In our April 15 Slant column we wrote about a big new Eugene Police Department rig that looks like it came straight out of the military. The latest ACLU Magazine confirms that “since 1997 the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 program has distributed more than $7.4 billion worth of military weapons to over 8,000 law enforcement agencies.” The mobile command vehicle was funded through $431,221 of Fleet replacement money and by Community Safety Initiative funds of up to $280,000. We don’t feel our community is made safer by massive vehicles or military weapons. Militarizing the police is not a good thing for Eugene and America.
• The only thing louder than a screaming bald eagle is the screaming Trump-related merch deals at the Lane County Republican Party headquarters. Some of the available discounted merchandise at the “Patriot Shop Online” include Trump 2020 facemasks marked down up to 50 percent off and a Trump flag with a manufacturer’s warning that it can’t withstand heavy winds (what a metaphor).
• Since the University of Oregon administration thinks it’s perfectly OK to pay women-identifying professors less than male who hold the same full professor position, have less seniority and are no more accomplished, per the school’s arguments in the lawsuit filed by prominent psychology Prof. Jennifer Freyd, members of the UO Senate have taken a stand. A motion that “opposes any further efforts by the UO Administration to limit the availability of the Equal Pay Act’s protections in professional settings” has 90 cosponsors. The vote takes place the afternoon of April 28, after EW goes to press, so we will update online.
• Also in higher ed news, on Monday, April 26, the faculty at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls went on strike after 16 months of failed negotiations between the administration and the American Association of University Professors. It’s the first-ever faculty strike at an Oregon university, according to a press release from the OIT union chapter. Ninety-two percent of the union approved a strike if an agreement wasn’t met. Faculty are calling for higher wages and health care coverage for full and half time faculty. As EW went to press, the union is still picketing.