In response to the conviction and sentencing of Susan Lang for charges related to disturbing the peace outside of the home of Central District Health board members in Boise, Idaho, Western States Center Deputy Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives Amy Herzfeld-Copple issued the following statement.
WSC Statement on the Conviction and Sentencing of Patriot Prayer Member Mackenzie Lewis
In response to the conviction and sentencing of Patriot Prayer member Mackenzie Lewis of felony riot charges associated with several assaults that occurred during a brawl at a Portland bar in 2019, Western States Center deputy director of programs Amy Herzfeld-Copple issued the following statement.
Civil Rights Groups Urge Attorney General Merrick Garland to Launch Criminal Investigation into Patriot Front
In a letter sent yesterday to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, Western States Center and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law laid out evidence that Patriot Front, a white nationalist group founded in the wake of the 2017 deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, should be investigated for criminal actions under federal law.
Western States Center Announces Leadership Transition; Eric Ward to Serve as Senior Advisor
After five pivotal years of incredible growth and progress, the WSC Board of Directors announces that Executive Director Eric K. Ward has transitioned to Senior Advisor. The WSC Board is delighted that Eric will remain part of the organization and that it will continue to benefit from his visionary leadership.
Western States Center Highlights Importance of Idaho Patriot Front Arrests
This weekend 31 members of Patriot Front, a white nationalist paramilitary group, were arrested for allegedly preparing to riot at an LGBTQ Pride event in Coeur d'Alene. The group was created by Thomas Rousseau during the fallout of the “Unite the Right” rally, a deadly white supremacist event in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Patriot Front operates nationwide, and Western States Center has tracked their escalating actions for years.
Democracy and Civil Rights Groups Call on Garland, Mayorkas to Confront Paramilitary Activity on Southern Border
More than two dozen groups called on Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to investigate and respond to potentially illegal activity by paramilitary organizations on the United States’ southern border. In addition to threatening the safety and wellbeing of individuals in the border region, unauthorized paramilitary groups are using the area as a training ground in order to undermine the rule of law more broadly.
In Oregon and Idaho, Election Results Have Lessons for Defending Democracy
Yesterday in elections in Oregon and Idaho, anti-democracy candidates were defeated in several marquee races. Most notably Idaho gubernatorial hopeful Janice McGeachin, whose embrace of white nationalism and militias was soundly rejected by voters.
Western States Center Calls for Interfaith Unity in Wake of Trio of Attacks on Portland Houses of Worship
Portland was rocked by three attacks on houses of worship within the last seven days, beginning with a broken window at the Congregation Shir Tikvah, followed by antisemitic vandalism at the Congregation Beth Israel and most recently by attempted arson at the Muslim Community Center of Portland…
Western States Center Condemns Antisemitic Attack against Congregation Beth Israel
On Monday, leaders at Congregation Beth Israel, a synagogue located in Northwest Portland, reported that a fire had been lit outside the building and the walls had been defaced with antisemitic graffiti and violent threats…
Oregon Report Urges Stronger Response to Domestic Terror Threat
A report last week issued by the Oregon Secretary of State laid out a series of recommendations for lawmakers to address the threat posed by anti-democracy movements…
Western States Center Responds to Ammon Bundy’s Conviction in Trespassing Case
“Ammon Bundy recklessly flouted the law when he entered the Idaho Capitol after being banned from the building in violation of a no-trespass order. Even more importantly…
Anti-Democracy, Paramilitary Protests in Olympia Illustrate Threat of Ignoring Bigotry
Anti-democracy and paramilitary leaders protested side by side in Olympia today, rallying under a range of conspiratorial causes but focused fundamentally on promoting bigotry and undermining democratic institutions…
Western States Center Response to President Biden’s State of the Union
“After four years of Donald Trump, it was a real relief to watch a State of the Union address in which the President of the United States used his platform to push for policies to defend basic human dignity…
Western States Strategies Calls for McGeachin to Resign after Appearance at White Nationalist Event
On Friday evening in Orlando, Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin appeared at the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), an event organized as a white nationalist alternative…
Western States Center Responds to Tragic Violence in Portland
First and foremost, the victims of last night’s attack and their friends and families are in our thoughts as they grapple with the implications of this event…
Western States Center Condemns Violence in Louisville Shooting
In response to the arrest of Quintez Brown after an attack on a Louisville mayoral candidate, Eric Ward, Executive Director of Western States Center issued the following statement: “Political violence is never acceptable and does nothing to move us closer to justice. It’s unclear whether Quintez Brown’s…
Western States Center Launches “No On 9 Remembered” Project in Which Oregonians Defeated The Harshest Anti-Gay Measure Put to Voters in American History Thirty Years Ago
Project to Publish Stories from the Massive Multi-Year Mobilization Effort In An Effort To Learn Lessons for Today’s Fight for an Inclusive Democracy…
Western States Center Statement on President Biden’s January 6 Remarks
In response to President Biden’s remarks about the attack on the United States Capitol one year ago today, Western States Center Executive Director Eric K. Ward issued the following statement…
Western States Center Partners with Award-winning Author to Launch Reader’s Guide for Inclusive Democracy
As part of its ongoing effort to protect inclusive democracy, Western States Center today unveiled a new reader’s guide to Cynthia Miller-Idriss “Hate in the Home Land: The New Global Far Right” in conjunction with the book’s paperback release today.
A Gift to You, With Gratitude
Next week marks a shorter work week for some of us, a chance to take a break from the breakneck pace of these past few years. For the fortunate amongst us, the Thanksgiving holiday is a chance to gather with family and friends, to break bread together and reflect on the ways our lives are blessed. To share our gratitude and give thanks.