Friday, June 12, 2020
Black Lives Matter.
This is a difficult and trying time for everybody, regardless of race, social class, or occupation. We are in the middle of an incredibly unique era where change is coming, and our generation is pushing for it. With this in mind, we are also in the middle of a pandemic. Covid-19 has yet to pass, and we need to be mindful of this. The potential for the virus to spread is still significant and should be considered when we leave the house for demonstrations. Recently, the Oregon Health Authority has found over 100 new cases in the last week. As a community, we need to protest for what is right, and stand for justice, but we need to keep our city, and our community safe. With peaceful protests, we have successfully been advocating for justice, for what is right. But now we need to remember that we are still in a pandemic.
How can we keep our community safe? Here are a few easy things you can do to help stay healthy:
1)Wear proper masks that are well fitted to your face.
2)Carry hand sanitizer with you incase you don't have access to sinks and soap.
3)Practice social distancing in congested areas such as stores.
For more information, check the links below and stay safe!
Posted by PSU Ecopol Project Team at 11:26 PM
As a city, Portland in particular is incredibly supportive to new businesses, whether it is a small boutique shop, a cubby store, or a food truck. We love our new businesses! However, with restrictions on essential business, the constraints of government has forced many of these stores, in some cases brand new, to close. Over the course of the last couple of months, we, as a community, have seen businesses not only temporarily close, but also permanently close their doors. Between lay-offs, and having to pay bills without being able to run their stores, new and seasoned business owners are loosing their work, and having to come out of retirement to help compensate for the financial implications of business restraints. However, with phase one being introduced, a lot of doors are being opened back up, and business is steadily getting on track to becoming normal again. However, business owners have a long road ahead of them.
So how can you help? Shop local, and try to find the new stores, or boutique stores that you think really need the business. Larger, chain shops have the ability to seek out big loans, and reallocate money because they have the financial resources to do so. Unfortunately, smaller, start up shops do not. You can also spread the word for these small businesses through social media platforms. Public awareness can goes a long way. Spread the word, shop local, and help restart our community!
How are businesses impacted? Click on the link below!
BLM. Black-Owned businesses you can support!
Posted by PSU Ecopol Project Team at 9:39 PM
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
However, some things need to be changed entirely so that people can quickly deal with future pandemics. Firstly, countries should be ready to use artificial intelligence for medical purposes (The Medical Futurist, 2020). The artificial intelligence will be used to help the professionals to perfect the solution. Secondly, there should be a suitable solution for different situations. For example, digital operations should be embraced to deal with various aspects like education and health. Therefore, researched solutions would help prepare for future pandemics in the country.
Life after COVID-19: What Will Change? - The Medical Futurist. (2020). Retrieved 10 June 2020, from https://medicalfuturist.com/
Posted by PSU Ecopol Project Team at 7:31 PM
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
It feels strange to try and form coherent thoughts right now, especially something that would be fit for publication. For context this is my last week of college and the nation, furthermore the world, is on a stage which is set for the greatest societal shifts which my generation will likely see in our lifetime barring the arrival of alien life. But I think right now more than ever that being silent is as much a part of the problem than anything else. Although I don’t necessarily think that anyone wants little more than words these days. I can’t express how sick to my stomach I get when I see a company or some celebrity on twitter voice their opinions about “these unprecedented times” or “everything that’s happening right now.” What we want is for people to take action in order to protect us. Not just from the global pandemic which is very much still a real and present threat, but also from the overwhelming feeling of helplessness in the face of a police force which cares little for our right and the lives of those they are meant to “protect” - evidenced by the fact that police have no problem killing black people and never have. I could spend the rest of this post dedicating my time to educating you on the history of that statement, but there are far more people who are better at and more qualified than me to do so. There aren’t many- if any statements I could make on the matter of which that wouldn’t be true, but what I can do is point you in the direction of ways in which you can get involved.
A LIST OF WAYS TO SUPPORT BLACK LIVES MATTER:
THE PORTLAND PROTESTERS BAIL FUND:
SEND AN EMAIL TO THE MAYOR AND COMMISSIONERS TO DEFUND THE PPB:
If you’re unsure about these movements or what they stand for, there are countless other resources on the internet which can provide you with the information you need. Now more than ever is not only a time for listening, but for self-education and action even for someone like me- who can’t take to the streets due to health issues.
These issues also are going to furthermore disproportionately affect our homeless community, as they have nowhere to go when these curfews are enforced, and on the whole are harassed by cops every single day just for trying to survive. Homelessness can be caused by a myriad of issues which many parts of our society are not prepared or equipped to treat, and that especially goes for the police. When we march, it’s important to remember that we aren’t just marching for those who we’ve lost, but to protect those that need it the most- the homeless especially who are already being under treated in the other crisis which we face today.
Remember. We’re still in a pandemic.
Black Lives Matter. Defund the police. Don’t stop there.
A graduating senior,
Posted by PSU Ecopol Project Team at 11:40 PM
In the last two weeks, people all over the world have gathered in the streets to protest the unjust murder of George Floyd. In response, police forces across America have assaulted protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas.
For protesters who choose to join demonstrations and fight for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, tear gas and rubber bullets are a scary but unfortunately expected potential outcome. For America’s homeless population, however, there is often nowhere to go and no choice in the matter.
Protesters in downtown Portland have witnessed numerous instances of homeless individuals suffering as a result of these tactics. “A video taken [June 2nd] shows a thick cloud of tear gas blowing through a row of tents along Southwest Naito Parkway, as five [...] police officers walk away” (Harbarger). Despite attempts to warn homeless individuals of the upcoming protests and move them out of the city, police officers “don’t have a strategy to avoid homeless people who might get caught in their crowd control munitions” (Harbarger).
So, how do we protect the lives of America’s homeless population in the midst of these protests?
Early April, California governor Gavin Newsom introduced an initiative titled Project Roomkey. The Project’s goal is to provide “a way for people who don’t have a home to stay inside to prevent the spread of COVID-19” (County). While this model for housing homeless individuals is not sustainable in the long-term, it does provide safe reliable housing for the time-being. Especially with tear gas, rubber bullets, and COVID-19 all creating an increasingly dangerous environment in public spaces, initiatives like Project Roomkey keep homeless individuals safe for the time-being.
To learn more about the effect of protests on Portland’s homeless population read this article by OregonLive: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/06/portlands-downtown-homeless-community-increasingly-caught-in-police-protest-tactics.html
Additionally, The County of Los Angeles have outlined the details of Project Roomkey it the article linked here: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/project-roomkey/
Posted by PSU Ecopol Project Team at 7:47 PM
Protests and the Homeless
After the killing of George Floyd due to a police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, causing him to die from Asphyxia (strangulation), protests began happening all over the world. The hatred and frustration against the police forces started off with riots and looting, and then adopted a calmer approach. Destruction to major cities all over the nation have directly affected some homeless people, including a homeless man named Cale from Austin, Texas.
A video went viral of a homeless man's mattress being thrown into flames, destroying his home. Throughout the video he is heard shouting "No" and "I live here" and then turns to the person filming and asks "What are you doing?" A lot of the protests are happening on homeless encampments, destroying their homes and belongings. The individuals who are participating in the protests, which sometimes turn into violent and destructive riots, don't realize that the homeless can't shelter indoors and avoid the chaos that comes with protesting. Our world is already struggling through a global pandemic, making it hard enough for the homeless to be safe.
|Internet responds to viral video by donating mattress to homeless man identified as Cale (Twitter)|
Nobody has been held responsible yet for the starting of the fire, but the homeless man who was affected is being taken care of. A spokesperson for the non-profit, United Way in Austin, spoke out and stated that they are paying for Cale to stay in a hotel and bought him a cell phone until they can accommodate him with an apartment. A mattress has also been donated to Cale and will be delivered to him, as well as many GoFundMe's being set up to help Cale out.
People all around the world are outraged about the killings of black lives due to police brutality, and have taken initiative to make a difference. However, this time leaves the homeless feeling extremely vulnerable as their camps are being destroyed, and some are even receiving fines for being outside past city imposed curfews, even though they have nowhere else to go. It's important to be aware of the homeless people that are peacefully living on the streets, and to simply leave them and their belongings alone while protesting for BLM.
Learn more here:
Posted by: Jessica Woolley, Portland State University
Posted by PSU Ecopol Project Team at 12:54 PM
HOMELESS DURING PROTESTS
As if being homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic was not difficult enough, homeless people are being caught up in the Black Lives Matter protests by police brutality. It had to take a pandemic and movement for outreach workers to lend a helping hand to the homeless community in downtown Portland. The police brutality that homeless people have faced in the midst of the protests are uncalled for, as is police brutality altogether. Because they have nowhere else to go, and the safety on the streets is threatened, the homeless population in downtown is struggling between the coronavirus and police actions. In the situation of a protest, the police force does not have any strategy at avoiding attacks on the homeless. Everyone that is out on the streets will be grouped as protesters, and all hell breaks loose. Portable bathrooms that are provided for the homeless population have been destroyed by skirmishes between the police force and provoked protesters. The homeless population was harmed, their basic human rights being assaulted. The homeless are being attacked for just being on the streets. In Los Angeles, police fired rubber bullet to an old man's face. The homeless man is 75 years old, and wheelchair-bound. This goes to show that the police force do not care whether or not they fire at protesters, or the homeless. It is extremely dangerous for the homeless to be out in the streets, but they have nowhere else to go. For more details on attacks against the homeless during the BLM protests, click this link.
By Lyn Loo