Portland police use tear gas against racial justice protesters. Photo courtesy of KOIN-6 News.
The George Floyd Black Lives Matter protests have launched an extraordinary movement against police violence in Portland, with more than three months of daily protests. Legal observers describe the demonstrations as overwhelmingly peaceful, yet they have been met by extreme police brutality. The array of military weapons deployed has injured thousands of Portlanders in horrifying ways and in ways that are still unknown. The Portland Police Bureau is using weapons of war against the public itself, yet it looks the other way at far right violence - including their launch of bottle rocket bombs, and their firing of guns and paint guns at protesters. The potential for greater harm is a serious and immediate concern.
On Wednesday, September 23rd from 4:00 until 6:00 PM, Portland United Against Hate, UNITE Oregon, First Unitarian Portland, and the Portland Metro People’s Coalition is hosting a comprehensive forum to illuminate the physical, psychological, legal, and financial impact of this police violence to date. We will hear from targets of kinetic munitions, tear gas, long-range acoustic devices, bull rushes, beatings, threats, and intimidation, as well as from legal, medical, psychological, and human rights experts describing the long-term health consequences and threats to our First Amendment rights.
Please join us for this forum featuring targets of state violence, medical and legal experts, and on-the-ground observers including members of Oregon PSR, Veterans for Peace, NARAL, and Physicians for Human Rights. Speakers will include activist and Portland protest organizer Lilith Sinclair and Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. Speaking on behalf of Oregon PSR will be Dr. Anita Randolph, OHSU neuroscientist and co-author of the report Riot Control Agents: Systemic Reassessment of Adverse effects on Health, Mental Stability, and Social Inequities.
Oregon PSR's Board President, Dr. Patrick O'Herron, submitted testimony on behalf of Oregon PSR about police accountability legislative concepts to to the Oregon Legislature's Joint Committee On Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform on September 3rd, 2020. Read our testimony below.Read more
Oregon PSR's 2020 Summer Intern Alissa Vandenbark (pictured above) interviewed members of our staff, Board of Directors, and some of our volunteers to see how our work has changed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue reading to learn more about how our work has shifted over the past few months.Read more
If you live in Oregon, please make sure that are registered to vote. The deadline to register is 21 days before Election Day, making this election’s voter registration deadline Tuesday, October 13th, 2020.
To register to vote in Oregon, you must be a US citizen, an Oregon resident, and at least 16 years old. Online registration requires a current Oregon driver’s license or state ID card.
Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot: Thursday, October 29th, 2020
Deadline to Return Completed Absentee Ballot: Must be received by Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 8:00 PM (PST)
Oregon PSR expresses our sincere appreciation for everyone who attended and supported 75 Years Later Is Now: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, & Ending the Nuclear Threat, an online memorial event honoring the lives lost to nuclear weapons and exploring how we can create a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons.Read more
In remembrance of the 75th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, below are some resources relative to the bombings, the effects of nuclear weapons development and testing, and the lasting legacy of 75 years of nuclear weapons.Read more
Oregon PSR continues to stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. We want to let you know of some ways to support the huge momentum now to support the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement, and, here in Portland, to center Black Lives while also demanding that the paramilitary troops deployed by Trump immediately leave our city.
Many actions are posted daily on PDX Black Lives Matter Calendar.Read more
On July 23rd, 2020, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility offered this testimony on Police Accountability Legislative Concepts, with a focus on the health impacts of tear gas and flashbang or pressure grenades. We support the concerns raised in the joint testimony submitted by Unite Oregon, PAALF, Urban League, Rose City Justice, and other organizations.Read more
The latest episodes of Prescription for Justice, hosted by Oregon PSR Advisory Board Member Dr. Martin Donohoe, are available online. Please check this page for future updates and episodes.Read more
Oregon PSR understands that racism is a public health crisis, and that police violence is killing Americans, especially Americans of color, at an appalling rate.
Structural racism and oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities constitutes a public health crisis that overlaps with the epidemics of COVID-19, climate change, and violence. Police violence is a public health crisis that is the result of numerous policies and practices that uphold structural racism.
Oregon PSR will continue our commitment to work towards equity and social justice, and will increase our participation in the Portland Police Reform Network. We also encourage our members and supporters to follow and support local Black-led groups that we partner with, which include, but aren’t limited to: the NAACP Portland Branch and Springfield/Eugene Branch, Urban League of Portland, Portland African American Leadership Forum, Coalition of Communities of Color, Unite Oregon, and Don’t Shoot PDX.
Furthermore, Oregon PSR supports the demands of Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) and Unite Oregon:
- Defund the police
- Reinvest into Black futures
- Protect communities from violence
Please take a moment to read through the visions and demands in full.
Take Action by calling on the Portland City Council to cut funding for so-called "special units" that have been shown to be ineffective in the long term, target low-income and people of color communities for over-policing, and are part of the school-to-prison pipeline.