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Anger over the Elliott and Standing Up to Trump

• Did you miss 350 Eugene’s Feb. 3, non-violent direct action training? No problem, EW will keep you informed about opportunities to get involved as Lane County responds to the Trump presidency. Eugene/Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN) will host a series of four free workshops on non-violent direct action on Saturdays in February and March. The lectures focus on how to plan and implement non-violent direct actions to make change with causes you care about. The free public series is co-sponsored by UO Young Democratic Socialists and takes place 3-5 pm in Lawrence Hall room 115 on the UO campus, Saturdays Feb. 18 until March 11. For more information contact the organizers at eugresistancetraining@protonmail.com or read the curriculum for free at bit.ly/2kEzHi1.

 

• Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio have been stepping up in Congress as they fight Trump administration policies, from Wyden’s bill to force Trump to reveal foreign interests in deals to DeFaz’s efforts to hold Trump to “draining the swamp.” Merkley showed the Repub’s anti-women bias when he read the Coretta Scott King letter over which Sen. Elizabeth Warren was silenced. Want to tell them what you think? Wyden’s next town hall is 4:30 pm, Feb. 19, in the LCC bld. 5 gym. DeFazio has a community forum the following Saturday, Feb. 25, 10:30 am at The Shedd, 868 High Street. “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” #persist.

 

• We were so hopeful when Gov. Kate Brown announced a new plan to keep the Elliott State Forest in public hands instead of selling it off to the private commons. In the post-Malheur occupation world, taking Oregon wild places that belong to the people and putting them into the hands of those who might seek to exploit the land, instead of treasure it, is repellent. We share the disappointment of environmentalists across the state who decry the vote of newly elected Democratic state treasurer Tobias Read to move ahead with the sale of the forest to a private timber company. The fact that the State Land Board vote occurred on Oregon’s anniversary as a state was salt in the wound of the privatization decision. After the vote, Brown, who was against the deal, directed the Department of State Lands to continue to explore options to keep the land public. That is the right move and provides a spark of hope for the coastal rainforest.

 

• In an editorial Feb. 12, The Register-Guard announced its intention to examine local efforts to reduce homelessness and explain them to readers in upcoming editorials, as well as encourage people who work with the homeless and the homeless themselves to write. The R-G deserves some praise for addressing this issue — in the past coverage has focused on the homeless as a problem, not the problems that create homelessness. We hope local political leaders are inspired by this to step up — so far it seems the burden of helping the unhoused has fallen on the shoulders of nonprofits and volunteers, who are growing exhausted. It’s time local government heeds the call and steps up too. 

 

• Cam McNeeley, owner of Moss Crossing, a local marijuana dispensary, and Eugene Police Lt. Jennifer Bills talked to the City Club of Eugene on Feb. 10 about what’s happened here since marijuana was legalized a year and a half ago. The big question is what federal Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the feds are going to do. A bitter opponent of marijuana, Sessions is unlikely to leave the states alone, although that is his best solution. McNeeley said our Congressman Peter DeFazio is going to introduce a bill on banking for the marijuana industry so they don’t have to pay their bills with cash in a briefcase anymore. 

 

•Remember LeGarrette Blount? He was a running back for then-Ducks coach Chip Kelly until he punched a Boise State player and was suspended for most of a season only to return for another year. Now he’s in the news as a real Patriot, turning down the Trump White House invitation to come celebrate the season, saying “I don’t feel welcome in that house.” Bravo to Blount and all the athletes who are stepping outside their comfort zone to take a stand against Trumpism.

 

• We were so hopeful when Gov. Kate Brown announced a new plan to keep the Elliott State Forest in public hands instead of selling it off to the private commons. In the post-Malheur occupation world, taking Oregon wild places that belong to the people and putting them into the hands of those who might seek to exploit the land, instead of treasure it, is repellent. We share the disappointment of environmentalists across the state who decry the vote of newly elected Democratic state treasurer Tobias Read to move ahead with the sale of the forest to a private timber company. The fact that the State Land Board vote occurred on Oregon’s anniversary as a state was salt in the wound of the privatization decision. After the vote, Brown, who was against the deal, directed the Department of State Lands to continue to explore options to keep the land public. That is the right move and provides a spark of hope for the coastal rainforest.