In the News

Rural Organizing Project takes on food pantry status

Published on February 25, 2021 | Cottage Grove Sentinel

As communities continue to feel the burden of the pandemic’s economic devastation, food security has risen to be a more prominent issue in many households. In response to that demand, ROP in Cottage Grove has established another pillar of support in the community by acquiring status as an official food pantry.

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Are They ‘Patriots’? Behind Trump’s Scheme For A Far-Right Third Party

Published on January 22, 2021 | The National Memo

Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal reports, is mulling the idea of forming a third party in his own political image, and calling it the “Patriot Party.” The report cites White House insiders who said the departing ex-president “discussed the matter with several aides and other people close to him last week.”

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Denial of American Fascism Has Cost Us Dearly

Published on January 21, 2021 | Common Dreams

“If four years ago, our country leapt from the frying pan of neoliberal corporate rule into the fire of enabling fascism, on January 20 we’re leaping back from the fire into the same old frying pan. Unless we see deeper changes, we’ll be back in the fire before long.”

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‘Armed groups of individuals’ reportedly intimidate voters at Lane County ballot drop-off

Published on November 2, 2020 | The Oregonian

Callers to the Election Protection hotline described at least a dozen trucks and other vehicles with political signs near the ballot dropbox, she said.

“One of the individuals from the trucks asked the driver to roll down his window and asked where the driver was going,” she continued. “The voter became so concerned that rather than proceeding to the dropbox decided to forgo voting that day and left.”

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Hotline got reports of ‘voter intimidation by armed groups of individuals in Lane County’

Published on November 2, 2020 | KATU

“Reports to the Election Protection helpline indicate that voters attempting to deposit their ballots in a drop box at the Lively Park Swim Center were confronted and questioned by groups of armed individuals in military attire blocking their way. Some voters turned away without depositing their ballots.”

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Organizers Are Gearing Up to Resist Far Right Intimidation at Polls

Published on October 26, 2020 | Truthout

As the election approaches, progressives are experiencing a lot of fear and anxiety. Of course, a major fear — beyond Trump winning — is that he will lose but refuse to step down. But far right intimidation at the polls themselves, as well as pre- and post-election violence, are also possibilities — and progressive organizers are making plans for all of these scenarios.

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A shortage of masks and air purifiers makes wildfires more dangerous

Published on September 16, 2020 | Marketplace

In response [to wildfires and supply chain problems], community organizers and groups have been stepping in to provide residents with essential items. The Rural Organizing Project has a hub in the city of Cottage Grove, where it’s been helping people find shelter and distributing food and masks.

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The Era of Disaster Militarism in America

Published on September 15, 2020 | The New Republic

Perhaps the idea of a militia coming to save good Americans from anti-fascists while their town burned down around them is meant to seem less insane with the actual horizon on fire. It is not.

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They’re Turning Up for Black Lives Matter in Rural and Small-Town Oregon, Too

Published on June 8, 2020 | Portland Monthly

[Hannah] Harrod grew up in Drain, a town of about 1,100 people between Eugene and Roseburg, and often felt isolated as someone with progressive values in a small town. When she got involved with the Rural Organizing Project—first as a volunteer activist and then as staff—she discovered she wasn’t.

She says the current wave of protests helps “break this myth of rural communities as this white, conservative monolith.”

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Learn Your Local Budget With Rural Organizing Project

Published on October 25, 2019 | Jefferson Public Radio

ROP is taking a short workshop on the road, “Democracy at Work in Rural Oregon: Demystifying Budgets for Local Changemakers.”  Attendees will emerge from the session with more knowledge of how to read budgets, ask questions about line items, and request changes.  Emma Ronai-Durning visits to talk about some of the components of local budget scrutiny.

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Militias, MAGA activists and one border town’s complicated resistance

Published on March 13, 2019 | High Country News

“For the most part, Arivaca has been pretty stable and quiet because they don’t want to attract law enforcement,” according to David Neiwert, a national expert in right-wing movements and author of a book about Shawna Forde. Militia members, however, threw things off balance, he said. “(Militia) introduce an unstable element that’s capable of extreme violence,” Neiwert told me. He said militias can become tools for people who need muscle, whether it’s ranchers feuding with the government, like Cliven Bundy, or drug dealers.

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Extremist militias recruiting in fear of Clinton winning election, activists say

Published on September 18, 2016 | The Guardian

…according to [Jess] Campbell, Patriot sympathizers are moving into communities in order to tip the electoral balance towards far-right candidates. She fears this trend will continue long after a Trump defeat. “I’m seeing a lot of paramilitary groups recruiting on the basis of a likely Hillary Clinton win,” she said.

“The Patriot movement is attracting people who feel disenfranchised. It’s real out here, where people feel like they have not been listened to at the state level, and particularly by Democrats,” Campbell says.

Helping these communities to demand the resources they need to shut down rightwing insurgencies means having a conversation with them, and not simply dismissing or scapegoating them. It also requires bravery: if you confront the far right on their own turf, you might be threatened, followed or shot at […]

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