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Activists stormed the Lloyd Center shopping mall Friday. They used Black Friday – when many retailers open early and offer deep discounts to kick off the Christmas shopping season -- to call attention to ongoing injustices affecting African Americans.
The rally -- dubbed “Black Lives Matter, Not Black Friday” -- saw a diverse crowd of hundreds gather at adjacent Holladay Park. Afterward they took to the streets and then entered the mall itself.
Teressa Raiford, lead organizer for Don’t Shoot Portland, who helped put the protest together, said organizers intentionally chose Black Friday as a rally day for the second year in a row. The idea was to highlight links between consumerism, capitalism and the deaths of African Americans.
“As with all demonstrations and marches, the Police Bureau's goal is to ensure a safe, secure and orderly event for community members and to minimize disruptions to traffic,” the release said. “There is no specific information or concerns about the threat of violence, but the Portland Police Bureau will respond as it does with any large-scale event and have a number of officers in the area.”
...As the assembly moved, apparently en route to the Broadway Bridge, it was re-routed by the Portland Police north onto Northeast Martin Luther King Blvd., where the crowd marched for about 10 minutes, and curving back around towards the bridge.
The group was then met by an increased number of police officers -- about 20 of whom were decked out in riot gear with batons in hand -- blocking the protestors’ entrance onto the crossing.
Demonstators standoff with Portland Police officers armed with batons and other weapons, blocking the group's attempt to cross the Broadway bridge. --Photo by Donovan M. Smith
After a standoff lasting nearly 15 minutes, the precession headed back toward Lloyd Center, this time entering the mall. Protesters draped resistance banners inside the mall and chanted while shoppers looked on....
The protest in Portland was just one of many that transpired across the country Nov. 27, urging potential consumers against spending with large corporations for the day.
Major cities across the nation -- including Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia and New York City -- saw people engaging in actions to disrupt one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Coincidentally, Florida teen Jordan Davis was killed on Black Friday in 2012. On Nov. 23 of that year, Michael Dunn -- a White man who was sentenced to life without parole for Davis’ killing last year -- got angry that Davis and his friends were playing their music too loud in the parking lot of a gas station and opened fire.
The Guardian reports that Davis’ mother is one of many participating in “Not One Dime” initiative this year. The campaign aims to curb African American spending during the days between Nov. 27 and Nov. 30 to demonstrate the community’s collective purchasing power.
Consumer analysts reported Monday morning that Black Friday sales were down more than a billion dollars this year.
According to retail researcher ShopperTrack, sales at brick-and-mortar stores plummeted from $11.6 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion this year.
Conversely, online sales saw a 14 percent spike from last year, raking in $2.72 billion.
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Alberta Street Lawsuit Ends Over Delicious Pan of Lasagna
A lawsuit alleging denial of service brought by Alberta Street resident Kathleen Hampton against Enzo’s Caffé Italiano has been amicably settled over a pan of the restaurant’s famous homemade lasagna.
Hampton told The Skanner News last week that Enzo had reached out to her with a letter asking for a meeting, and that the food – and Enzo – were wonderful.
Maybe even the best in town.
“I feel good about it,” Hampton said Wednesday. “I think he’s a nice man and he’s been thinking about what happened.”
Details of a legal agreement reached between the two remains sealed.
It’s a stunning turnaround for a case that spread around the globe and touched a raw nerve in Northeast Portland, where Alberta Street’s gentrification remains headline news.
However, the number of similar complaints posted locally to social media beg the question: How do you prove your bad restaurant service is a civil rights violation?
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After a year of leadership upheavals, KBOO Community Radio in Portland has hired two respected community organizers as co-station managers of the 45-year-old institution.
Mic Crenshaw is a conscious hip-hop recording artist, educator, writer and community activist; Monica Beemer is the former executive director of Sisters of the Road, a local nonprofit group that operates a café for low-income communities and organizes locally for affordable housing and nonviolence.
“KBOO is an incredible community resource and I want to use my time there to elevate and increase the community’s investment,” Crenshaw told The Skanner News this week. In a post to social media over the weekend, hiring committee chair Matt Bristow was jubilant in making the announcement:
“I am very happy and thankful to have served as chair of a successful hiring team at KBOO Community Radio, where I work as a member of the board of directors,” Bristow wrote. “At our recent monthly meeting the full board unanimously approved the hire of Monica Beemer (well-known/loved from Sisters Of The Road) and Michael Mic Crenshaw (literally the most respected hip-hop artist/activist in town) as the new radio station co-managers! They are two of the mo