Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Fighting hate by networking resources

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.

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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.

The good that is being done because of the evil — July 14, 2017

The good that is being done because of the evil

July 14, 2017

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the positive things that are being done in our community because of the horrific May 26 Max Train attack, It is important for the survivors and the families of Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche to know that because of their, and Micah Fletcher’s, actions, so many positive things are being done to make our community less hateful. August 12, 2017 will be the 30th anniversary of the beating death of Mulugeta Seraw. We at the CAHC are committed to using these two tragic bookends as a time period to build as strong healthy community in Portland, one resistant to the pull of hate.

Here is a partial list of events sparked by the attack on May 26th. More information about our forum on August 12 is coming.

June 2 – Oregon congressional delegation introduces a joint resolution to honor the Max heroes

June 7 – City of Portland awards 8 community groups a $40,000 grant to improve the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents.

June 25  –  Bystander Intervention Workshop at Living Room Realty 

June 26 –  Hearts Against Hate handed out at the Hollywood Max station

July 19 – Preventing Communal Violence forum in Salem’s Temple Beth Shalom.

July 5 – Portland offers $350,000 for grants to combat city’s rising hate crimes and improve reporting.

July 13 –  Personal Safety and De-Escalation training (YMCA) at Brentwood Darlington Community Center

July 24  – Zero Tolerance! Oregonians Standing Together Against Hate Forum at MET

July 26 –  Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces (YMCA) at Taborspace 

July 31 –  Bystander Intervention Workshop by SWAG and UNLOC Pdx

Aug 12 – CAHC/DOJ Hate Crime Forum at the Oregon Jewish Museum

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Visit our partners at Portland United Against Hate

 

Responding to Hate in Portland — June 19, 2017

Responding to Hate in Portland

June 19, 2017

In the wake of the brutal May 26th attack on the Portland Max train that left two good samaritans dead and a third seriously injured, the city has been responding in a number of ways. The worldwide media attention on the incident has put Portland in a spotlight it hasn’t occupied since the 1988 murder of an Ethiopian immigrant by racist skinheads. As the chair of the Coalition, I have tried to fairly represent the CAHC’s mission, as well as our city, its history, and the work that must be done, in the New York Times, CNN, NPR, the BBC,  Al Jazeera, and several other media outlets.

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Since the attack, the city has held vigils, memorial services, anti-hate rallies, community meetings with law enforcement, benefit shows and fundraisers for the victims, and on June 7, the Portland City Council approved a $40,000 grant to help improve the reporting of hate crimes in the city. On June 9, Oregon Senators and Congress members submitted a joint resolution condemning the attacks. There will a bystander intervention workshop on June 25. And the Oregon Attorney General’s Office will be hosting a hate crime forum on July 24 at the Muslim Educational Trust in Tigard.

The CAHC is working with our partners at the DOJ CRS to assemble a community forum in late July that will cover the legal issues regarding hate crimes, the experience of communities that have been targeted, and useful strategies from preventing hate crimes and responding when hate does arise. We will have more information, soon. The DOJ CRS is also helping to support our Hate Free State proclamation that is currently in Governor Brown’s office.

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All this work and more is being done to honor Ricky Best, Taliesin Namkai-Meche, and Micah Fletcher, as well as the two girls who were verbally assaulted that day. Their families should know that waves of goodness, reflection, activism, and community commitment will continue to unfold from that horrific day. We have all been forced to rededicate ourselves to this issue because of their sacrifice. Sadly, there have been several hate incidents in Oregon since that attack, and we have been tasked with the realization that hate is still a regular part of our world, even in Portland. However, the ripple of those people’s actions on that train will bring positive change for many years to come.

White supremacist murders two samaritans on Portland Max train. — May 27, 2017

White supremacist murders two samaritans on Portland Max train.

May 27,  2017

On May 26, 2017 there was a brutal attack on the Portland Max, near the Hollywood station by a known white supremacist. We encourage people to stand up to hate speech, but in this case it turned fatal. Jeremy Christian was verbally assaulting two women on the train he believed to be Muslim. Three people who tried to get him to stop were stabbed by Christian. Ricky John Best, 53, died at the scene and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, died later in the hospital.. Christian is in custody.

Here is one of the media accounts of the incident.

Police: 2 killed in MAX train stabbing after suspect bullies Muslim women

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(Photo by Katherine Cook)

The women who were the initial targets of the attack fled the train and the Portland Police are hoping to interview them. Chief Marshman made this plea.

Community colleagues,

By now I am sure you are aware of the incident on the MAX train where two people were killed. Portland Police has the suspect in custody. 

We are continuing to investigate this terrible crime and will get information to the public as soon as we are able to do so. 

Preliminary information is that the suspect was yelling various types of hate speech to many passengers on the train. 

We are looking for two young women, possibly teenagers, who were on the train. We believe these two young women are witnesses to this crime. One was possibly wearing a hijab. 

With Ramadan beginning this evening, please know that the Portland Police Bureau stands by your side and will have extra police patrols for you. 

Thank you,
Mike Marshman, Chief of Police

Both Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Mayor Ted Wheeler have condemned the incident. There is a vigil planned for tonight at the Hollywood Max Center at 6:30.

 

We know that attacks on Muslims have increased, and have spiked since the bombing in Manchester, England. It is important for us to stand with the victims and against this type of terrorism in our communities. All people should feel safe, no matter what their faith is.

2017 tally of Oregon bias incidents (So far) — March 15, 2017

2017 tally of Oregon bias incidents (So far)

(Above photo by Joe Glode/Street Roots.)

I will be testifying before the Oregon Senate tomorrow morning on Senate Bill 356. That’s Sen. Lew Frederick’s bill to improve the language of Oregon’s hate crime law. In preparation for my testimony, I compiled the 2017 hate incidents that we have chronicled on the CAHC Facebook page.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the ten days following the election of Donald Trump, Oregon had 33 hate incidents reported, ranking the state 9th in the nation. A 2017 report from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism-California State University, San Bernardino  found that hate crimes Increased 22% in major metro areas in 2016. This is why it is important for Oregon to update its bias crime law.

Here is the list of 2017 incidents through March 14, 2017. Many more when unreported. These are just the incidents that were reported in the media, including social media.

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

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

1/26 – Ashland. Police arrest a Medford man who was posting pro-Nazi flyers.

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.”

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 SE 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.

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

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.

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.

Rally and March Against Hate, Feb. 12 — February 10, 2017
Police arrest man who allegedly posted pro-Nazi flyers — January 26, 2017

Police arrest man who allegedly posted pro-Nazi flyers

From the Mail Tribune, January 26, 2017

Ashland police arrested a 28-year-old Medford man Tuesday for allegedly posting pro-Nazi flyers around Ashland late Sunday or early Monday morning.

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Justin Anthony Marbury was arrested on five counts of criminal mischief, according to a news release from Ashland police. Marbury was not listed in the Jackson County Jail Wednesday, and no information on further proceedings had been updated in court records.

Ashland police received several complaints of pro-Nazi flyers being left around downtown Ashland and released a photograph Monday of a man wearing a mask over the lower part of his face.

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The flyers promoted white supremacy and the Nazi party. One flyer said, “We will secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” along with “Cascadian Nationalist Resistance” and a Twitter handle. Another flyer read, “A storm is coming,” accompanied by two swastikas and a silhouette of a person wearing a helmet worn by Nazis in WWII.

Police said Marbury’s arrest did not stem from the content of the signs, but for defacing property.

“However, the police department also recognizes that the particularly incendiary nature of the flyers made this situation more alarming and concerning to the department and to members of the community than a more innocuous flyer would have,” the press release said.

Source: Police arrest man who allegedly posted pro-Nazi flyers

 

Dec. 15 CAHC meeting to be rescheduled — December 15, 2016

Dec. 15 CAHC meeting to be rescheduled

December 14, 2016

Thanks to the snow, PCC will be closed Thursday, 12/15, so we will have to reschedule our Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience. We will try to get a new meeting date out you as soon as possible.

 Please think about these two questions before we meet:
1. How can we encourage people across the state to report hate crimes and incidents to the appropriate authorities?
2. How can we engage in outreach to communities who are the most vulnerable to hate crimes?
Thanks and hope you all have the day off Thursday.
Randy Blazak,
CAHC chair
Senators’ open letter to the DOJ concerning hate crimes in Oregon. — December 1, 2016