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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Braces as Right-Wing Extremists Rally

Gov. Kate Brown warned violence would not be tolerated as right wing extremists converge on Portland "looking for a fight"

A Reminder: Delta Park is Vanport

As extreme right-wing, white supremacist groups prepare to converge on Portland tomorrow, here is a reminder of the historical significance of the place they plan to overrun and the stories of the people that lived there.

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

NEWS BRIEFS

Blumenauer Statement on Planned White Supremacist Rally in Portland

“These are evil people looking for a fight and national media attention. Let’s not give them what they want." ...

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Arrests in Portland protest follow fairly calm rally

PORTLAND (AP) — Several people in Portland, Oregon, were arrested in anti-police brutality protests that continued into early Sunday, hours after demonstrations ended with few reports of violence.The protests that began Saturday night were declared an unlawful assembly and police began...

Portland, Oregon, largely peaceful after right-wing rally

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a right-wing rally and counter-protests in Portland, Oregon, have largely dispersed without serious violence Saturday, though they are investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the...

No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nick Saban has never lost a season opener while coaching Alabama.Then again, he'd never had one like this.Yet despite an offseason largely scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic, and a delayed start to the season, Saban's second-ranked Crimson Tide looked just fine as they...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

OPINION

When Black Women's Lives Matter All Lives Will Matter

Brazen disregard for the lives and safety of Black women goes back over 400 years in U.S. history with the definition of Black women’s bodies as property at the complete disposal of white slave-owners ...

Sarah Iannarone Demands Action from Mayor Regarding Planned Right-Wing Demonstrations; Opens Safe Space for Portlanders

BIPOC, Queer, and other marginalized Portlanders will bear the brunt of these attacks simply because of their identity or the color of their skin. ...

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Organizer arrested after driving car into California protest

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An organizer of a Southern California demonstration against racism was in jail Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder after authorities say she drove through a crowd and struck two counterprotesters. Tatiana Turner, 40, was arrested Saturday in Yorba Linda after speeding...

Minnesota mayor disputes harassment of COVID-19 survey team

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mayor of a southern Minnesota city is disputing state health department claims that a COVID-19 survey team was threatened there earlier this month.State health officials on Friday reported cases of health workers being subjected to hostility — including racial...

Insider Q&A: Accenture directs capital to Black start-ups

NEW YORK (AP) — Kathryn Ross was one of just two Black women in Accenture's Miami office when she first joined the global consulting firm nearly 27 years ago. Now a managing partner, Ross was tapped in December to create the inclusion and diversity agenda for Accenture's venture capital...

ENTERTAINMENT

Q&A: Underwood on holiday album and her little drummer boy

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammy Award for cutest collaboration of the year goes to Carrie Underwood and her 5-year-old son Isaiah.He’s the little singing boy providing the adorable vocals on “Little Drummer Boy,” one of the 11 tracks on the country superstar’s new...

Billie Lourd introduces newborn son in surprise announcement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Billie Lourd has announced the birth of her son.Lourd announced on her social media Friday that she and her fiance, Austen Rydell, welcomed their newborn son into the world. She is the daughter of the late Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016 at the age of 60 following...

'Beginning' triumphs at San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain

SAN SEBASTIÁN, Spain (AP) — Georgian writer-director Dea Kulumbegashvili’s first feature film “Beginning” triumphed at Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival, scooping up four of its top prizes including best film and best director. The story about...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Barrett could be Ginsburg's polar opposite on Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amy Coney Barrett paid homage to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her White House speech...

Nearly a year after sudden exit, Shepard Smith returns to TV

NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks shy of a year after abruptly quitting Fox News Channel with a declaration that...

Appellate court halts Wisconsin ballot-counting extension

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Sunday temporarily halted a six-day extension for counting...

Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan; 18 killed

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has erupted again over the...

Greek police arrest 3 human traffickers, free 7 captives

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police said Sunday they have arrested three men of Pakistani origin for...

North Korea accuses South of intrusion to find dead official

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea accused South Korea of sending ships across the disputed sea boundary...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Jay Reeves Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- For some believers and church leaders, opposing Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation law against illegal immigration is a chance for Bible Belt redemption.

During the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, many state churches didn't join the fight to end Jim Crow laws and racial segregation. Some cross-burning Ku Klux Klan members took off their hoods and sat in the pews with everyone else on Sunday mornings, and relatively few white congregations actively opposed segregation. Some black churches were hesitant to get involved for fear of white backlash.

Now that Alabama has passed what's widely considered the nation's most restrictive state law against illegal immigration, mainstream churches, faith-based organizations and individual members are leading opposition to the act. Some see their involvement as a way to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.

"I think what happened in the `60s may be a stimulus for the action that you have seen many of the churches taking on this," said Chriss H. Doss, an attorney and ordained Southern Baptist minister.

Matt Lacey, pastor of a United Methodist church once attended by Birmingham's infamous segregationist police commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor, said there are all sorts of reasons Alabama Christians are opposed to the law. Making amends for the past inaction of religious groups is among them, he said.

"For me, as pastor of a church that was engaged in that battle, it is very important," said Lacey. "If we take redemption very seriously, then it not only covers our sins but our past actions as a church. I think for some, there is a tendency to want to be on the side of right on this issue. ... I would like to think the church just wants to do what's right."

At 56, the Rev. Al Garrett is old enough to recall some faith communities sitting on the sidelines during the civil rights movement. Garrett, who helped organize a prayer rally that drew a few hundred people Sunday night in Huntsville, said the difference now is uplifting.

"I've thanked God that I've been here to see the way people of faith are taking a stand on this," he said.

After a prayer for wisdom, members of the Birmingham City Council recently passed a unanimous resolution calling for the repeal of the law. That same day, ministers and lay people gathered to discuss opposition to the law in the same church where, more than 50 years ago, white segregationists gathered to form a group to oppose white and black children going to school together.

Urged to come to a rally and candlelight march sponsored by churches and faith-based groups, a diverse crowd estimated around 2,000 marched quietly through downtown streets on a recent Saturday night near where police dogs snapped at black demonstrators two generations ago.

An interfaith prayer walk planned for July 30 in Montgomery will pass Martin Luther King Jr.'s first church on the way to the steps of Alabama's Capitol. And more than 100 United Methodist ministers - many of them moderate to liberal, but some also on the conservative side - signed an open letter to the governor criticizing the law.

Believers are doing more than praying and protesting. The ecumenical Greater Birmingham Ministries, along with two ministers and a Montgomery-area church member who works with Hispanics, were among the groups and individuals who filed a federal lawsuit last week attempting to have the law declared unconstitutional.

Doss is struck by the differences between 2011 and 1963, when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" to seven white moderate ministers and a rabbi who were publicly urging him to go slower with the campaign to end legalized segregation. Many black churches also were slow initially to embrace the cause of civil rights in Birmingham, where Klan night riders roamed with bombs for years.

"There were a number of black ministers who took a more conservative position that they were not going to get involved publicly. Their involvement greatly increased through the years," said Wayne Coleman, head of archives at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Churches had little to say about the bill as it moved through the Alabama Legislature, but that could be because they were overwhelmed for weeks providing food and other assistance to victims of the deadly tornadoes that swept across the state on April 27, killing more than 240 people.

In contrast, denominational leaders were outspoken at the Georgia General Assembly as a similarly tough law moved toward final passage in Atlanta. Religious leaders have been less vocal in Georgia since legislators passed the law, but a federal judge blocked key provisions of that act this week.

Now in Alabama, leaders among the state's fast-growing Hispanic community hope the involvement of churches will help lead to a repeal of the law, signed earlier this month by Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, a Southern Baptist deacon and Sunday school teacher.

"It's huge to have the faith community come together and speak out in such great numbers against this new law," said Isabel Rubio, executive director of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. "Because we're in the middle of the Bible Belt, we certainly expect that the faith communities' influence ... will land on folks' ears who are willing to listen."

Religious opposition to the new law - which has included not just Christian churches but Jewish and Muslim congregations - is two-fold.

Some Christians see the issue in faith terms when they compare biblical instructions to welcome strangers and love others with the law's ban on helping illegal immigrants secure a place to live, a job, health care other than for emergencies and even a ride to the store. Under the law, police can check anyone's immigration status during a traffic stop or other encounter and jail people without bond if they don't have proper documents.

Fernando del Castillo, pastor of a Spanish-speaking congregation of about 300 people in metro Birmingham, is particularly worried about a provision requiring that schools check the immigration status of students and report the information to the state. He fears some immigrant parents will be afraid to send their children to school when classes resume in August.

"Will they keep them at home? I don't know," del Castillo said.

Others are worried the law could criminalize mission work with illegal immigrants.

"They wonder if this is the beginning of infringing on freedoms that the church has considered its bailiwick," Doss said.

Leaders of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church all have criticized the law as running counter to biblical teachings about caring for neighbors, helping visitors and showing hospitality to strangers.

The state's largest denomination, the Alabama Baptist Convention, hasn't taken a position publicly and likely won't since it doesn't speak for individual churches. Convention president Mike Shaw, pastor of a church in suburban Birmingham, said the law "is the toughest in the nation and personally I think all laws need to be enforced."

"I am concerned about the language concerning giving a ride in an automobile to an illegal immigrant or allowing children of illegal immigrant parents to ride on a church bus to Sunday school, vacation Bible school, or church camp," he said in a statement. "Should we ignore people who are injured or have broken down on the side of a busy interstate highway and have small children in sweltering heat with no family or friends to help them?"

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Associated Press Writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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