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1 week ago · by · Comments Off on Couple Loans Cottage To Single Dad During Pandemic

Couple Loans Cottage To Single Dad During Pandemic

Families around the globe have had to adjust to the stresses of the pandemic and it’s always comforting to hear of instances of people helping one another during this unprecedented time. When a single dad in England, Sam Smith, appeared on the BBC Breakfast Show to talk about what it’s like to be confined in a very small living area during the pandemic, Ken and Sheila Sims decided to help.

Everyone has faced challenges during the pandemic but many don’t realize there are families with children out there who are living in small spaces with little to no space to run around. Since lockdown began in England, Sam Smith, 6-year-old Lysander and 3-year-old Zenduel, have been confined to their one-bed apartment on the 15th floor of a high-rise in East London. During the interview, Smith described what it was like sometimes being confined in the apartment 23 hours a day with just 12 steps from one side of the main room to the other—and with local parks closed.

Ken and Sheila Sims were watching the interview from their home on the Devon coast. Ken grew up in a high-rise apartment building as a young boy, and felt especially saddened seeing the difficulties the Smiths were going through. Ken knew all too well the challenges of growing up in a small apartment but he didn’t have to live through a pandemic. Luckily, he knew just how to help and he wasted no time in offering the Smiths a week at their cottage on the English seaside so the family would have some space to play, explore and run.

Sam immediately said yes to the offer and he was touched by the kindness of strangers. “I can’t find the words… ” Sam said at the beach on his family’s Devon vacation. Motioning at the sky and water all around him, at his young sons making sandcastles, he exclaimed, “It’s beautiful!”

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Iconic Strand Bookstore Sounds Call For Help

Iconic Strand Bookstore Sounds Call For Help

Like many independent businesses across the country, the beloved NYC book store the Strand is in trouble. A Greenwich Village fixture since 1927, known worldwide for its “18 miles of books,” the Strand is the single remaining establishment out of 48 bookstores that once ran the length of 4th Avenue’s famous Book Row. Unfortunately, with the Covid-19 pandemic reducing crucial foot-traffic, store proprietor Nancy Bass Wyden, granddaughter of the store’s original owner, posted a cry for help on Twitter.

In a last-ditch effort to save her beloved family business, Bass Wyden reached out to her customer base with a plea for help. “I’m going to pull out all the stops,” she tweeted, “to keep sharing our mutual love of the printed word. But for the first time in the Strand’s 93-year history, we need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there’s a vaccine.”

The response from the Strand’s loyal clientele came in the form of an avalanche of 25,000 orders over the course of a single weekend that crashed the store’s website and brought in approximately $200,000 in sales. One patron ordered 197 books. That was followed up by round-the-block lines at the store’s flagship location on Broadway and East 12th Street in lower Manhattan when the store opened.

Having suffered heavy financial losses earlier in the year, even with the amazing outpouring of love and a much-needed boost in revenue, the Strand isn’t out of the woods just yet, but Bass Wyden is determined not to give up. Revenue was down 70% since this time last year, the business’ cash reserves had depleted, and the $1 million to $2 million loan the Strand received in government emergency relief in April is running dry.

Bass Wyden started working at the Strand in the mid-’70s, when she was 16, and inherited full ownership of the business, including the building at 828 Broadway, from her father, Fred Bass, after his death in 2017. The bookstore has withstood the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the 9/11 terror attacks, but the pandemic could be its downfall. “As the 3rd generation owner,” she said, “I have tried to imagine what my dad and grandfather would do right now after they spent their entire lives—6 days a week—working at the store. I don’t believe they would want me to give up without a fight.” Bass Wyden said.

“Never did I imagine that the store’s financial situation would become so dire that I would have to write friends and devoted customers for help,” owner Nancy Bass Wyden said in an open letter. “It hurts to write this, but that is the predicament that we are in now.” For the first time since her grandfather founded the store 93 years ago, Bass Wyden said, the time had come to ask customers for help. She’s asking all loyal lovers of the written word to start the holidays early and Shop the Strand to save the Strand.

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Michael Jordan Opens 2nd Clinic In Charlotte NC

Michael Jordan Opens 2nd Clinic In Charlotte NC

One year after the first Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic opened its doors in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jordan and his partner Novant Health have opened a second facility. The North End facility has the same goal of providing vital access to primary and preventive care to individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. Like with the original medical clinic in west Charlotte, which was built with a generous $7 million grant from Michael Jordan, the new one also offers behavioral health and social support services—addressing health equity gaps further exacerbated by COVID-19.
Carl Armato, CEO and president of Novant Health said “Michael Jordan’s commitment to improving the health of our communities, and society, is deep-rooted. The impact of the first clinic has been measurable and if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is the importance of having accessible, safe, and quality care in communities that need it most.”

In its first year, the first clinic on Freedom Drive had seen more than 3,350 patients, including more than 450 children. Of those, nearly 700 patients were assisted by the clinic’s full-time social worker with nearly 80 patients being referred for additional behavioral health care. In April, when the clinic transitioned into a respiratory assessment center to meet the communities’ needs for accessible coronavirus screening, testing, treatment and education, they completed 12,584 appointments and performed nearly 14,000 COVID-19 tests.

Jordan said “When we came together to mark the first clinic’s opening last fall, no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic just five months later. I’m so proud of the positive impact our clinic has had on the community so far, especially during COVID-19. Our second clinic will provide critical services to improve the health and lives of more Charlotteans, which is so important to me and to Novant Health.”

Both clinics provide integrative services that includes primary care, behavioral health and social support services. Every patient is screened based on social determinants of health such as how a patient’s socioeconomic status and environment affect their overall health. The 6,800-square-foot clinic at 2701 Statesville Ave. in Charlotte is the same size as the first clinic with 12 exam rooms, an X-ray room and physical therapy space. Both clinics service patients of all ages and thousands of uninsured have already been helped by his efforts, and thousands more will be in the years to come.

Jordan grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets since 2010. A lack of health care is a major issue affecting millions of people in this country, and Jordan is doing his part to directly address the needs of those less fortunate than him.

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4 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Fourteen Year Old Named America’s Top Young Scientist For Work On Potential Covid 19 Cure

Fourteen Year Old Named America’s Top Young Scientist For Work On Potential Covid 19 Cure

A 14-year-old girl from Texas has discovered a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. Eighth grader Anika Chebrolu has been named the winner of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge—America’s premier middle school science competition. She received a $25,000 gift for her award-winning work and a one-of-a-kind 2 day/1-night destination trip.

The Young Scientist Challenge is a youth science and engineering competition administered by Discovery Education and 3M for middle school students in the United States. Students apply by creating a 1-2 minute video detailing their idea for a new invention intended to solve an everyday problem. Ten finalists are chosen annually to work alongside a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship and receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, to compete for $25,000 and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist.

Anika’s winning invention uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Binding and inhibiting this viral protein would potentially stop the virus entry into the cell, creating a viable drug target. As part of her research, Anika screened millions of small molecules for drug-likeness properties, ADMET properties, and binding affinities against the spike protein using numerous software tools. The one molecule with the best pharmacological and biological activity towards the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was chosen as the lead molecule that can be a potential drug for the effective treatment of COVID-19.

Initially, her goal was to use in-silico methods to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus. She was inspired to find potential cures to viruses after learning about the 1918 flu pandemic and finding out how many people die every year in the United States despite annual vaccinations and anti-influenza drugs on the market.

“After spending so much time researching about pandemics, viruses and drug discovery, it was crazy to think that I was actually living through something like this,” Anika said. “Because of the immense severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and the drastic impact it had made on the world in such a short time, I, with the help of my mentor, Dr. Mahfuza Ali, changed directions to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Anika said winning the prize and title of top young scientist is an honor, but her work isn’t done. Her next goal, she says, is to work alongside scientists and researchers who are fighting to “control the morbidity and mortality” of the pandemic by developing her findings into an actual cure for the virus. Chebrolu also received the “Improving Lives Award,” according to a release from Frisco ISD.

“I am extremely humbled at being selected America’s Top Young Scientist as all of the finalists had amazing projects and were extremely well-rounded individuals,” Anika said in the Frisco release. “Science is the basis of life and the entire universe and we have a long way to go to understand it fully.” While she hopes to be a medical researcher and professor in the future, she is already doing grown-up work and inspiring a generation to reach for the stars.

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Tyler Perry Being Honored For Generosity

Tyler Perry Being Honored For Generosity

Actor and producer Tyler Perry is being recognized for his work in entertainment, commitment to supporting charities and for “inspiring empathy and progress for humankind.” The renowned philanthropist will be honored with “The People’s Champion of 2020” award at the E! People’s Choice Awards. Perry has made history on multiple accounts, from opening the largest privately owned motion-­picture studio in the U.S. to receiving a slew of prestigious accolades for his work including being named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

After making history becoming the first African-American to own a major film studio outright, opening Tyler Perry Studios last year, he announced plans to build a shelter for disadvantaged youth and homeless women to be located on the new 330-acre film studio property in Atlanta, Georgia. Perry’s generosity has been unwavering for over a decade. He has been intimately involved and donated generously to civil rights and human rights causes. Perry also strongly supports charities serving the homeless, including Feeding America, Global Medical Relief Fund, and Covenant House, among others.

In 2009, Perry gave the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People a $1 million dollar gift to celebrate the historic nonprofit’s centennial. The financial blessing made history at the time on its own as the largest individual donation from an artist the organization has ever received. After the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Perry jumped into action. He pledged $250,000 to help the island recover, then raised his own total and promised an additional $750,000 to make it a cool million. His charity reportedly inspired others to give hundreds of thousands of dollars as well.

Aside from supporting many charitable organizations, he has helped others during hard times. In 2010, while watching the news, Perry heard about 88-year-old Atlanta resident Rosa Lee Ransby and her 4-year-old great-granddaughter escaping from a house fire that destroyed the home she owned for 40+ years. He met with her and rented her a fully furnished home on the same street, paying all utilities as well. He then built her a new home where the old one burned down.

Perry worked with and featured gospel singer LaShun Pace’s music in many of his films. In 2018, when he heard Pace’s mother’s health was ailing and that she always dreamed of owning a home large enough for the whole family to live in, Perry purchased her a $350,000 home not far from Atlanta where the Pace family grew up. Bettie Ann Pace died in July 2020 but the last years of her life she was living her dream thanks to Perry’s kindness.
His generosity became known worldwide during the Christmas season of 2018. Perry paid off $430,000 of layaway items at the East Point and Douglasville Walmart stores prior to Christmas 2018. It was the holiday gift that was talked about around the world and he was labeled “Tyler Claus”. Perry had attempted to do the good deed anonymously, but later was outed as the ‘Secret Santa’.

This year, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, he supported his local community by picking up the tab for all groceries purchased during senior shopping hour at 73 supermarkets in both Atlanta and his hometown off New Orleans. He also purchased grocery store gift cards for police to hand out to Atlanta communities’ in-need. He also left a $21,000 tip to 42 out-of-work servers at his favorite local restaurant in Atlanta. Perry’s generosity and random acts of kindness run far and wide throughout the world and he uses his platform to encourage others to follow his lead. He also became one of the first filmmakers to safely resume filmmaking amid the COVID-19 pandemic by creating “Camp Quarantine” on the Tyler Perry Studios lot in Atlanta, GA, effectively getting his staff back to work.

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on CDC Drops 14 Day Quarantine On Travel As Campus Cases Rise

CDC Drops 14 Day Quarantine On Travel As Campus Cases Rise

 

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The confirmed U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is approaching 180,000, with over 5.7 million recorded infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the U.S. is on track to record its 200,000th death from COVID-19 by the fourth week of September. Public health officials say the true U.S. death toll likely passed that grim milestone weeks ago.
The White House defended a decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend against coronavirus testing for people who lack symptoms of COVID-19 — even if they’ve been exposed to an infected person. The CDC also quietly dropped its recommendation that people quarantine for 14 days after traveling from an area with a high rate of infection. Public health experts say the moves will undermine efforts to control the spread of the disease. The New York Times cited two federal health officials who said the changes were ordered by higher-ups at the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House.
The decision was reportedly made at an August 20 meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, while top public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was not present because he was undergoing surgery. The changes were backed by the task force’s newest member, Dr. Scott Atlas — a Fox News contributor and radiologist with no expertise in infectious diseases. This comes amid rising concern over outbreaks in schools around the country as at least three dozen states so far have reported cases on college campuses.
A return to campus for the new academic year has colleges and universities struggling to both contain outbreaks of Covid-19 and enforce policies meant to prevent its spread. Across the United States, at least 36 states have reported positive cases at colleges and universities, adding more than 8,700 cases to the country’s tally. Outbreaks have been identified at four different sororities at Kansas State University, according to news releases from the college and the Riley County Health Department. Temple University in Philadelphia announced it is suspending in-person classes for two weeks following the identification of 103 cases on campus. East Carolina reported 370 total positive cases from students as of Aug. 24.
The University of Alabama is receiving backlash after it ordered faculty members to remain silent about students who test positive for the virus, arguing that alerting their classmates would violate federal privacy laws. In an email the professors were admonished, “Do not tell the rest of the class,” with the word “not” underlined. UA currently has confirmed over 1,200 Covid 19 cases since classes resumed August 19th. They continue to urge students to wear masks and socially distance on and off campus. Many schools have limited parties and other gatherings to reduce Covid-19 risks but those rules being violated are why Notre Dame’s outbreak started.
A consensus is building among public health experts that it’s better to keep university students on campus after a Covid-19 outbreak rather than send them home as many are doing. It’s easier to isolate sick or exposed students and trace their contacts if they stay put. While sending students home risks exposing other people there as well as along the way, and makes contact tracing all but impossible. Contact tracing can help manage outbreaks when done correctly. The U.S. has struggled with it for many reasons, including getting people to answer the phone and respond truthfully. That’s even harder at college, when students worry about being disciplined for violating rules on social gathering.

 

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Michigan Reaches $600 Million Settlement in Flint Water Crisis

Michigan Reaches $600 Million Settlement in Flint Water Crisis

 

 

 

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The state of Michigan has reportedly reached a deal to pay out about $600 million to victims of the water crisis in Flint. The crisis began in 2014 when Flint’s unelected emergency manager, appointed by then-Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, switched the source of the city’s drinking water in order to save money. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency said it had found dangerous levels of lead — which can affect the heart, kidneys and nerves — in the water flowing into residents’ homes.
The water source move has been linked to at least 12 deaths from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, as well as widespread lead poisoning in residents, including 12,000 children. Dozens of lawsuits, including class-action cases, filed against Michigan and the city of Flint followed. Many cases emphasize the youngest victims — the children whose exposure to lead and toxins could lead to neurological disorders and learning disabilities, among other conditions.
The Supreme Court this year said it wouldn’t block a lawsuit by Flint residents seeking to hold city officials accountable. Lawyers for the city had asked justices to step in, saying their clients had immunity from such lawsuits. A previous ruling from a federal appeals court also sided with the residents. “Knowing the Flint River water was unsafe for public use, distributing it without taking steps to counter its problems, and assuring the public in the meantime that it was safe is conduct that would alert a reasonable person to the likelihood of personal liability,” the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals held.
In March 2017, nearly three years after the incident first came to light, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded $100 million to fund water infrastructure upgrades in Flint. A few weeks later, city officials declared the city’s drinking water was safe to drink. Six years later, the city has inspected more than 25,000 service lines and has replaced 85 percent of the pipes. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put work on hold. Residents are still scared to drink the water after city, state and federal officials have been accused of ignoring, denying or covering up complaints that started immediately after the switch.
Tens of thousands of Flint residents are expected to be eligible to receive money from the settlement. The settlement will establish a court-monitored victim’s compensation fund that will provide the direct payments to Flint residents. Nearly 80% of the money will go to those who were younger than 18 at the time of the crisis. Besides the state of Michigan, the settlement includes the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the individual defendants, including former Gov. Rick Snyder, according to a news release. Litigation will continue against other defendants, including two private engineering firms charged with professional negligence.

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Portland Violence Continues As Judge Extends Order Against Federal Marshals

Portland Violence Continues As Judge Extends Order Against Federal Marshals

 

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A U.S. district judge in Oregon has extended a restraining order against the U.S. Marshals Service and agents with the Department of Homeland Security, ordering them to stop attacking journalists and legal observers at Black Lives Matter protests in Portland. The ruling came over the objections of the federal government, who argued that the restraining order issued against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service was now irrelevant.
That order barred federal officers from using physical force, arresting, or dispersing anyone they should “reasonably know” was at the protests as a journalist or observer. Attorneys for the federal agencies argued the circumstances had changed with the federal presence in Portland supposed to wind down — and that the order should therefore be allowed to lapse.
Judge Michael Simon sided with attorneys working with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, who argued that the threat of violence remained even as the federal officers became less visible. The ruling comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Oregon, alleging local and federal law enforcement have been targeting and attacking journalists during more than two months of nightly protests against racism and police brutality. Two weeks ago, Simon issued an initial restraining order on the federal officers, following mounting accounts of officers injuring journalists and observers on the ground.
Protests in Portland continue for the 11th straight week as the city’s mayor pleaded for protesters to stay off the streets, saying those who barricaded the doors to a police precinct the night before and tried to set it ablaze were not demonstrators, but criminals. The majority of sit-ins and marches have been peaceful with no police interaction. A smaller element continues to violently clash with police after most of the several hundred peaceful demonstrators have cleared the streets.
Within a week of the restraining order being extended, police declared riots as a march turned violent. Police repeatedly blocked marchers as they made their through neighborhoods. The tactics prevented people from gathering outside local police buildings, which have been the recent focus of raucous demonstrations. Portland police pushed people, shot them with impact munitions and set off smoke devices after people threw water bottles and paint toward officers. As protestors left the area to make their way down another street they were repeatedly met by police blocking the march.
Each time protestors marched a different street another standoff with police ensued. Videos have circulated of the confrontations showing objects being thrown at officers from a crowd and others of officers advancing on protestors, knocking people to the ground as they walk down the street. The incident drew immediate criticism, including from Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the council’s leading advocate for police reform.

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Sexual Assault Advocate Daisy Coleman Commits Suicide

Sexual Assault Advocate Daisy Coleman Commits Suicide

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Daisy Coleman, a high school sexual assault survivor who was featured in the documentary “Audrie & Daisy,” has died at the age of 23 by suicide. After announcing her death, Daisy’s mother Melinda wrote, “She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone.” Daisy’s sexual assault prompted her to become an advocate for sexual assault victims and she co-founded the non-profit organization SafeBAE, which was aimed at preventing sexual assault in schools.
The Coleman family have suffered tremendous loss over the years far beyond Daisy’s sexual assault at a party in 2012. Melinda’s husband and father to her four children, Dr. Michael Coleman, was killed in a car crash in 2009, then Daisy’s younger brother Tristan died in a car accident at the age of 19 in June 2018 and now the loss of Daisy. The family had originally moved to the small town of Maryville from Albany, Missouri in 2009 after Michael Coleman’s death in hopes of making new and better memories than those the town of Albany held. Instead, they found themselves at the center of a sexual assault case that shocked the nation. Daisy and her friend were invited to a party in January 2012 where they became heavily intoxicated and both were sexually assaulted.
After the assault, Daisy was left intoxicated on her porch in 22-degree weather with no shoes or socks; when her mother found her she had frostbite. Sheriff’s deputies arrested two teens within hours and charged them with felonies. Matthew Barnett, a 17 year old high school senior and the grandson of former state representative Rex Barnett, was arrested for the rape and sexual assault of Coleman, who was 14 at the time. A 15-year-old boy was accused of doing the same to the girl’s 13-year-old friend Paige, and a third boy admitted to recording Barnett’s alleged assault on a cellphone. The video which was never retrieved by law enforcement, was deleted after reportedly being passed around the school.
The identities of alleged sex assault victims are generally not published, but Coleman’s family decided to go public with her identity and accusations. According to the Coleman’s, the torrents of hatred came only days after the case went public and the case divided the community. All four children experienced intense bullying and threats. Melinda Coleman, a veterinarian, lost her job because the case had become too contentious for the local veterinary clinic that was also the subject of threats. Mrs. Coleman says her three sons – Daisy’s brothers – were threatened at school and booed on the field – often by boys they had counted as friends’ just weeks earlier. Daisy became the target of daily bullying in school and was suspended from the cheerleading squad. She was hounded on social media, called a skank and a liar, and urged to kill herself, which she tried to do multiple times.
The relentless bullying prompted the family to move from Maryville back to Albany, Missouri. Shortly after moving, the family’s house in Maryville that they were trying to sell mysteriously burned to the ground 8 months after the moved. The case caught national media attention in October 2013 when the Kansas City Star reported that prosecutor, Robert Rice, dropped the rape charges – citing insufficient evidence. The state at the time appointed a special prosecutor to re-investigate the case, which ended in Barnett pleading guilty to the misdemeanor of charge child endangerment on Jan. 9, 2014. Barnett and his attorney maintain that the sexual encounter was consensual and the fact that two independent investigations have cleared him proves that he didn’t do anything wrong that night except for leaving Coleman outside in the cold. Daisy’s friend Paige’s rapist confessed and was convicted in juvenile court, after Barnett was convicted in adult court on the lesser charge of child endangerment during the 2nd investigation.

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4 months ago · by · Comments Off on Portland Riots Spark Wall of Allies

Portland Riots Spark Wall of Allies

 

 

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Black Lives Matter protests continue into their third month in many cities across the US as federal agents drew down their presence in Portland, Oregon last week after a widely condemned violent crackdown on the demonstrators. For weeks, Portland activists have protested racial inequities in the criminal justice system. The Portland police chief stepped down and the Portland City Council slashed the police budget by millions. The Multnomah County district attorney stepped down five months early to make room for his reform-minded successor. The governor also called a special legislative session to address demands for police accountability.
Portland police and city leaders openly struggled with how to respond to nightly havoc wrought by a smaller core of demonstrators. The White House sent federal marshals to Portland to quell the protests. As the number of videos of excessive force used by federal marshals against peaceful protestors began to circulate on social media, so did the size of the protests. Tensions escalated after an officer with the Marshals Service fired a less-lethal round at protester Donavan La Bella’s head on July 11, critically injuring him.
Videos of La Bella’s assault and others prompted the Wall of Moms, a group of approximately 40 women, some pregnant, who first attended the protests in Portland to help protect protestors from the violence they had seen in their own city. Now, the Wall of Moms has grown to over 14,000 and they have popped up at protests in Boston, Chicago, Washington DC and many other cities across the US.
When videos out of Portland began circulating showing the Wall of Moms being sprayed in the face with tear gas while standing with arms interlocked in front of protestors, the Wall of Dads emerged, armed with leaf blowers to blow the tear gas away. The violence continued and video of navy veteran Christopher David emerged, showing him being pepper sprayed and repeatedly struck with a baton by a marshal when he walked up to them to ask a question. David suffered a fractured hand that will require surgery.
Within a week of David’s assault going viral, a new wall, the Wall of Veterans joined the frontlines in Portland to curb the violence by federal marshals. Their numbers swelled and they were soon joined by other burgeoning groups — green-shirted Teachers Against Tyrants, the pizza-box carrying ChefBloc, the Wall of Nurses, health-care workers in scrubs and Lawyers for Black Lives, who turned up at the protest in suits and ties.
Michelle Heisler, the medical director of Physicians for Human Rights said that typically, police fire the tear gas or pepper spray agent once or twice to clear crowds and encourage people to move away from an area, but in Portland, federal agents have been unleashing the chemicals repeatedly for hours. This sustained cascade makes it difficult for peaceful demonstrators to avoid being hit and runs the risk of ensnaring bystanders in the area.
The Marshal Service has acknowledged only the two instances of excessive force that were caught on video and are currently under internal review by the agency involving La Bella and David. Marshals and other law enforcement agencies have been criticized for their use of tear gas and other irritants on protestors. A representative for the Marshal service said they are defending themselves against coordinated attacks by a smaller group of organized protestors that stay behind after the peaceful protestors leave.wallmoms.jpg

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