word.”

12/12 – Portland. Patriot Prayer protest of Hillary Clinton speech.

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12/16 – Portland. Portland State University flyered with posters for the racist Patriot Front.

12/23 – Portland. Portland Community College – Cascade flyered with posters for the  racist Patriot Front.

 

If there are other incidents that should be included in this tally, please email Randy Blazak at blazakr@gmail.com.

CAHC reconnects with Lane County — November 13, 2017

CAHC reconnects with Lane County

November 13, 2017

The Coalition Against Hate Crime is a state-wide organization with partners across Oregon. We’ve pledged to strengthen our ties with groups outside our Portland base. After a rise in hate crimes and activity in the Lane County, we decided to hold our November meeting in Eugene.

Hate, bias incidents are on the rise in Eugene

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There was great attendance at the November 9 meeting at the Health and Human Services Building. Attendees included representatives from the University of Oregon Police Department, UO-ASU, FBI, US Attorney’s Office (Eugene), Eugene Police Department, City of Eugene Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement, Trans*Ponder,  Lane County Human Rights, The No Hate Zone,  Emily’s Fund, The Jewish Federation, Lane County Administration, and the Department of Justice Community Relations Services.

Among the topics discussed were the effectiveness Eugene’s very thoughtful protocol for responding to hate crimes and incidents. There are also now plans to organize a hate crime forum in Lane County in early 2018, similar to our Portland forum on August 12. The DOJ/CRS will again be facilitating the event.

We greatly appreciate the commitment of our partners across the state. This spring we will be looking to host a meeting in the Ashland/Medford area.

How We Respond to Hate — August 27, 2017

How We Respond to Hate

August 26, 2017

On August 12, the Coalition Against Hate Crime, with the assistance  of the Department of Justice – Community Relations Service, held a free forum, entitled How We Respond to Hate. The forum, hosted at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, had a capacity audience. The original motive for the forum was to help the city heal and respond to the May 26 Max train attack, but the events occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia that weekend were on everyone’s mind. Much networking was done and there was good coverage from the local media:

Portland leaders discuss hate crimes

The forum was made possible thanks to a generous grant from Emily’s Fund and with help from the Genocide Studies Project at Portland State. Emily’s Fund also made available “HATE NOT IN OUR TOWN” yard signs that participants took home. The day was built on three important panels, with the participation of committed community leaders.

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Welcome and Introduction 12:30 – 12:45 pm:

Randy Blazak, Coalition Against Hate Crime

Law Panel

Law and Law Enforcement Panel: 12:50 – 1:45 pm

Responses to hate from local and federal law enforcement agencies

Moderated by Knight Sor, DOJ/Community Relations Service

Caryn Ackerman, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation – Oregon

Hannah Horsley, U.S. Attorney’s Office

Jeff Sharp, Portland Police Bureau Bias Crime Detective

Sheriff Pat Garrett, Washington County

Jeffery Howes, Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Community panel

Community Voices Panel 1:50- 2:45 pm

Perspectives from communities that have been the target of hate

Moderated by Harpreet Singh Mokha, DOJ/Community Relations Service

Gurpreet Kaur Singh, representing the Sikh community

Seemab Hussaini and Zakir Khan of CAIR-OR, representing the Muslim community

Steve Wasserstrom, Reed College, representing the Jewish community

Reid Vanderburgh, PFLAG, representing the LGBTQ community

Resource Panel

Resource Panel 2:50 – 3:45 pm

Preventing and responding to hate

Moderated by Amanda Byron from Portland State’s Conflict Resolution Department

Hillary Bernstein, Anti-Defamation League

Rachel Cunliffe Portland State Conflict Resolution

Shweta Moorthy, Portland United Against Hate

Chase Jones, Department of Homeland Security

Harleen  Kaur, Sikh Coalition

Wrap Up and Networking 3:45 – 4:00 pm

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Hate continues to be a problem in our state. On August 20th, as motorists from around the region drove north on Interstate 5 to view the solar eclipse, many were greeted by banners hung by neo-Nazis from bridges in the Eugene-Albany area. Our rapid response team (i. e., Jeff Gottfried) delivered nearly 200 yard signs to churches, temples, and synagogues in the area, letting neighbors know that hate has no place in Lane County.

As we try to make sense of the events in Charlottesville (Read Randy Blazak response to the situation here: Charlottesville: America’s fork in the road), and our president’s mixed messages about racism, we redouble our efforts around this issue. We are working on a plan to better distribute the “HATE NOT IN OUR TOWN” signs to communities across the state. We are also partnering with the Portland Urban League to build towards a 2018 event to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw by racist skinheads in Southeast Portland. We encourage you to be a part of our efforts.