Week 30 Recap
Rest in Power, Rep. John Lewis and Rev. CT Vivian
On the 17th, Lewis passed away from cancer. As co-founder of SNCC, he helped organize the ’63 March on Washington and became a congressman. He was arrested over 40 times and acted as a powerful activist until the end. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations to get into “good trouble” (1).
On the 17th, Freedom Rider CT Vivian also passed. As an advisor to Dr. King, he organized marches and endured violence while fighting for voting rights (2).
Both Vivian and Lewis received Presidential Medals of Freedom.
What’s Going on in Portland?
Protestors have been out in the streets of Portland to demand change for nearly two months. They are speaking out against racist police brutality and fighting for change in public safety policy.
However, largely peaceful protests have been met with, ironically, police brutality. The police response has included the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Gov. Kate Brown responded by banning teargas without the presence of a riot (3). Police immediately declared a riot and deployed gas.
Tension has escalated further as militarized federal agents, sent from the DOJ and DHS, have arrived to the streets. Since then, they have been whisking protestors away in unmarked vehicles, using military-style tactics, and using unnecessary force including rubber bullets and teargas. Despite the Oregon attorney general suing the agents, and state government taking a stand against them, the DHS and President Trump have defended the use of power.
Now, Trump is threatening to deploy the federal agents across the nation.
Not all voters are being heard. In California, more than 100,000 mail-in ballots were rejected (4). Trump is encouraging the failure of mail-in voting by blocking postal funding, because mail-in voting could hurt his chances, as demonstrated by an ABC poll (5).
Suppression of Coronavirus
In another area of potential suppression, hospitals are banned at reporting COVID-19 cases to the CDC, potentially blocking public access and encouraging questionable data analysis (6). To make matters worse, the Trump administration is fighting against virus testing and vaccine development funding (7).
Betsy Devos and Trump demand students are back in school for the fall, and threatening budget cuts (8). It’s a difficult question. Minority students likely suffer from online learning the most (9), and many working families cannot afford care for their children while working. However, student and teacher’s lives would be put at risk, and the CDC does not yet have guidelines released on the prospect (10).
UK and Hong Kong
The controversy of Beijing’s new national security law pushed the UK to end their extradition treaty, which disturbs political freedom and invades privacy (11).
The Latest in the BLM Movement
Thousands of employees engaged in walk-out strikes in 160 cities on Monday, protesting for workers’ rights, including health care and union rights.
In cities Like SF, new COVID-era composting services are providing jobs and increasing urban food security (12).