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By Nick Budnick with video by Sergio Olmos For nearly two months, a small portion of downtown Portland has smelled like tear gas. Nights are filled with the sounds of explosions and drums, police warnings to clear the area, and the shouts of protesters. Outside the Multnomah County Justice Center — now blanketed with graffiti calling for the abolition of the police or death to cops — riot-control police square off against citizens wearing gas...

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 By David G. Lewis, Ph.D. As Oregon tribes know only too well, the Native American experience with COVID-19 is only the latest chapter in a centuries-long tragedy. The first recorded wave of new diseases visited the tribes of Oregon in the 1770s. Smallpox, hitchhiking in the bodies of white traders, came up the Columbia River and killed about 30 percent of the Native Americans in the Willamette Valley and Columbia River basin. Around 1805, explorers...

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Beset by pandemic, tribes brace for fire season By Brian Bull When Colby Drake hears mention of COVID-19, he doesn’t just think of face masks or physical distancing at the supermarket. He sees forests burning. As Fire Prevention Manager for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Drake has the daunting task of preparing for fire season in the middle of an economic and public health catastrophe. In response to the pandemic and guidelines from the...

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OregonOceans Away

Sergio Olmos2 months ago50517 min

While their home islands drown, Micronesians living in Oregon struggle to save their heritage. By Sergio Olmos Bouncing a baby on his lap in his apartment in Salem, Oregon, Dexter Moluputo recalls the rhythms and simple pleasures of his childhood home in the Federated States of Micronesia, a country comprising more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. As a boy, he spent most days with his friends surfing on homemade surfboards or spearfishing...

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Editor’s note: This is the final article in a series that examines violent extremist groups in the Pacific Northwest. This story looks at one tool local governments use to counter violent groups: specialty courts with highly-supervised probation aimed at combating the allure of gang membership. Sergio Olmos began reporting for Underscore.news on right-wing violence in 2019. He followed Patriot Prayer and met with its organizers, supporters and detractors, to better understand a dynamic that has...

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Former right-wing radicals are leading efforts to counter violent extremists. But do they work? by Sergio Olmos Underscore.news On the eve of a right-wing extremist rally on Aug. 17, 2019, in downtown Portland, Mayor Ted Wheeler released a video in which he said, “To those people planning to come and inflict violence in our city: We don’t want you here.” Nevertheless, they came. And while the protest was comparatively free from physical confrontations, it still...

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Patriot Prayer leaders insist they’re not racists, but they continue to draw praise from white supremacists Editor’s note: This final installment in a 3-part series is a collaboration between Underscore.news and Pamplin Media Group in partnership with The Columbian. For the past year, Sergio Olmos has been granted on-the-record access to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, one of the violence-prone, far-right groups that seem to zero in on Portland as a way to gain...

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How Joey Gibson, and those who orbit around Patriot Prayer, have found meaning (and thrills) in violent right-wing extremism Editor’s note: For much of this year, reporter Sergio Olmos has been granted on-the-record access to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, one of the violence-prone, far-right groups that have turned Portland into a cage match with violent liberal groups. On Aug. 15, the Portland Tribune published an article by Olmos about the lead-up to a...

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Photo courtesy of Pamplin Media Group   Coming September 19th For much of this year, Underscore reporter Sergio Olmos was granted on-the-record access to Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, one of the violence-prone, far-right groups that have turned Portland into a cage match with violent liberal groups. On Aug. 15, Underscore and the Portland Tribune published an article by Olmos about the lead-up to a violent 2018 Patriot Prayer protest. The second story in...

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Over the past year, Sergio Olmos, reporter for Underscore, has been following Patriot Prayer, meeting with its organizers, supporters and detractors, in an effort to better understand a dynamic that has rocked Portland for the last few years.